Jun 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Geography (M.S.)

Location(s): Manhattan Campus

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Program objectives

The Master of Science degree in Geography at Kansas State University is designed to further develop the student’s understanding of geographic perspectives and to assist the student in identifying and addressing specific and significant geographic research questions.

Students without a previous degree in geography are encouraged to apply. Students without previous course work in human geography, physical geography, and spatial techniques, may, however, be required to add hours to their program of study. The addition of hours to a program of study is determined on a case-by-case basis during the program planning interview in the student’s first semester and will reflect the faculty’s appraisal of the student’s experience and needs. Courses taken to strengthen the student’s background in geography may count toward the course work required for the M.A., but only if approved by the student’s graduate committee.

Required courses

The two required courses for the MS degree are: GEOG 700 - Quantitative Analysis in Geography  (Though this is not required for students in the Report Option for Teachers), and GEOG 821 - Research and Professional Development in Geography . Additionally, the Graduate School stipulates that students may include no more than three credits of independent study coursework on the program of study, and at least 18 hours of the coursework on the program of study should be at the 700 level and above. All geography students in the Master of Science degree program are required each semester to enroll in GEOG 800 - Graduate Seminar in Geography .

Final Examination

All master’s students will take a final oral examination administered by the supervisory committee. Other faculty and students are encouraged to attend the public presentation portion of the examination.

For students completing the thesis option, the examination consists of a defense of the thesis, including its relationship to geography. Two weeks prior to the final examination the written thesis will be available for review by the supervisory committee, other faculty, and graduate students.

For students completing one of the report options, the examination consists of a defense of the report and a comprehensive examination on the student’s areas of study and geography.

Master’s degree options

Students may choose, in consultation with their advisors, one of the three programs leading to the M.S. degree. For most students, the Department of Geography encourages completion of the thesis option.

Thesis option

This option requires 30 hours of graduate credit including 6 hours of credit for a thesis. Of the 24 hours of credit required in course work, at least 15 hours must be in geography. Three research seminars in geography (3 credit hours each) are required, with at least one at the 800 level.

Sample master’s thesis program

1st Semester

  • Geography research seminars (one of the three geography seminars must be at the 800 level) - Credits: (6)
  • Elective course - Credits: (3)
  • Program Meeting with possible committee
  • Credits: 0

2nd Semester

3rd Semester

4th Semester

Report option

This option is a nonthesis program designed for students who have a specific professional goal in mind and who do not intend to continue for a doctorate. A student must consult with their advisor to arrange a program of study that is acceptable to the supervisory committee. Thirty-two hours of graduate-level work are required, including a two-credit hour Master’s Report (GEOG 898 ). Up to twelve hours may be outside the geography department. The student must complete at least one course, which may include independent study, with each member of the supervisory committee.

Procedures relating to the preparation of a master’s report are almost identical to those relating to the thesis, including the formal proposal of the topic, except that approval of the topic may be given by the individual faculty member supervising the report.

Report option for teachers

This option is for students who intend to pursue or continue careers in public school or junior college teaching. It is open to persons who are already certified to teach at the public school or junior college level in any state and to those who will make courses required for such certification an integral part of their program. Thirty-two hours of graduate-level work are required, including a two-credit hour Master’s Report (GEOG 898 ). The master’s report shall consist of the design of a teaching syllabus in a sub-field of geography in conjunction with a faculty member in the College of Education, or a research project concerning geographic education. During their residence, students are required to present three lectures in Department of Geography courses, with no more than two of the lectures in the same course. One academic credit (under GEOG 850 , GEOG 860 , or GEOG 870 ) will be awarded for this activity. The student must complete at least one course, which may include independent study, with each member of the supervisory committee. This option is not suitable for any student who may continue for a doctorate degree.

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