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Master's in Geography

Geography is an innovative and vibrant discipline that provides an integrated approach to the study of the interplay of human societies and physical environments. Our department works at the forefront of nature-society dynamics, cultural/historical geography, and geographic information science, including unmanned aerial systems. Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in government, business, and academia.  We have a collaborative and collegial department that supports interdisciplinary research. Our faculty are committed to research and teaching, actively mentoring students and investing in students’ professional development.


  • Thesis option - 30 credit hours (6 credit hours for thesis)
  • Non-thesis option - 36 credit hours
  • Core Coursework - 10 hours including:
    • GEOG 5001 – Professional Development in Geography 
    • GEOG 5303 – Geographical Analysis I
    • GEOG 5403 – Current Geographic Research 
    • GEOG 5413 – History and Philosophy of Geography


Plus access to drones, the Center for the Applications of Remote Sensing (CARS) and OSU Cartography Services. We also manage the Applied Geoarchaeology Lab, which is located in the Noble Research Center.


Research and Faculty

Many faculty members have considerable experience conducting fieldwork, research, and teaching in international settings.

The department has outstanding facilities and offers access to state-of-the art technology, from drones and sensors to software for analyzing and visualizing data. The department houses several laboratories: 3 GIS labs for classes and independent student work, the Center for the Applications of Remote Sensing and OSU Cartography Services. The department also manages the Applied Geoarchaeology Lab, which is located in the Noble Research Center.


Department Facilities



  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of reference
  • Sole-authored writing sample
  • Application letter indicating interest in program, potential faculty advisors and general biographical information that has led you to choose OSU
  • Additional requirements listed on general OSU Graduate College application

Test Scores:

GRE required with no minimum score


Application Deadlines:

  • July 1 (Fall admission)
  • November 1 (Spring admission)
  • April 1 (Summer admission)
  • February 1 (full consideration for graduate assistantships)

Cost & Assistance

The department offers a number of paid graduate teaching assistantships and graduate research assistantships. Our assistantship include a monthly stipend for the 9-month academic calendar, and all students on a qualifying assistantship receive health insurance through the university. In addition, all students on a .50 FTE (20 hours per week) assistantship also receive a full tuition waiver (up to the number of hours needed for the degree). In addition, students in College of Arts and Sciences classes are not charged fees. Assistantships are renewable—typically an MS student is offered 2 years (4 semesters) of funding and PhD students are offered 4 years (8 semesters), pending satisfactory progress towards degree and performance of duties.

The department has several scholarships available for graduate students, including an outstanding first-year graduate student award ($2,500), various travel scholarships for conferences or field work ($500 each, several awarded each year), as well as other scholarships relating to geographic education and the pursuit of the GIS certificate.


Assistantships and Scholarships


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