Program Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Students may apply for fall or spring semester and enroll either full- or part-time.

Admission criteria include:

  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • A combined GRE score of 300 (1000 on the old GRE)

Applicants must submit:

  • Major:  AGEO
  • Degree:  MS
  • Unit:  GA
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended (graduating seniors can submit current transcript, followed by final transcript upon graduation)
  • GRE scores
  • Two letters of reference addressing candidate’s academic capabilities and readiness for graduate school, preferably from current or former faculty members
  • A statement of interest/intent indicating academic and career goals and how the M.S. in Applied Geography meets these goals

All materials must be submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies

Application deadlines:

  • March 15 for fall semester
  • November 15 for spring semester

Upon acceptance, students receive an enrollment form from the Department with questions about credit hours and financial assistance.

Program Description

The M.S. in Applied Geography is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and background knowledge needed to solve real-world problems with geographic dimensions. Graduate students experience a nucleated body of coursework designed to foster and support the theoretical knowledge and advanced skill sets demanded for the professional and academic/research fields.  Coupled with the enhanced level of course content; quantitative, qualitative and spatial data analysis applications; and the Departmental emphasis upon critical reasoning, effective writing and communication skills, graduates will be capable and prepared for effective integration into a broad diversity of professional fields.

Our course offerings and faculty research areas include geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, climatology and meteorology, urban and regional studies, quantitative and qualitative methods, medical geography, globalization, glaciology, hydrology and water resources, geomorphology, glaciology, transportation and location analysis, border security, land use/land cover change and the geography of food and race.

Geographic information systems (GIS) proficiency is required for all students. If not attained at the undergraduate level or in a job-related environment, students will be required to take GEOG 558 in addition to the requirements listed in the Curriculum section, below. The department has state-of-the-art computer facilities with GIS and remote sensing software.

The program offers both thesis and non-thesis options. Students who choose the non-thesis option are required to take a written comprehensive exam near the end of their course of study. Students may attend either full- or part-time.

All students must take the following foundation courses – 15 hours

  • GEOG 600: History and Philosophy of Geography
  • GEOG 640: Approaches and Methods in Applied Geography
  • GEOG 641: Research Design and Proposal Development
  • GEOG 656: Advanced Quantitative Methods
  • GEOG 660: Qualitative Methods

GEOG 600, 640, 656 and 660 are prerequisites to GEOG 641.

Additional courses for the thesis option include:

  • 15 hours of electives at the 500 or 600 level, two of which may be taken outside of the department
  • 6 hours of GEOG 698:  Thesis
  • A plan/checklist is available at:  <need link>

 Additional courses for the non-thesis option include:

  • 21 hours of electives at the 500 or 600 level, two of which may be taken outside of the department
  • A plan/checklist is available at:  <need link>


Please click here to view the Graduate Catalog:

Please click here for the Current Students link in the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies:

Please click here to access the plan/checklist for the M.S. in Applied Geography:

  • Thesis option: <need link>
  • Non-thesis option: <need link>

Thesis procedures:  <need link>

Thesis forms: <need link>

Funding Opportunities

Each year, the Department of Geography and Geosciences funds two graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs) for incoming students.  Tuition, health insurance and a $1000/month stipend are provided.   GTAs must be enrolled full-time.  Responsibilities during Year 1 include assisting faculty with teaching and research responsibilities.  During Year 2, the GTA teaches an online course in GEOS 200 or GEOG 200.

The Department also offers scholarships to students in good standing.  These scholarships generally cover one-third of tuition costs, but are dependent on departmental resources.

Students interested in being considered for a GTA or scholarship must indicate this on the enrollment form.

Research and teaching assistantships may also be available via funded research projects.  Individual faculty members can provide information about current research projects.

Other sources of financial aid can be found at:

Graduate Student Alumni

Nunn, James Edward. 2012. The role of human awareness on the spatial patterns of the tick-borne disease human monocytic ehrlichiosis in Missouri.

Kerr, Tyler. 2012. Land cover classification of active fire and burned area detections for Canadian provinces, 2001-2010.

Dale, Ashley O. 2014. Greening Louisville's East Market district : a comparative assessment of sustainability.

Gomez, Paula C. 2014. Transboundary groundwater and unsustainable practices of water governance in the Guarani Aquifer : the case of the province of Misiones

Biddle, Donald J. 2015. Mapping debris-covered glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru : an object-based image analysis approach

Montgomery, Victoria. 2016. A qualitative analysis of communality in Louisville community gardens

Contact Information

Margath Walker, PhD
Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Geography & Geosciences
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292
Phone: 502-852-2694