Program Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Students from geography and related fields are encouraged to apply. All applicants must hold a BA or BS degree from an accredited college or university and must have earned a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA.

Applicants must submit:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended (graduating seniors can submit current transcript, followed by final transcript upon graduation)
  • Two letters of recommendation addressing the candidate’s academic abilities, readiness for graduate study, and potential for success. Letters from current or former faculty members are preferred.
  • A statement of interests and intent covering relevant experience, potential areas of research/study, academic/career goals, and how the M.S. in Applied Geography would allow the applicant to achieve these goals.

All materials must be submitted to the Graduate School.

Application deadlines:

  • May 15 for fall semester (individuals desiring consideration for Graduate Assistantships should apply by March 15th)
  • 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/or faculty research areas include geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, climatology and meteorology, hydrology and water resources, geomorphology, biogeography, dendrochronology, land use/land cover change, urban and regional studies, quantitative and qualitative methods, political geography, globalization, transportation and location analysis, and border security. Please check individual faculty pages for more information on additional research interests.  

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.

All students must take the following foundation courses – 12 hours

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

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

Additional courses/requirements for the thesis option include:

  • 12 hours of electives (GEOG or ENVS) at the 500 or 600 level, (up to six hours electives may be non GEOG/ENVS courses at the university)
  • 6 hours of GEOG 698:  Thesis (see Thesis Details for information on the thesis process)
  • A plan/checklist is available at:  Thesis Flight Plan

 Additional courses/requirements for the non-thesis option include:

  •  18 hours of electives (GEOG or ENVS) at the 500 or 600 level, (up to six hours electives may be non GEOG/ENVS courses at the university)
  • Comprehensive Examination (non-thesis students will choose a three-member advising committee of Geography/Geosciences faculty to administer and evaluate the comprehensive exam during their final semester. Students must pass this exam to graduate).
  • A plan/checklist is available at:  Non Thesis Flight Plan


MS Applied Geography Academic Catalog
Graduate School Future Students
Graduate School Current Students

Funding Opportunities

Each year, the Department of Geographic and Environmental Sciences 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 may cover some of the 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 on the Graduate School Current Students page.

Contact Information

Dr. C. Andrew Day
Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
Dept. of Geographic and Environmental Sciences
University of Louisville
Louisville, 40292
Phone: 502-852-2703