Degree Requirements | Geography | SIU

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Degree Requirements

Note: The following information is simplified and not official. For complete details, please refer to the Graduate School Catalog.

Advising on courses and career options is accomplished in consultation with a Geography and Environmental Resources faculty member who will serve as your Advisor.


To obtain the master's degree, students must:

  1. Complete all degree requirements specified by the Graduate School, and explained under degree requirements, master's degree program in the Graduate School Catalog. A total of 30 credit hours must be completed with 15 of these hours at the 500-level or above.
  2. Include as required courses the following: GEOG 500 Principles of Research, during the first fall semester in residence; GEOG 501 Seminar in Geographic Research and Environmental Research the following semester; GEOG 504 Spatial Analysis, or equivalent; and one research seminar.
  3. In consultation with an adviser, develop a program of study, identifying courses to be taken, research skills to be developed, deficiencies to be rectified. This shall be approved by the faculty. The program of study shall include a core of substantive courses in geography and environmental resources as explained in the policy statement on core curriculum for master's degree students, available from the Graduate Program Director. The program of study may include courses offered by other departments. The graduate faculty will meet to review and approve/disapprove the program of study of each master's degree student enrolled in GEOG 500. An approved program of study will be filed with the Graduate Program Director and Department Chair as part of GEOG 500. 
  4. Develop a thesis or research paper proposal. The thesis or research paper proposal must be approved by the student's master's advisory committee before the student registers for GEOG 599 Thesis or GEOG 593 Research. A total of 6 semester hours of GEOG 599 may be awarded for a thesis at the discretion of the advisory committee upon final examination on the thesis. A total of 3 semester hours may be awarded for a research paper. 
  5. Submit a thesis or research paper to the advisory committee at least 2 weeks before the comprehensive examination. A student who writes a thesis will be examined by the committee at a meeting that may be attended by other faculty and students. A research paper will be evaluated and approved by the advisory committee without public presentation.

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