Master of Arts


Program Description

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Geography emphasizes human and physical geography with an emphasis in advanced learning in Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) and urban geography.  The master's program may also be a more generalized study of cultural, physical, or environmental geography.  The program closely follows the research interests of the geography faculty.  Because of the small size of the faculty, most students follow an individualized program that includes courses and seminars in related disciplines, such as Environmental Studies and Urban and Regional Planning.  Although the department requires knowledge of the fundamentals of geography and GIS, it welcomes studetns whose undergraduate work has been in other disciplines, and who can apply their training to geographic problems. 

  • Many of our program graduates secure professional jobs with the largest tech employers in Silicon Valley.
  • Our students are frequently offered internship opportunities with the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA Ames, the City of San Jose, and Stanford University while currently enrolled in the program or immediately after graduating from the progam.
  • Excellent departmental faculty conducting interesting research and professional work
  • 30 Credit program and many of our classes are offered in the late afternoon, evening, or on-line.

Graduate Program Advisor:
 Dr. Kathrine Richardson, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Global Studies,, (408)-924-5490 or (503) 707-6422 (cell), Office- Washington Square Hall 111D, San Jose State University campus.

M.A. Geography Admission and Degree Requirements

Domestic Application Deadlines

International Application Deadlines

To complete your application, you must submit materials to two distinct bodies: the SJSU Graduate Admissions Office and the Department of Geography and Global Studies Graduate Admissions Committee (c/o Kathrine Richardson, Graduate Advisor). Each has its own timetable. Approval by both offices is necessary to gain admission to the program.

Additional information on SJSU application procedures for both domestic and international applicants can be found at a webpage for prospective students hosted by Graduate Admissions.

  1. Materials to be submitted to the SJSU Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations Office
  • IF you have any questions about the university application (Cal State Apply), please contact
  • Fill out the on-line application form. The Master of Geography program at SJSU is listed on the online application form under Geography. This form must be completed by the deadlines noted above. Payment of the CSU Application Fee of $55 will be accepted by credit card or paypal only. The payment must be made in order to submit your Cal State Applyuniversity application.
  • For domestic students only: Submit one set of official transcripts from all higher educational institutions attended (even those where you did not get a degree) to the Graduate Admissions Office. Do not send transcripts to the Department of Geography and Global Studies. Please send transcripts to:

Graduate Admissions & Program Evaluations Office
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0017

  • For international students only: International students are advised to closely follow guidelines for submitting transcripts and any other supporting documents, including demonstrating competence in English, available on the Graduate Admissions & Program Evaluation website.
  1. Materials to be submitted to the Department of Geography and Global Studies Graduate Admissions Committee (c/0 Kathrine Richardson, Graduate Advisor)
  • Applicants must submit to the department a single package that contains all the following materials. These materials should be mailed to:

Dr. Kathrine Richardson, Graduate Advisor/Coordinator
Department of Geography and Global Studies
San José State University
One Washington Square, Room 118
San José, CA 95192-0185

  • A statement indicating which semester you are applying for (e.g. Spring 2018) and your current contact information, including mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address. If you have previously applied to the program and are re-applying, please indicate for which semester you previously applied.
  • Two original, signed letters of recommendation that come from either university instructors who taught you or supervisors who managed you in paid or volunteer work. It is highly recommended that at least one letter come from a university instructor. If this is not possible, ask your letter writers to include an evaluation of your writing and analysis skills. These letters must be included in the package of materials submitted to the Department of Geography and Global Studies, not to the SJSU Graduate Admissions Office.
  • A short biographical statement of purpose (approximately 1-1.5 single-spaced typed pages) that indicates how a Master of Geography degree will help you to achieve your career and advanced educational objectives.
  • Do not send transcripts to the Department of Geography and Global Studies. Official transcripts must be sent directly to Graduate Admissions & Program Evaluation (see address above).

If you have questions about the application process, please contact the Graduate Advisor, Dr. Kathrine Richardson at, or by phone at (503) 707-6422 (cell).

We look forward to hearing from you!