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 students 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 program.
  • 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, Office- Washington Square Hall 111D, San Jose State University campus.

M.A. Geography Admission and Degree Requirements

Domestic Application Deadlines

International Application Deadlines

Materials to be submitted to Cal State Apply:

  1. APPLICATION FORM. Fill out the Cal State Apply on-line application form - this is where all of your application materials are to be submitted. The Master of Art in Geography program at SJSU is listed within the online application under Geography. This application must be completed by the deadlines noted above. Payment of the CSU Application Fee os $55 will be accepted by credit card or Paypal only. The payment must be made in order to submit your Cal State Apply university application.

  2. TWO LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION. In "Quadrant 4" of Cal State Apply is where you will submit two original and signed Letters of Recommendation that come from either university professors/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 professor/instructor. If this is not possible, ask your letter writers to include an evaluation of your writing and analysis skills. You can request these letters through the Program Materials (4th quadrant) of your Cal State Apply application. Make sure to follow the detailed instructions. Letters of recommendation can also be sent directly to the Geography Graduate Program Advisor, Dr. Kathrine Richardson, Associate Professor, at although using Cal State Apply is highly recommended.

  3. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND CV/RESUME. In "Quadrant 4" of Cal State Apply is where you will submit a short Statement of Purpose (approximately 1.5 single-spaced typed pages) that indicates how a Master of Geography degree will help you to achieve your career objectives. This statement should indicate which semester you are applying for 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. (tip: please ensure that your statement is exceptionally well written. Check for correct spelling, grammar, syntax, and punctuation). As well, please submit your CV/Resume in "Quadrant 4".

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the Graduate Program Advisor, Dr. Kathrine Richardson at

We look forward to hearing from you!