Geography, MA Plans

Students will complete a course of study designed to prepare them for professional work in geography or a related field. The program leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Geography consists of 30 semester units of coursework. The maximum number of upper-division undergraduate units that can be applied toward the master’s degree is 15. Elective courses must be planned in consultation with the Graduate Geography Advisor.

In consultation with the Graduate Geography Advisor, the candidate will develop and pursue a program of study outlined in Plan A or Plan B below. The candidate must successfully complete all requirements of the selected plan including the course work specified in the Master's Requirements as described in the course catalog. Upon completion of the degree requirements, the student must have achieved minimum candidacy and SJSU cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 in order to graduate. In addition, the University requires that all graduate students complete the graduation writing assessment requirement (GWAR) as a condition for advancement to candidacy.

Plan A (with Thesis)

  1. A minimum of eighteen units in geography.
  2. The thesis, based on independent research, is to be conducted under the direction of a thesis advisor and must be acceptable to and approved by the Thesis Committee. The Committee consists of the thesis advisor (committee chair), an additional member from the university faculty, and an additional member who may be from outside the university. The thesis topic shall be developed within the departmental foci in consultation with the thesis advisor. The thesis must conform to the university standards of style and form.
  3. Final Examination: The thesis must be successfully defended orally before the thesis committee.

Plan B (without Thesis)

  1. A minimum of twenty-one units in geography, with at least 50% of the units in graduate level courses.
  2. Project: The student shall present the results of a project in one of the areas of departmental focus. Appropriate projects include research completed for a geography graduate seminar or an independent study conducted under supervision of a faculty advisor. The results will be reported in a written paper and other materials submitted to the department, and will be presented formally to a geography faculty and student colloquium for acceptance.

If you have any questions about our program in Master of Arts in Geography, please contact the Geography Graduate Advisor.