Masters in Geography


Geographers study places to understand and explain what makes them special and unique. They study the natural environment, the built environment, and the socio-demographic characteristics of people. As the only degree-granting Geography program in Silicon Valley, we take advantage of our downtown San Jose location to emphasize urban and cultural geography, economic geography, and geospatial methods - using the power of location integrated with computing technologies to analyze large volumes of data to make informed decisions. The program has developed and cultivated long-standing relationships with government agencies, other universities, and the City of San Jose. 

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. Many of our program graduates secure professional jobs with the largest tech employers in Silicon Valley.

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Program Description

The Master of Arts in Geography emphasizes human and physical geography with an emphasis in advanced learning in Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) and urban geography. GIS is a rapidly growing field and our courses will give students the analytic and problem-solving abilities necessary to begin rewarding careers immediately after graduation. Students may also pursue a more generalized study of cultural, physical, or environmental geography. Most students follow an individualized program that includes courses and seminars in related disciplines, such as Environmental Studies and Urban and Regional Planning. In addition to their graduate coursework, all candidates for the Master of Arts in Geography must complete a Master's thesis project.

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. The MA degree is a 30 Credit program and many of our classes are offered in the late afternoon, evening, or on-line.

Graduates with a M.A. in Geography will:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate and interpret published research on the theoretical foundations of geographical information science.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to explain contemporary issues in geographic information science in the context of current theory.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to define a research problem and design and execute a research program.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate and interpret research results in the context of current theory.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to communicate research results in written, graphic, and verbal form.
  6. Demonstrate understanding of how geographic information science and technology may be applied to a variety of problems.

If you are interested in applying for a Master of Arts in Geography, please contact the Geography Graduate Advisor.