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Master of Arts in Geography

Prerequisites/qualifications for admission to the Geography MA program

  • Official transcripts showing a bachelor’s degree in geography; or,
  • A bachelor’s degree with 24 units of upper division courses in geography substantially equivalent to those required for a geography major at this University; or,
  • A bachelor’s degree in a related discipline with 24 units of upper division courses in a combination of geography and approved courses in related disciplines;
  • Completion of a beginning statistics course or introductory methods course substantially equivalent to GEOG 200 at CSULB;
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (B) or better in geography and/or the last 60 graded semester units (or 90 quarter units), or alternative evidence of ability to do graduate work;
  • GRE scores (the basic quantitative/verbal/analytical test only)
  • If English is not your first language, arrange for proof of English language proficiency, for example: TOEFL score of 550 or better (paper version); TOEFL score of 213 or better (online version); IELTS score of 6.0 or better
  • File with the department a declaration of intent to seek the master’s degree in geography (this is typically a 1.5 or 2 page letter describing your interests in geography as they fit into our four areas of research and curriculum , why you feel that advanced study in it will support your professional or personal goals, and the skills you already have that will help you succeed in the program);
  • Arrange for three confidential letters of reference to be sent to the department, ideally from professors familiar with your work and with the nature of the graduate experience.

Program Requirements Once Admitted

The Master of Arts program in Geography at CSULB consists of at least 30 units of course work, including:

  • Completion of course requirements to remove prerequisite foundational deficiences;
  • Passage of the University Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE);
  • GEOG 596 (Geographic Thought and Literature); and GEOG 696 (Seminar in Geographical Research Methods); An Advanced Methods Course from the following list: GEOG 400, 502, 584, 586, 587A, 587B, 588 (seek advisor approval);
  • Two additional SEMINARS (Choose from: GEOG 640 (Physical Geography); GEOG 650 (Cultural Geography); GEOG 666 (Urban Geography); GEOG 680 (Geospatial Science));
  • Meet all requirements for Advancement to Candidacy (see Graduate Student Handbook and the general university requirements);
  • Six Units of Thesis (GEOG 698)
  • For further details see the University Catalogue for Graduate Course Descriptions and download the Roadmap to an MA Degree

In general, the program calls for a greater degree of interest and a greater capacity for independent work than is expected of undergraduate students. In general, students who have completed a specified pattern of undergraduate courses with high grades are eligible for admission to the master’s degree program in Geography at CSULB. All applicants are reviewed in terms of their probable ability to complete the program.

For more details on the program’s prerequisites and requirements for degree, download the Graduate Student Handbook.