Master's Degree Requirements

The Department of Geography at the University of Oregon offers both a Master of Science (MS) and a Master of Arts (MA). There is no real distinction in subject matter between an MS or an MA. For an MA, students are required to obtain a second-year proficiency in a foreign language which is a requirement of The Division of Graduate Studies. Students must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours to earn a master’s degree, nine (9) of which must be thesis-writing credits. The master’s program is designed to be two years of full-time study. To be considered full-time, students must register for at least nine credits per term, though a typical course load is twelve (three four-credit classes). The Division of Graduate Studies requires students to be enrolled each term (except summer) unless you have an approved leave of absence.

Core Course Requirements

Students must take a series of courses in residence at the University of Oregon. This sequence of courses is designed to introduce students to the department, allowing them to meet the faculty members and discuss their research interests, and to the discipline of geography. GEOG 611 and 612 will be used to examine how the discipline of Geography has evolved and how this intersects with the research interests of faculty in the department. GEOG 613 is designed to help students complete a proposal by the end of their first year.

Breadth Course Requirements

Master’s students are required to complete the equivalent of the following courses, unless they have previously taken their equivalent:

  • Two upper-division courses in physical geography in different subfields
  • Two upper-division courses in human geography in different subfields
  • One upper-division course in Geographic Information Sciences
  • One upper-division course in quantitative methods (GEOG 517 or equivalent) OR qualitative methods (GEOG 515 or equivalent)

Graduate Seminar Requirement

Students are required to take two graduate seminars (GEOG 607) from different faculty members, after admission to the Master’s program.

Research Workshop Requirement

In the Fall and Spring quarters students must register for GEOG 608. This is a one-hour workshop meeting where students discuss their research and receive feedback from other students and invited faculty.

Progress Meetings

Master’s students should select an advisor and a second committee member to serve on their thesis committee. This committee will meet with the student once per year to evaluate course progress and research issues.

Thesis Proposal Requirement

Master’s students must receive the approval of a short proposal by the thesis committee and the Graduate Program Director. More details on the proposal are found in the Graduate Student Handbook.

Thesis Requirement

Master’s students are required to write a thesis. The details of what is required in this document can be found in the Geography Graduate Handbook.

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