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Geography Department


MA - Geography

Advisor: Richard Taketa

Admission to the graduate program is flexible, and potential students are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. A strong record based on either undergraduate performance or employment experience is expected. Graduate students without a geography degree can expect added course work in geographic literature and theory.

Requirements for Admission to Classified Standing

Basic requirements for admission to the Graduate Division are outlined in the Admissions section of this catalog. In addition, the department requires the following for admission to classified standing:

1. An undergraduate degree in geography or a reasonably related field from an accredited institution.

2. A 3.0 ("B") overall grade point average for the last 60 semester units of academic study.

3. The capability, in the opinion of the Department Graduate Committee, of successfully completing the degree requirements.

4. The removal of deficiencies if preparation differs markedly from the BA - Geography at San José State University.

Requirements for Admission to Conditionally Classified Standing

If not accepted into classified standing, the applicant may qualify for conditionally classified status for which the following will be required:

1. The ability, in the opinion of the Department Graduate Committee, to remove deficiencies which do not exceed the equivalent of one full-time semester of course work.

2. The qualifications to be accepted to classified standing within a reasonable length of time, and the background to conduct studies at the graduate level.

Requirements for Admission to Candidacy for the Master's Degree

The student may be admitted to candidacy for the MA - Geography by complying with requirements of the university as outlined in the Academic Regulations section of this catalog. The University requires that all graduate students demonstrate competency in written English as a condition for advancement to candidacy. Please refer to the SJSU catalog section titled "Competency in Written English" for details. For graduate courses that meet the competency in written English requirement, please refer to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations website at www.sjsu.edu/gape. In addition, students must obtain their thesis advisor's approval for their thesis proposal.

Students will complete a course of study designed to prepare them for professional work in their chosen subfield. Accordingly, they will need to take specific courses to support research and project work in that field.

Completing Requirements for the Master's Degree

In consultation with the department advisor, the candidate will develop and pursue a program of study outlined in Plan A or Plan B. The candidate must successfully complete all requirements of the selected plan including the course work specified in the Master's Degree Approved Program.

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.

2. Comprehensive Examination: The final written comprehensive examination covering the fundamentals of geography and the candidate's primary area or field of study must be satisfactory. This normally consists of three separate examinations.

4. 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.


Course Requirements

Graduate Competency in Writing0
At SJSU, students must pass the graduate competency in writing requirement. For information on the Competency in Writing Requirement, please see http://info.sjsu.edu/gcw.html.
Requirement of the Masters30
Plan A (with Thesis)30
Core Seminar3
GEOG 290. Seminar in Research Design for Geographic Information Science3
Geography Seminars6
Complete two courses from:
GEOG 239. Geographic Information Technology3
GEOG 279. Geographic Information Science Applications3
GEOG 282. Advanced Geographic Techniques3
Culminating Experience6
GEOG 299. Master's Thesis or Project1-6
Electives15
100 or 200-level courses in geography or related fields selected with advisor's approval. Students should take the following courses, depending on their area of focus: GEOG 282, GEOG 195, and at least three units selected from GEOG 173, GEOG 175, or GEOG 183.
Plan B (without Thesis)30
Core Seminar3
GEOG 290. Seminar in Research Design for Geographic Information Science3
Geography Seminars9
GEOG 239. Geographic Information Technology3
GEOG 279. Geographic Information Science Applications3
GEOG 282. Advanced Geographic Techniques3
Electives18
100 or 200-level courses in geography or related fields selected with advisor's approval. Students should take the following courses, depending on their area of focus: GEOG 282, GEOG 195, and at least three units selected from GEOG 173, GEOG 175, or GEOG 183.

Total Units:30

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