B.S. in Geography
A student seeking a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography is expected to complete a minimum curriculum of 56 hours in geography, while 18 of those hours will be chosen from one of the following selected tracks of focus: Human Geography, Geography of the Natural Environment, Human-Environment Interactions, or Geography. The Department of Geography also administers the Bachelor of Science degree program in Environmental Studies for the College of Geosciences. Students must pass two Writing-Intensive courses within their major. This includes any geography course with a 9xx section number. Geography courses may include field trips outside scheduled class hours. Students are required to defray some or all of the expenses incurred on such trips.
B.S. in Geographic Information Science & Technology (GIST)
Students will receive a rigorous and modern-day education and training in GIST with application knowledge in physical and human geography. Employers require problem solvers, not button pushers, to address problems in various application domains. The BS in GIST is designed to:
- Provide modern-day exposure to the rapidly changing field of GIST
- Balance education and training with a focus on competency
- Provide application and problem-solving experiences
- Support student activities and research
- Provide students with professional experience
- Produce high-quality geographers with strong GIST knowledge and skills
- The Computation, Design and Analysis (CDA) track will attract students interested in the computational, analysis and software development aspects of GIST. This track is more computational and information technology centered and focuses on addressing technical issues, algorithm development and performance, and software tool development.
- The Earth Systems and Analysis (ESA) track will attract students interested in studying the Earth sciences and assessing the natural resources of the Earth through a foundation in biogeography, climate, geomorphology, soil science, geology and ecosystem science.
- The Human Systems and Society (HSS) track will attract students interested in social sciences, human/environment relationships, and the planning and management of human resources and urban environments.
B.S. in University Studies
The broad objective of the academic discipline of geography is to understand and improve the human environment: Earth. Understanding the Earth's surface requires a consideration of both natural and social processes, hence geography is by nature interdisciplinary. Human-environment interactions are of particular interest in geography. The area of concentration in geography offers students a broad perspective on the Earth as human habitat, while permitting them to complete two supporting minors in other disciplines. The area of concentration is flexible in that numerous courses are included to permit a student to build a course of study in geography that is tailored to his or her interests. Ideally, the minors would be in related fields to build depth and breadth around themes that the student wishes to emphasize.
Minor in Geography or GIST
- Geography Minor: minimum of 16 credits in the discipline with at least 6 hours in upper-division courses, 3 hours of which must be at the 400 level.
- Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST): minimum of 15 credits in the discipline at 300-400 level.
- Minimum of 6 credits must be taken in residence at either Texas A&M University or Texas A&M at Galveston.
- Students must meet with the department’s advisor for minor programs for approval of courses selected (any substitutions must be approved by the department head).
- Minimum cumulative GPR of 2.0 must be achieved for all courses in the minor.
M.S. in Geography
A bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite. Many applicants have a degree in geography, but many degree specializations are appropriate depending upon a student's interests. The M.S. program (32 credit hours with thesis; 36 hours with non-thesis option) is four semesters of full-time study. Master's students will obtain fundamental geographical knowledge and skills to enter into top-rated Ph.D. programs or careers in research, education, public service, private industry, or other opportunities open to geographers.
The Master of Geoscience is designed for students who want a broad background in the Geosciences at the graduate level. It is a non-thesis program intended to provide a science content degree for science teachers in the public schools and community colleges. It can also provide an environmental geoscience background for those in positions having a concern for environmental restorations. The degree is multi-departmental, encompassing all aspects of the geosciences. The Master of Geoscience degree is an undifferentiated college-wide degree which allows each department to offer the Master of Geoscience.
Ph.D. in Geography
A master's of science is a required to apply as a Ph.D. student. PhD students (64 hours) are expected to pass Preliminary Exams in their fourth semester and obtain the doctorate within 2-4 additional years, depending on their research design. Total time to degree for PhD students is between 8 and 10 semesters of full-time study. Ph.D. graduates are competitive for entry-level, tenure-track appointments in doctoral-granting universities or for careers in research, public service, private industry, and other opportunities open to geographers.