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Geography (M.S.)

  • Location IconBrookings Main Campus

The science of where.

Geography is an exciting field that recognizes the complex relationships and linkages of human and natural systems; geography is the science of place. As such, geographers study and analyze many of today’s pressing issues, which range from climate change, human modification of the Earth’s systems, environmental hazards, resource assessment and land use to population distributions, urbanization, cultural adaption, political organization of space and globalization. Geographers’ tools, skill sets, and techniques, which include computer cartography, remote sensing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), are recognized increasingly as essential for solving many contemporary questions and are not only being adopted by businesses and governmental agencies but also by wider society. More people are recognizing that geography is fundamental to understanding our world and solving many of the problems that confront us.

The Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences offers graduate students the opportunity to earn a Master of Science degree. The curriculum, organized through formal courses, seminars, internship experiences and supervised research, is designed to prepare students for positions in such professional areas as planning, remote sensing, geographic information sciences, government service, research, business and teaching. The program also is designed to provide students with the education needed to pursue further graduate study. Students seeking this degree are expected to select courses that will provide a sound foundation in geography (philosophical, physical and human and research techniques) supported, if appropriate, by courses outside the department. Students may also seek out opportunities such as the cooperative program with the EROS Data Center and/or internships, generally available with planning districts, governmental agencies, business and industry.

Is it for you?

This program will be a good fit if you:

  • Have a genuine curiosity about the world.
  • Enjoy both the hard sciences and social sciences.
  • Like to learn about different places and cultures.
  • Like working with technology.
  • Are a problem solver and analytical thinker.

Career Opportunities

  • Geographic information consultant
  • Urban planner
  • Community planner
  • Transportation planner
  • Hazard mitigation analyst
  • Climate change adaptation specialist
  • Land and water management
  • Government agency administrator
  • Professor/teacher