rural area with walking path

Graduate Studies

Two MA graduates at Mt Kasigau

MA graduates with Mt Kasigau in backgroundNjoroge Gathongo (MA 2012) and Peter Kamau (MA 2013) at Mt. Kasigau.

 The Department of Geography offers the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree. Our rigorous and flexible program provides you with the instruction and guidance needed for you to become a professional Geographer. Our MA students receive departmental funding to complete thesis research and attend professional conferences. Our graduate students have access to the most up-to-date education and application of geospatial technology and theory.

The theoretical, methodological, teaching, and practical skills that our MA graduates have developed at Miami University lead them into related employment opportunities. Our graduates obtain entry- to mid-level technical, geospatial, and managerial positions in city, state, and federal governmental agencies, and in a variety of start-ups, corporations, and non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Our M.A. program has prepared students to qualify for admission to a Ph.D. program in Geography or a related discipline. Our recent graduates have received attractive offers from the top PhD programs, including the Universities of Toronto, Kentucky, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, and Illinois, as well as UCLA and Ohio State University.

Our M.A. students also have the option to complete a three- to six-month internship, undertaken simultaneously with required graduate course credits, with research experience equivalent to a thesis. An Internship Report is required, which is a scholarly paper instead of a thesis, as well as monthly updates to the Graduate Advisory Committee.

Why choose Geography at Miami University?

Our MA program provides students the choice, flexibility, training, and professional networking to go on for a PhD or to take a job related to their graduate education.

Our graduates have excelled with either of these two choices:

  • Those students seeking post-MA employment related to their training have been successful in finding it after graduating. Our recent graduates work in environmental analysis and protection, urban and regional planning, geography-related publishing, start-ups and tech companies, geospatial firms, and university administration.
  • Those students choosing to go on for a PhD after their MA have generally received offers that were significantly better than they could obtain with just a BA; in other words: a Miami University MA in Geography provides an important asset that strengthens one’s application to PhD programs.
  • But we know that these two options are not mutually exclusive, so we encourage our MA students to pursue degrees that generate original (and hopefully publishable) research, while simultaneously positioning themselves to be competitive on the job market.
  • Students have opportunities each semester to meet and have one-on-one networking opportunities with local, regional, and national-level geospatial and data science, planning, environmental, and cultural Geographers and Geography-related corporate, start-up, governmental, and Academic professionals. 

Personalized mentorship and commitment to success

One of the attractions of our M.A. in Geography is the size: a small program with 12-15 students in residence each year. With 17 permanent faculty, the student to faculty ratio of 1 to 1 provides students with excellent access to faculty. Graduate faculty are strongly committed to teaching, advising, and research collaboration with graduate students, including participation in internal and external research grants and contracts.

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Recent graduate thesis/internships

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate competency in contemporary geographic theory and research methods;
  2. Students will complete a research project consistent with larger trends in the geographic field;
  3. Students will demonstrate effective academic written and oral communication skills;
  4. Students will engage in activities that contribute to professional service and development

Geography Graduate Policies & Guidelines - Please contact Dr. Jessica McCarty (mccartjl@MiamiOH.edu) if you would like access.

Graduate School Handbook