Graduate Program

Five-Year BA/MA Program

The program is designed for exceptional Binghamton University students with a GPA of 3.0 and above who wish to complete both the BA and MA degrees in five years. Students in the program receive both degrees at the end of the program. The requirements for completion of the combined BA/MA degree are identical to those for completion of two separate degrees. However, because 16 credits of coursework taken for the master's degree (500-level courses) are taken while studying for the undergraduate degree, students are able to complete the course requirements for the BA in four years and the course requirements for the combined BA/MA degree in five years. By completing the BA requirements during the first four years, students are assured of the bachelor's degree if, for any reason, they do not complete the fifth year.

Students are encouraged to declare their interest in the program as early as possible. A limited number of students are accepted into the program at the end of the junior year. Students should begin the application process early in the junior year by applying to the combined-degree program at the departmental level. The student will complete a departmental application, including a statement of purpose; provide transcripts; and obtain the strong recommendations from two geography faculty members.

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MA Program

The department's Master of Arts program in geography educates qualified students for work toward the PhD degree, and for professional careers in government service, industry and regional or urban planning. There is a thesis option for each of the four tracks. Each track requires a total of 40 credits, as well as defense of a project or a thesis.
An undergraduate specialization in geography is not required. However, students lacking a suitable background in geography may be required to take appropriate undergraduate work beyond course requirements for the MA degree. The deficiencies to be made up are determined by the department.

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MA, Track 1: General Geography

The program provides disciplinary foundation along classical liberal arts lines that may lead to interdisciplinary work in scholarly areas such as conservation, environmental management, economic development and international studies. A total of 40 credits are required.

Required Courses

GEOG 500. Geographical Theory
GEOG 533. Advanced Statistical Techniques for Geographical and Spatial Analysis I

Select two (2) of the following:

GEOG 573. Seminar in Physical Geography
GEOG 575. Resource Management (2 cr.)
GEOG 581. Applied Urban Research
GEOG 599. Thesis

plus six electives, no more than three in any one area (Electives are to be approved by advisor):

Area 1        Area 2        Area 3
GEOG 508 GEOG 502 GEOG 509
GEOG 535 GEOG 532 GEOG 511
GEOG 546 GEOG 545 GEOG 530
GEOG 552 GEOG 566 GEOG 542
GEOG 557 GEOG 576

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MA, Track 2: Cartography and Geographical Information Systems

This track educates students as spatial analysts, with emphasis on cartography, remote sensing and geographic information systems. Among the essential components of the program are theory, research methods and advanced statistics. The objective of this track is career preparation in the specified area. This track also provides the option of pursuing the PhD degree at many institutions. A total of 40 credits are required.
Prerequisites include Math 147 Elementary Statistics and GEOG 360, Introduction to GIS and Cartography, or their equivalents.

Required Courses

GEOG 500. Geographical Theory
GEOG 502.* GIS and Spatial Analysis
GEOG 503A and 503B. GIS in Visual Basic
GEOG 533. Advanced Statistical Techniques for Geographical and Spatial Analysis I
GEOG 545.** Advanced GIS and Spatial Analysis**

Select three (3) of the following:

GEOG 532. Remote Sensing of the Environment
GEOG 550. Photogrammetry
GEOG 555.** Seminar in GIS Research**
GEOG 566. Advanced Statistical Techniques for Geographical and Spatial Analysis II
GEOG 577. Analysis in Retail Geography
GEOG 598. Internship in Geography, Cartography and Planning

Select two (2) of the following (substitution is at the discretion of the director of graduate studies):

GEOG 573. Seminar in Physical Geography
GEOG 574. Economic Geography Seminar
GEOG 576. Advanced Environmental Analysis
GEOG 597. Independent Study (in Cartography or GIS)
GEOG 599. Thesis Research

* If you have taken GEOG 502 GIS and Spatial Analysis – substitute it with 532.

** GEOG 545 must be taken before GEOG 555.

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MA, Track 3: Environmental and Resource Management

This track focuses on the integration of the environmental aspects of planning and resource use, incorporating both physical geography and institutional considerations of resource management. Among the essential components of this concentration are geographic techniques, environmental analysis, resource management theories and strategies, and application to local issues. Graduates from this track might work for planning agencies, in the private sector, or pursue an advanced degree.

Prerequisites: elementary statistics or equivalent.

Required Courses

GEOG 500. Geographical Theory
GEOG 502. GIS and Spatial Analysis
GEOG 509. Conservation of Natural Resources
GEOG 533. Advanced Statistical Techniques for Geographical and Spatial Analysis I
GEOG 542. Water Resource Management
GEOG 573. Seminar in Physical Geography
GEOG 576. Advanced Environmental Analysis

Select three (3) of the following:

GEOG 511. Advanced Geomorphology I – Fluvial
GEOG 522. Biogeography
GEOG 523. Soils and Environment
GEOG 530. Natural Hazards
GEOG 545. Advanced GIS and Spatial Analysis
GEOG 546. Environmental Hazards and Health
GEOG 552. Population Geography
GEOG 566. Advanced Statistical Techniques for Geographical and Spatial Analysis II
GEOG 575. Resource Management (2 cr.)
GEOG 582A. Environmental Assessment (2 cr.)
GEOG 597. Independent Study
GEOG 598. Internship in Geography
GEOG 599. Thesis Research

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MA, Track 4: Urban Planning and Applied Geography

The program encompasses urban analysis and planning, as well as retail geography, site selection and market analysis, with emphasis on the integration of the institutional, environmental, and urban-economic aspects of both public and private planning. Essential components of the program are geographical techniques, urban development, community involvement, retail geography, GIS applications, seminars in urban planning, and practical experience through internship programs. As with Track 2, graduates from this program might work for planning agencies or pursue an advanced degree.

Prerequisites: elementary statistics or equivalent.

Required Courses

GEOG 500. Geographical Theory
GEOG 508. Urban Planning Seminar I
GEOG 533. Advanced Statistical Techniques for Geographical and Spatial Analysis I
GEOG 535. Urban Planning Seminar II

You must select a total of 5 courses with a minimum of two courses from each selection below:

Urban Geography and Spatial Analysis Coursework:

Select two (2) or three (3) of the following:

GEOG 502. GIS and Spatial Analysis
GEOG 581D. Urban Structure and Urban Process
GEOG 581. Special topics: Spatial Analysis of Urban Topics use geo-technologies

Specialized Urban Planning and Urban Geography Topics

Select two (2) or three (3) of the following:
GEOG 518. Legal Aspects of Planning
GEOG 575. Environmental Planning
GEOG 577. Analysis in Retail Geography
GEOG 581D. Urban Structure and Urban Process
Either four credit hours for Thesis (599) or an Independent Study (597) must be taken.

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MA, Track 5: Race and Ethnicity

This track emphasizes the importance of race and ethnicity in the socio-political-cultural environments of native and immigrant groups. Spatial settlement patterns, ethnic enclaves and dispersions, and changes in the patterns permit students to learn historic and contemporary dimensions.

Required Courses

GEOG 500. Geographical Theory
GEOG 502. GIS and Spatial Analysis
GEOG 533. Advanced Statistical Techniques for Geographical and Spatial Analysis I
GEOG 546. Environmental Hazards and Health
GEOG 552. Population Geography
GEOG 553. Seminar in Ethnic Geography
Select four electives chosen in consultation with the advisor.

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Last Updated: 5/28/15