Geography (MA)

Program Overview

The Department of Geography at Binghamton University offers a Master of Arts (MA) in geography. We seek to foster and advance teaching, research and publication in the discipline of geography as well as train students to provide their expertise to the community at large.

Students can pursue one of five tracks:

  • General geography
  • Cartography and geographical information systems (GIS)
  • Environmental and resource management
  • Urban planning and applied geography
  • Race and ethnicity

A bachelor's degree in geography is not required for admission to the graduate program, but students without a geography background may be required to take additional courses for completion of the MA. An interdisciplinary graduate certificate in watershed studies and management is available, as well as a 4+1 BA + MA track.

Degrees Offered

  • MA in Geography

Internships, Research Opportunities and More

Students are trained to pursue a doctoral degree and enter careers in the industry. The program offers theoretical foundation and computer applications in:

  • Resource management and sustainability
  • Water resources
  • Flooding and watershed impacts
  • Environmental hazard assessment
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Population health GIS
  • Urban and retail planning

The curriculum is diverse and highly flexible. Students are encouraged to pursue interdisciplinary studies for a broadened academic perspective, as well as additional practical training in areas such as conservation, environmental management, economic development and international studies.

Students who wish to participate in an internship and who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that they will be asked about their prior criminal history. This may impede your ability to participate in certain internships. Students who have concerns about such matters, or are looking for additional information, are advised to contact the dean's office of their intended academic program.

After You Graduate

Many graduates of the program continue to work toward a PhD, while others enter industry. Graduates are well-prepared for careers in regional or urban planning with government agencies or private industries. A few recent positions of alumni include city planner, retail analyst, environmental specialist and GIS specialist.

Our students who focus in the areas of business geography, GIS and research and analytics work in companies such as Macy’s, Inc., Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., and the New York City Department of Education in the areas of research, planning and analysis. Students focusing in urban and retail planning have gone into positions with the City of Binghamton, ensuring that the city complies with federal transportation law, and the Broome County Department of Planning, Housing and Community Development overseeing zoning efforts in the county.

In addition, some of our international students take the knowledge gained to impact their native countries. A current alumna works as an environmental assessment practitioner in Botswana. Using skills such as GIS mapping, field work, data collection and analysis, he works to measure the environmental impact of building projects in the capitol of his home country.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for graduate study, you must:

  • Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
    • You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University
  • Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:
    • A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
    • A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website.

  • Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee
  • Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
  • Personal statement of 2 to 3 pages describing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to the graduate admissions committee
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores are accepted, but not required

International students must also submit the following materials. For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website.

  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic/Duolingo* scores)
    • *In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School at Binghamton University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency through the 2023 application cycle.

This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend that you contact the department with questions about program-specific requirements.


Degree Fall Spring
Geography (MA)January 15 (Funding) / May 15Rolling

Accelerated/4+1 Degrees

You may also be interested in our accelerated/4+1 degree programs which allow students to complete their bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in just 5 years!

For more information, visit the Geography website.

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