Graduate Program Overview

The UMASS Geography Program offers an M.S. in Geography and a Ph.D in Geosciences.

Students without an M.S. degree should apply for the M.S. program.   The M.S. program is designed to take 2 years; students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in geography can choose to complete the M.S. program in 12 months.

New Grad Students & Faculty, Fall 2010 (l-r: Changjiang Ye, Sainan Lin, Xin Li, Qian Yu, Stan Stevens, Piper Gaubatz, Bill McCoy, Eve Voge

Graduate students pursue research in geographic fields in conjunction with our faculty. Our current faculty work in the following areas of geography: Urban Geography, Political Geography, Political Ecology, Environmental History, Conservation, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Earth System Modeling, and Remote Sensing, Climatology & Paleoclimatology, Geomorphology. Specific problems in these areas may be explored in the regional contexts of North America, Europe , New England , East Asia and the Arctic .

Teaching assistantships which include waivers of tuition and fees and a modest stipend are available to new graduate students on a competitive basis.

Geographers interested in earning a Ph.D. in a field of Geography may apply to the Ph.D. program in Geosciences. We advise potential students to contact faculty members they are interested in working with before applying. In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School , all candidates for the Ph.D. are expected to have a background approximately equivalent to our M.S. degree in geography, although this by no means precludes individualized programs for those with special strength in another discipline. Additional requirements include completion of sufficient course work or independent study to prepare the candidate for the preliminary comprehensive exam (research proposition) and a reading knowledge in one foreign language.

Information about our graduate programs is available from the UMASS Graduate School in the Graduate Bulletin.

If you are interested in the program, please spend some time with our departmental webpages ( to familiarize yourself with the department.  If you have questions about the department, please email the graduate advisor, Stan Stevens

For information about applying to graduate school, please see:

Click Geography MS Manual for MS Thesis handbook for current MS students.