PhD in Geography

Course of Study

Minimum degree requirement is 54 graduate credits beyond the bachelor’s degree, at least 27 of which must be earned in residence at UWM with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Under the guidance of the advisory committee, the chair of which serves as the student’s major professor, the student plans a program of study leading to the development of a special interest. All programs of study contain the following four elements: core concepts and methods, thematic focus, elective courses (as needed to meet the total credit requirement), and dissertation.

Core Concepts And Methods (four courses)

All students must take the following foundation courses:

  • Geog 525 – Geographic Information Systems
  • Geog 870 – Contemporary Geographic Approaches
  • Any Geography graduate seminar

One of the following three courses:

  • Geog 403 – Remote Sensing: Environmental and Land Use Analysis
  • Geog 547 – Spatial Analysis
  • Geog 727 – Qualitative Research

Thematic Focus (at least three courses)

Students, in consultation with their advisor, must select a minimum of three courses that together confer specialized expert knowledge in one thematic area. The courses selected do not have to come from a single list, and they may include other courses not listed.

Local Places: Problems and Issues
(relevant courses include):

  • Geog 441 – Geography of Cities and Metropolitan Areas
  • Geog 455 – Applied Climatology
  • Geog 464 – Environmental Problems
  • Geog 564 – Urban Environmental Change and Social Justice
  • Geog 734 – GIS and Society
  • Geog 945 – The Internal Structure of the City
  • Geo Sci 465 – Advanced Environmental Geology
  • Urb Std 981 – Perspectives Toward Change in Urban Social Institutions
  • Urb Plan 720 – Urban Development Theory and Planning

Global and Regional Perspectives
(relevant courses include):

  • Geog 430 – Geography of Transportation
  • Geog 440 – City Systems and Metropolitan Development
  • Geog 443 – Cities of the World: Comparative Urban Geography
  • Geog 540 – Globalization and the City
  • Geog 742 – Urban and Regional Dimensions of Globalization
  • Geog 744 – Cities, Regions, and Globalization
  • Geo Sci 470 – Engineering Geology
  • Urb Std 701 – Comparative Urban Development
  • Urb Plan 780 – Seminar in Environmental Planning Issues

Monitoring and Modeling Urban Dynamics (relevant courses include):

  • Geog 403 – Remote Sensing:Environmental and Land Use Analyses (if not taken in core)
  • Geog 411 – Physical Climatology
  • Geog 420 – Methods and Principles in Land Form Geography
  • Geog 520 – Physical Geography of the City
  • Geog 547 – Spatial Analysis (if not taken in core)
  • Geog 625 – Intermediate Geographic Information Science
  • Geog 650 – Geography Field Work
  • Geog 703 – Advanced Remote Sensing
  • Geog 725 – Advanced Geographic Information Science: Geographic Modeling
  • Geog 727 – Qualitative Research (if not taken in core)
  • Geog 750 – Remote Sensing and Urban Analysis
  • Geo Sci 730 – Modeling Techniques for Hydrogeology
  • Urb Std 725 – Methods of Urban Community Development
  • Urb Plan 721 – Applied Planning Methods

Research Techniques (elective course)

Students who have not taken a research techniques course in their prior graduate program should consult with their faculty advisor regarding their enrollment in Geog 910 – Techniques of Research and Presentation, an introduction to theoretical and practical aspects of geographic research, funding, presentation, and publication. Ideally, students should enroll in this course after their first full year of courses, but no later than their fourth semester, after they have completed the majority of CORE requirements. The course is designed to assist students with the initiation of their Ph.D. dissertation research.

Foreign Language Requirement

If appropriate to the proposed area of study, the student’s committee will require that s/he acquire the necessary competence in a foreign language. The major professor will supervise the completion of this requirement with input from the committee as necessary.

Elective Courses

Courses taken from geography or cognate fields to achieve the total of 54 credits required for the PhD degree. Students must have the approval of their advisors for the elective courses.