MA/MS, MA/MLIS, PhD Programs

The Department of Geography offers the following degrees and certificates. The links will take you to the UWM catalog for the program.

Graduate training offers advanced instruction, introduction to research methods, and guidance, stimulation, and encouragement for independent inquiry. Graduate training differs significantly from undergraduate instruction in that it demands of the student a higher degree of responsibility, initiative and independence, the capacity for critical evaluation, and originality of thought.

Entrance to the Geography Graduate Program

A Bachelor’s degree is required for admission to the Master’s program; a Master’s degree is generally required for admission to the Doctoral program, although direct admission of exceptional students with a Bachelor’s degree is possible. If previous training was not in geography, students may be required to complete courses to eliminate deficiencies. Departmental policy is to admit students into degree programs starting in the Fall semester only.

Although applications are evaluated by the Geography Department, admissions are handled by the Graduate School. You may wish to consult the Graduate School’s Admissions website and the “Application Procedures” link on the sidebar for further information on the admissions process. Check out the video “What is Graduate School and how do I apply?

Students’ Advisory Committees

The Chairperson of the Graduate Program Committee is normally the initial advisor for all new graduate students who start without pre-arranged advisors. Within a semester, the student should elect an advisor in the field of their research interest, who serves as major professor and chair of the students’ Advisory Committee. The composition and functions of the Advisory Committee differ between the MA/MS and PhD program. Refer to the link to each program at the top of the page for details. As the student pursues their study, it is possible that research interests will change. Consequently, the student may change the advisor or the composition of the Advisory Committee.

Primary responsibility for evaluating the student’s progress lies with the student’s major professor and the Advisory Committee, who base their judgments on course and seminar work, consultation with other faculty members, personal conversations and consultations about theses and dissertations, and general intellectual progress of the student.

Colloquia and Thesis Presentation

Master students in thesis track must present their thesis research in a Departmental Colloquium prior to graduation. PhD students must present both their research proposal and dissertation research in separate occasions of the Departmental Colloquium. All graduate students in residence must attend all Colloquia.

Academic Appeal Procedure

The formal academic appeal procedure is as indicated in the current edition of the UWM Graduate Bulletin.

If the first appeal (step one) is to an individual Geography Department faculty member, any subsequent appeal (step two) should be made to the Geography Department’s Graduate Administrative Committee. If the first appeal (step one) is to the Geography Department’s Graduate Administrative Committee, any subsequent appeal (step two) should be directed to the Geography Department Chairperson, who will appoint an ad hoc committee to hear the subsequent appeal. Members of the Geography Department’s Graduate Administrative Committee will not serve on the ad hoc committee appointed by the Chairperson.

For further information and detail, please consult the Graduate Policies page or the Graduate Program Chair.