The graduate program provides students with an understanding of the
theory, principles, and research skills needed for geographical
inquiry. Students seeking a Ph.D. degree take courses and write a
dissertation that is based on original research in a subfield of
geography. The program's strengths lie in urban geography and social
theory, environmental geography, and physical geography.
Candidates for the master's degree must complete course work, write a
thesis worth 6 credits, and complete successfully a comprehensive oral
examination. As an alternative, students may write a shorter research
paper, take an additional 6 credits of course work, and successfully
complete a written and oral examination.
The program faculty
has specialties in a broad range of disciplinary subfields. Current
research efforts, which include several collaborative projects, range
from local to international issues. Following are specific topics:
Urban Geography. Political
economy of urban development; comparative urbanization; women and the
urban environment; urban restructuring; housing and spatial
segregation; gentrification; eastern European urban policy; regional
development and decline; uneven global development; cultural historical
geography of New Jersey; political geography, space and social theory;
and history of geography.
Environmental Geography. Global
environmental change, perception of and policy responses to natural and
technological hazards, environmental health risks and planning, medical
geography, toxic-waste siting, environmental justice, remote sensing of
resources and hazards, GIS applications, resource management, land use,
remote sensing and political ecology, gender and environment, and
development and environment.
Physical Geography. Glacial
and periglacial geomorphology, permafrost, sedimentology, quaternary
studies, global and regional climate change, cryospheric dynamics,
surface radiative dynamics, coastal geomorphology, coastal
process-response modeling, coastal management, ground water and water
supply, and urban hydrology.
The geography department is
linked with various research institutes, programs, and other
departments at the university. In addition to core course work in
geography, graduate students are encouraged to enroll in courses
relevant to their research interests in other units of the university.
For the Ph.D., a minimum of 72 credits is required. Of the total credit
load, 48 credits should be in nondissertation course work beyond the
bachelor`s degree and at least 24 credits should be in dissertation
research. In consultation with their advisers, students select a
faculty committee. Upon completion of course work, they submit a
dissertation proposal and take the qualifying examination.
master's degree program requires 30 credits beyond a bachelor's degree,
with a minimum of 24 of those credits taken in course work. The M.A.
degree is awarded to people specializing in human geography, and the
M.S. degree to those who focus on physical geography. A two-course
sequence focused on the history and theory of geography and research
design and methodology is required for all new students.
Applicants for the graduate program in geography should hold an
appropriate, accredited undergraduate degree, although this need not be
in geography. Four criteria guide the admissions process: (1) a
cumulative grade-point average of 3.25 or better (or equivalent for
international students); (2) competitive Graduate Record Examination
general test scores; (3) strong letters of recommendation from at least
three references; and (4) a persuasive and well-focused personal
statement describing academic goals and research interests. Financial
support through teaching assistantships, graduate assistantships, and
university fellowships is avail able on a competitive basis to students
with excellent qualifications. Applicants seeking financial aid should
submit applications by February 1.
Further information can be
obtained from the current edition of the booklet Graduate Study in
Geography at Rutgers University, available from the department office
or by visiting the department`s worldwide web site.