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
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.
program's strengths lie in urban geography and social theory,
environmental geography, and physical geography. Following are specific
Urban Geography and Social Theory. 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; political
geography, space and social theory.
Geography. Global environmental change, natural and technological
hazards, environmental health risks and planning, medical geography,
toxic-waste siting, environmental justice, remote sensing, GIS
applications, resource management, land use, political ecology, gender,
development, critical forestry, fisheries, and wildlife studies.
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, urban hydrology,
biogeography, and invasive species.
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.
A two-course sequence focused on the history and theory of geography
and research design and methods.
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.
The 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.
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 available 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 web site.