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Camden Newark New Brunswick/Piscataway
  Graduate School–New Brunswick 2010–2012 Programs, Faculty, and Courses Geography 450 Programs  


The graduate program provides students with an understanding of the theory, principles, and research skills needed for geographical inquiry. Students seeking a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree take courses and write a dissertation that is based on original research in a subfield of geography.

Candidates for the master's degree must complete coursework, 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 coursework, and successfully complete a written and oral examination.

The program's strengths lie in human geography and social theory, environmental geography, and physical geography. The following are specific topics:

Human Geography and Social Theory. Geographies of globalization; political economy; urban development; comparative urbanization; women and the 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.

Environmental Geography. Global environmental change; natural and technological hazards; environmental justice; remote sensing; GIS applications; resource management; land use; political ecology; gender; development; critical forestry, fisheries, and wildlife studies; and environmental risks and planning.

Physical Geography. Quaternary studies; global and regional climate change; cryospheric dynamics; coastal geomorphology; coastal management; groundwater and water supply; biogeography; and invasive species.

The geography department is linked with various research institutes, programs, and other departments at the university. In addition to core coursework 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 is required of all students.

For the Ph.D., a minimum of 72 credits is required. Of the total credit load, 48 credits should be in coursework 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 coursework, 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 coursework. The master of arts (M.A.) degree is awarded to people specializing in human geography, and the master of science (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 January 15.

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 website.

For additional information, contact RU-info at 732-445-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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