PhD in Geography

Apply Now!  

PhD in Geography is an internationally-respected program designed to provide students with the methodological skills and theoretical perspectives necessary for undertaking independent, analytical research. Faculty and students collaborate to investigate critical issues dealing with society, geospatial inquiry, and the physical environment.

Requirements for Admissions:
Students with degrees from ALL subjects are considered; no prior Geography or GIS classes or experience is required. Applications from students from the State of Florida, from the rest of the USA, and from the rest of the world are considered EQUALLY.

Program Requirements:
Please click here for program requirements. 

Connecting with Faculty:
Students are strongly encouraged to identify and make contact with 1-2 prospective faculty members that would serve as supervisors for the duration of their graduate program. A good research fit between advisor and advisee is the cornerstone of a successful graduate experience, so communications between prospective students and advisors should be initiated well before the application deadline.

Full financial support is available for qualified students. Funding is approximately $18,000 per year (fall and spring) plus a 9 hours tuition waiver (with a possibility of summer teaching for an additional $2,500). Students are liable for FSU fees. Funding for students with a master’s degree is for 4 years, and 5 years for students without a master’s degree. Funding is conditional on good scholastic standing and available Departmental resources.

One OFFICIAL copy of your transcripts from each undergraduate and/or graduate school you have attended. Transcripts must not be “Issued To Student.”

  • Mail transcripts to:
    • The Florida State University
      Office of Admissions
      282 Champions Way
      P.O. Box 3062400
      Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400
  • Electronic transcripts to:

GRE Scores:                                                                                                                                                                        Applicants to FSU’s Geography PhD program can request a waiver for the GRE requirement if they meet at least one of the academic preparation criteria and at least one of the research aptitude criteria listed below:

I.      Academic Preparation:

  1. Upper-division undergraduate GPA of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) from a nationally or internationally accredited college or university.
  2. Graduate GPA of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) from a nationally or internationally accredited college or university.

II.     Research Aptitude:

  1. Undergraduate research-based thesis or independent research project conducted for at least one semester (e.g., FSU UROP program).
  2. Completed research-based graduate degree (i.e., resulting in a thesis or dissertation).
  3. Extensive (at least 4 months) relevant professional research experience related to the applicant’s graduate training goals.
  4. Co-authored research paper published in a peer-reviewed ISI journal.

Documentation: GPAs or degrees must be documented by students providing unofficial transcripts. To document professional experience, students must provide a resume or CV and the name of at least one professional reference. Theses and publications can be documented with a copy of the manuscript or article.

All applicants have the option to submit their GRE scores even if they meet these criteria.

If an applicant does not meet these criteria but has extenuating circumstances limiting their ability to take the GRE test (e.g., test not readily accessible where they live; medical issues or disability), particularly related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they should contact the Geography Graduate Program Director.

GRE Waiver Request Form

Writing Sample:
Please upload one sample of academic writing. Appropriate writing samples include: a chapter from a master’s thesis or undergraduate honor’s thesis; a first-author journal article (published, in review, or submitted); or a course paper, ideally from a relevant subject area.

Statement of Purpose (1-2 pages, single spaced):

Please describe the following:

1.) What research topic(s) would you be interested in exploring through graduate studies? What motivates your interest in exploring this topic and doing a graduate degree in Geography at FSU? Why is this topic important and deserving of scholarly attention? How does this program of study advance your career interests?

2.) What previous experiences have prepared you to succeed as a graduate student and conduct research in this area? You may reference relevant academic, professional, and personal experiences. If relevant, feel free to discuss obstacles or hardships that you had to overcome in order to succeed, and how you surmounted these obstacles.

3) How would the Geography graduate program at FSU support you to conduct this research? Which faculty members could supervise your research? What other faculty in the department have complementary expertise that could support the development of your thinking?

Letters of Recommendation:
Three letters of recommendation. The letters should be from faculty and/or employers familiar with your academic, research, or professional experience.  This may include but is not limited to education, work, volunteer, and/or internship experiences.

English Language Proficiency:
Official English Language Proficiency results are required of all international applicants whose native language is not English OR who have not completed a Master’s Degree in an English speaking Country. Minimum scores required for admission can be found here.
*Applications are unable to be reviewed and will be cancelled if the minimum requirements are not met.

  • SPEAK Test: Accepted international students seeking teaching assistantships who have not completed a Master’s in an English speaking country are required to pass the SPEAK test, regardless of their TOEFL score.

Admissions Deadlines
Spring 2021: Application is open. Deadline to apply is October 1st, 2020.
Fall 2021: Application is open. Deadline to apply is January 15, 2021.

Request Additional Information