Masters in Geography

The Masters in Geography program has two tracks: The thesis track (for students interested in conducting independent research; often these students enter a PhD program following the Masters) or the non-thesis track (for students interested in advancing their expertise without conducting independent research; these students typically enter the workforce following their degree).

Thesis Master’s Track 

The Graduate Program Director and Supervising professor will monitor progress, however it is the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill all requirements for their Degree.

Supervision:
Students are required to develop a research program of study and research in consultation with and with approval from their supervising professor and committee. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate and refine the program until it is at a level of proficiency worthy of a thesis. The supervising professor or committee will not compose thesis programs for students; it is a collaborative process that requires students to learn how to engage and contribute to scholarly knowledge, participate at conference meetings and workshops, master organizational abilities, manage time efficiently, sharpen communication skills, and demonstrate independent research ethics.

Students should declare a supervising professor by the beginning of Semester 2 during Year 1. Faculty members are not obliged to accept supervision responsibility, and may make a decision to supervise a student based on the student’s research interests, scholarly potential and academic performance. Students are allowed to switch professors at any time (but a new faculty member must agree to take on the supervisory role and the student must inform the current professor and the Graduate Program Director).

Duration: Students are funded for 2 years (3 years if the supervising professor deems it necessary). Please note that a lack of timely progress can result in loss of funding and/or dismissal from the program.


DEGREE REQUIREMENTS:
A minimum of Thirty (30) credit hours

CORE courses (9 hours) – Must be completed with a B or higher

GEO5058: Survey of Geographic Thought (3)
Fall Semester Year 1

GEO5165C Quantitative Geography OR GEO6114 Qualitative Geography (3)
Fall Semester Year 1, Spring Semester Year 1

GEO5118C: Geographic Research (3)
Spring Semester Year 1

Elective Coursework (15 hours) – Must be completed with a B- or higher
Elective courses must be selected in consultation with the Graduate Program Director. Directed Individual Study (DIS), GEO5908r, may be taken for up to 9 hours to count towards elective credits as long as they are approved by the supervisory professor.

Thesis – GEO5971 (6 hours)

Form Committee: (usually by Year 1, Semester 2 for full-time students) The student must create a thesis committee; this is composed of the supervising professor and at least two faculty members from the Geography Unit. No University Representative is required.

Thesis Proposal or Prospectus: A proposal for research will be written during the time students are registering for thesis hours. No forms or courses to register for, Departmental requirement ONLY.

  • Proposal for Research: (approximately Year 2, Semester 1 for full-time students)
    The proposal needs to outline the scope, depth, and timeline of the thesis; the exact format is determined by the student and supervising professor. As a guideline the proposal should describe the specific research to be conducted that fills a specific gap or weakness in the academic literature, and should also place the research within the broader geography discipline.
  • The completed proposal will then be discussed (not defended) in a meeting with the thesis committee. This meeting is to approve or adjust the scope of the proposed research and to advise the student on issues such as how to define hypotheses, collect data, improve methodologies, test results, and draw conclusions. More than one meeting with the committee may be necessary.

Thesis Defense – GEO9876 (0 Hours)
Oral defense of Thesis

Announcement & Attendance: The oral defense of the thesis must be announced to the Department and FSU Grad School (via the manuscript clearance portal) at least 2 weeks prior and must include a public presentation. During the thesis defense, all committee members and the student must attend the entire defense in real time, either physically or via distance technology.

Grading:  A grade for zero credit will be determined by a majority vote by the committee. Grades are: Pass, Incomplete, or Fail. Pass leads to the award a Master’s degree, incomplete leads to revisions (which may be limited to 30 days or less) and may result in a pass, and fail leads to the non-awarding of the Master’s degree.

Credit Hours: Graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 2 thesis hours in their graduating semester.

Forms: All forms must be submitted electronically through the manuscript clearance portal website: https://clearance.fsu.edu.  Additional information on the manuscript clearance process can be found here.

  • Final Content Approval Form, Manuscript Access Form, and Manuscript Signature Form

Non-Thesis Master’s Track

Duration: Students are funded for 2 years. Please note that a lack of timely progress can result in loss of funding and/or dismissal from the program.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: A minimum of Thirty (30) credit hours

CORE courses (9 hours) – Must be completed with a B or higher 

GEO5058: Survey of Geographic Thought (3 hrs)
Fall Semester Year 1

GEO5165C Quantitative Geography OR GEO6114 Qualitative Geography (3 hrs)
Fall Semester Year 1, Spring Semester Year 1

GEO5118C: Geographic Research (3 hrs)
Spring Semester Year 1

Elective Coursework (21 hours) – Must be completed with a B- or higher
Elective courses must be selected in consultation with the Graduate Program Director.

 

Past Theses