Geography Master's Degree
[ Logo Image: Old map of Planet Earth fading into images of 
California State University, Long Beach ]
      Department of Geography
College of Liberal Arts
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
California State University
Long Beach, CA 90840-1101 USA

Prerequisites/qualifications for admission to the Geography MA program

  1. Official transcripts showing a bachelor's degree in geography; or,
  2. A bachelor's degree with 24 units of upper division courses in geography substantially equivalent to those required for a geography major at this University; or,
  3. A bachelor's degree in a related discipline with 24 units of upper division courses in a combination of geography and approved courses in related disciplines;
  4. Completion of a beginning statistics course or introductory methods course substantially equivalent to GEOG 200 at CSULB;
  5. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (B) or better in geography and/or the last 60 graded semester units (or 90 quarter units), or alternative evidence of ability to do graduate work;
  6. GRE scores (the basic quantitative/verbal/analytical test only)
  7. If English is not your first language, arrange for proof of English language proficiency, for example:
    • TOEFL score of 550 or better (paper version)
    • TOEFL score of 213 or better (online version)
    • IELTS score of 6.0 or better
    File with the department a declaration of intent to seek the master's degree in geography (this is typically a 1.5 or 2 page letter describing your interests in geography as they fit into our four areas of research and curriculum , why you feel that advanced study in it will support your professional or personal goals, and the skills you already have that will help you succeed in the program);
  8. Arrange for three confidential letters of reference to be sent to the department, ideally from professors familiar with your work and with the nature of the graduate experience.

Advancement to Candidacy

  1. See the Geography Graduate Study Handbook, available at;
  2. See the general university requirements;


  1. Completion of courses required to remove prerequisite foundational deficiencies;
  2. Passage of the Writing Proficiency Examination;
  3. Completion of a program of at least 30 units of approved upper division and graduate courses. These must include a minimum of 24 units of geography courses and a minimum of 18 units of 500- and 600-level courses, which must include GEOG 586, 596, 696, two additional seminars, and 6 units of thesis (GEOG 698). The balance of course units may include asterisked upper-division courses.

Courses Conferring Credit for Master's Program

(those marked with asterisks are undergraduate courses that may apply to the graduate program)
*381. Maps and Civilization
*400. Geographical Analysis
*442. Biogeography
*444. Climatology
*446. Land Use Planning
*452. Geography of the World Economy
*455. People as Agents of Environmental Change
*460. Population Geography
*462. Feminist Geography
*466. Urban Geography: Principles
*470. Political Geography
*473. Remote Sensing
*474. Digital Image Processing
*481. GIScience for Natural Sciences
*482. Principles of Thematic map Design
*492. Internship in Applied Geography
*494. Special Topics
*497. Directed Studies
 502. Qualitative Methods
 540. Land and Water Environments
 543. Watersheds: Processes and Management
 545. Palæolimatology
 547. Landscape Restoration
 558. Hazards and Risk Assessment
 562. Feminist Geography
 565. Social Geography
 567. Urban Geography: Metropolitan Problems
 568. World Cities/Cities of the World
 575. Geographic Applications in Remote Sensing
 584. Advanced Concepts in Presentation Cartography
 585. Principles of Geographic Information Science
 586. Field Methods in Landscape Analysis
 587A. Applications of Geographic Information Science (GIS): Environment and Natural Resources
 587B. Applications of Geographic Information Science (GIS): Urban and Economic
 588. Advanced Topics in Geographic Information Science
 596. Literature and Methods in Geography
 600. Seminar in Regional Geography
 640. Seminar in Physical Geography
 650. Seminar in Cultural Geography
 666. Seminar in Urban Geography
 680. Seminar in Geospatial Science
 696. Seminar in Geographical Research Methods
 697. Directed Research
 698. Thesis
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This document is maintained by: Dr. Rodrigue
Last Updated: 01/29/09