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Master of Science, Geography

Geography Department Overview:

Our Geography Department has four major thematic areas: human-environmental studies, GIS, physical geography, and human geography. Many of our faculty teach and conduct research across subfields (e.g., teach courses in both human and people-environment). This provides students with a holistic understanding of Earth systems, humans, and urban and natural landscapes. This enables them to enter the workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their careers.

The Department of Geography has two graduate degree options:

  • Master of Science in Geography
  • Master of Science in Geography with a specialization in Global Sustainability

The Department of Geography has fully equipped Geographic Information Systems (GIS), computer, and Physical/Environmental Geography laboratories available for student use.



The M.S. degree programs are available to all individuals who meet the admissions requirements. The Graduate Record Examination is not an admission requirement. An undergraduate major or minor in geography is desirable but not required of applicants. However, if a student is deemed deficient in their geographic knowledge academic preparation may be asked to complete up to three courses of remedial work at the undergraduate level. Details are available from the Department of Geography.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education. Applicants must also have an undergraduate GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 point scale (where ‘A’ is 4.00) or its equivalent, with the understanding that a student may be considered for conditional admission with an undergraduate GPA of 2.40 to 2.99. Applicants must also be in good standing (3.00 GPA) in all post-baccalaureate course work.


Additional Material Required

As part of the admission approval process, applicants must also submit an Academic Autobiography/Statement of Purpose, of approximately 500 words, describing the student’s interest in graduate study of geography at CCSU, and the role the degree will play in his/her current and future career. The writing is expected to demonstrate skills adequate for coursework at the graduate level. This essay must be submitted directly to the Geography Department Graduate Advisor.

The admissions application, application fee, and official transcripts from each college and university attended (except Central Connecticut State University) must be submitted to the Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Office. All additional materials must be submitted directly to the Geography Department


Program: Master of Science in Geography

Program Rationale:

The master's program in Geography is based on students' interests and faculty expertise. Each graduate student’s planned program of study is custom-designed to provide the best possible preparation for the career or future PhD study chosen by the student. The M.S. in Geography has been used as a springboard by those interested in further graduate study. However, most graduate students are interested in using the M.S. in Geography as a terminal degree that will prepare them for careers in several technical areas.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Graduate students in this program will:

 • know the major theories and important figures in the development of geography;

• be able to use geography outside the classroom; and

• be able to conduct and communicate the results of geographic research.


Course and Capstone Requirements:

 Students enrolled in the graduate program must comply with all requirements in the current graduate catalog.

 Students select Plan A, B, or C.

 Plan A, which requires 30 credits, includes a thesis (GEOG 599); 12 credits of core courses, including GEOG 500, 514 or 516 or 518, 530 or 542, 598; 9-12 credits of geography electives selected in consultation with an advisor; and 3-6 credits of electives selected from other disciplines in consultation with an advisor. Thesis guidelines are available from the appropriate Dean’s office.

 Plan C, which also requires 30 credits, includes a special project (GEOG 595) instead of a thesis.

Others may select Plan B, in which a comprehensive exam and GEOG 597 is completed instead of a thesis or special project. The 30 credits required are the same as in Plan A (thesis) and Plan C (special project) except that GEOG 597, as well as the comprehensive examination, substitutes for GEOG 599 and GEOG 595, respectively, in the Plan B (comp exam) option.


Program Emphases:

Students enrolled in the M.S. in Geography program may emphasize any of the following areas:

• urban and regional planning
• environmental studies
• travel and tourism
• cultural and world regional geography
• computer mapping or geographic information systems

Geography Electives:

9 credits of directed electives in geography.

(Up to 9 credit hours total may be 400-level courses that are listed in the graduate catalog.)

The Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) Department of Geography is a leader in the field of geography and offers exceptional opportunities for graduate education. CCSU received state approval to offer a Master of Science degree in Geography in 1976. This is the oldest geography graduate degree in the state of Connecticut. Since then, CCSU’s Geography Department has developed into the largest in Connecticut.


Program: Master of Science in Geography with Global Sustainability Specialization

30 credits total, plus any additional prerequisite courses.

Program Rationale:

The M.S. in Geography: Global Sustainability Specialization is designed to enable students to examine global environmental, social, and economic challenges facing society and to explore possible sustainable solutions to these challenges.
Program Learning Outcomes:

Graduate students will:

• Demonstrate the ability to explain sustainability in the global context.
• Demonstrate an empirical grasp of the human-environment relationship.
• Be able to apply geographic theories and methods to research and communicate sustainability issues.

Course and Capstone Requirements:

Core Geography Courses (12 credits):

GEOG 500 Graduate Studies in Geography
GEOG 530 Graduate Internship in Geography
GEOG 598 Research in Geography
GEOG 595 (Plan C) Special Project in Geography or
GEOG 599 (Plan A) Thesis; Note: Plan B not available

Core Sustainability Courses (9 credits):

SUST 500 Social, Political, and Ethical Dimensions of Sustainability
SUST 501 Contemporary Challenges in Environmental Sustainability
SUST 502 Science for Sustainability


9 credits of directed electives.

(Up to 9 credit hours total may be at the 400-level courses that are listed in the graduate catalog.)

Certification - Graduate study in geography does not provide teacher certification.

For further information, contact the Department Graduate Advisor at:

Department of Geography
DiLoreto Hall, Room 208
Central Connecticut State University
New Britain, CT 06050 U.S.A.

Phone: 860-832-2785






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May 5, 2014

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Graduate School

Contact Us
School of Graduate Studies
Barnard Hall 102
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, Connecticut 06050
Hours 8am - 5pm:  Monday - Friday
Phone: 860-832-2363
Fax: 860-832-2352

Graduate Recruitment and Admissions
Barnard Hall 102
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, Connecticut 06050
Hours 8am - 5pm:  Monday – Friday
Phone: 860-832-2350
Fax: 860-832-2362

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