Feb 22, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Science in Geography

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The department welcomes applications from students with interests in geography, earth science, and atmospheric science. All new students who are admitted to a major in geography leading to the M.S. degree are required to consult with the department’s graduate studies coordinator before registering for courses. The coordinator will assist students in identifying an appropriate regular adviser who will form a committee to arrange a program of study. A student must choose either a thesis or a non-thesis option, subject to the consent of the adviser. Students must have the approval of their adviser to register for geography courses each semester and must meet with their committee each year to discuss progress made toward the degree. A student whose background is deficient may be required to take additional course work at the undergraduate level. Deficiencies should be resolved in the first year and do not normally carry graduate credit toward the degree.

Each M.S. graduate student in geography must accumulate 2 semester hours of credit in GEOG 601 prior to graduation. No more than 4 hours may be applied toward semester hour requirements.

The core courses, GEOG 661 and GEOG 663, must each be completed with a grade of B- or better. Students failing to achieve the minimum grade in these courses, or maintain an overall graduate GPA of 3.00, will be dismissed from the program.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.


At least 3 semester hours of topical advanced courses chosen from the following:

Thesis Option

The thesis option consists of a minimum of 30 semester hours, including at least 24 semester hours of course work and a thesis.

Non-Thesis Option

The non-thesis option consists of a minimum of 36 semester hours. Students must submit two major research papers. The first paper must be submitted and accepted prior to completion of 24 semester hours. Papers must be completed under GEOG 672.

Additional Requirements

Students are required to present findings of the thesis or non-thesis research at the Geography Seminar (GEOG 600) and to present one paper or poster at a state, regional, or national professional meeting. Departmental requirements for the M.S. degree are detailed in the departmental handbook, “Graduate Studies in Geography” available at http://www.niu.edu/geog/gradstudies/Current_Students.shtml.

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