You are here


Interested in a graduate degree in geography? Read up on our admission requirements and get started on your application.

The Department of Geography, Environment & Society (GES) offers two graduate opportunities in geography:

Graduate Program Coordinator
Sara Braun
  • PhD in geography
    The PhD in geography is an academic research-oriented degree that primarily focuses on preparing students for academic careers. Many students who already have master’s degrees enter the PhD program; however, as of Fall 2015 those who have earned a BA/BS may enter directly into the PhD program without first completing a master’s degree.
  • MA in geography
    The MA degree serves students who intend to pursue a professional career or, eventually, an academic career at the University of Minnesota or elsewhere. If, upon completing the program, they wished to enter the PhD program, they would be required to apply to the program in the same manner as all other applicants.

We also have two avenues for geographic information science (GIS) graduate studies:

MGIS Co-Director
Susanna McMaster
  • Master of Geographic Information Science (MGIS)
    The MGIS is a professional degree that prepares students in the theoretical, technical, and applications aspects of geographic information science and for careers as GIS professionals and practitioners. It is considered a terminal degree within the GES department as it does not lead to admission to our PhD program. However, MGIS graduates have been admitted to PhD programs in other campus departments or at other institutions. Additionally, some doctoral students have completed the MGIS degree in conjunction with their PhD programs.
  • Graduate minor in geographic information science
    The graduate minor in GIS allows students to develop depth in spatial analysis that complements their discipline-specific knowledge. Completing this minor will improve marketability and opportunities for intellectual and professional development.
CLA’s Graduate Programs Office offers graduate students access to funding resources, health and supportive services, diversity initiatives, and other valuable information.