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Graduate Catalog 2016/2017

Geography (GPY)
with a Concentration in Human Geography (USG)

Catalog Photo

Master of Arts (M.A.)
CIP Code: 45.0701
College of Arts and Sciences (AS)
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Bachelor's Degree): 30

Contact Information:
College of Arts and Sciences
Geography, Environment and Planning Department (GPY)
4202 E. Fowler Avenue NES107
Tampa FL  33620

Program Director or Coordinator:
Kamal Alsharif
Phone: 813-974-4883


Faculty Search: Arts and Sciences Faculty List

Program Information

Geography is the study of the human-environment relationship either in a global or more regional context.

Human Geography studies the construction of space, place, and power. It encompasses the study of economic geographies (e.g. globalization and development), political geographies (e.g. geopolitical struggles and new social movements), and social and cultural geographies (e.g. identities and exclusions). Human geography is key to providing insights into contemporary spatial arrangements, including the role of cities within the global economy, locating urban-rural intersections in the production of uneven development, and how class, gender, and race shape struggles for social justice.

Environmental geography links the study of nature and society and considers the ways in which conventional divisions between human and non-human (natural) worlds are bridged through the production of socio-natures. This understanding is crucial to explaining and ameliorating contemporary environmental problems, including the privatization of natural resources, inequalities in access to food and water, injustices associated with environmental hazards and undesirable land uses, and the role of human activities in spurring large-scale environmental change

GI Science and Spatial Analysis concentrates on the use of advanced geospatial technologies, and the development and use of spatial analysis methodologies, to applied research problems in human and environmental geography. A thorough understanding of such geospatial technologies as Remote Sensing, GIS, and GPS, as well as modern methods of spatial statistical analysis and emerging spatial analytical techniques such as agent-based modeling, is a critical aspect of developing appropriate approaches to the analysis of geographic data.


Accreditation Information:

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.


Admissions Information

Admission Deadlines

There is an established University deadline for the submission of admission application materials. Programs may have earlier deadlines than the University deadline. The deadlines reflected below are the earliest of the two deadlines. Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process applications after the published deadline if space exists within the program. Check with the Program for availability.

Application Deadline (domestic application)

Fall: February 15
Spring: --
Summer: ---

International Students

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the Program deadline and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates. In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Program of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the following processing deadlines:

Fall: February 15
Spring: ---
Summer: ---

Admission Requirements

You must comply with general University policies and meet general University Admission requirements in addition to those listed below.

Geography is the study of the human-environment relationship either in a global or more regional context. Physical geographers focus on physical/human interrelationships and the interconnections among the various physical environmental elements. Human geographers focus on human interactions with their own environmental constructions, both built and social. Physical and human geographers both rely on specific techniques, including cartography, geographic information systems, and field work, in their research. The Department of Geography provides the opportunity to pursue the study of geography with particular emphasis on applied work geared to help solve real world problems.

Program Admission Requirements

Same as University requirements plus:

  • at least two letters of recommendation
  • transcripts
  • a letter of intent
  • A graduate assistant application if the applicant is applying for a GA position.
  • The GRE is required.
  • B.A. with 3.0 GPA

Admissions Status: Apply


Program Degree Requirements

The Department of Geography, Environment and Planning offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Geography with a thesis and non-thesis option.

Students must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate level course work for the thesis option and 36 hours for the non-thesis option.







All students must take the following core courses:


Geographic Literature and History
Perspectives in Environmental Thought


Based upon the student's area of interest, he/she must take one course from the following Quantitative or Qualitative course offerings:

Quantitative Option

GEO 6119

Multivariate Statistical Analysis
Geographical Techniques and Methodology: Qualitative Research Methods


Students are strongly encouraged to complete at least one of the following regional courses:


Seminar in Advanced Regional Geography
Seminar in North American Geography
Seminar in the Geography of the American South
Latin American and Caribbean Geography
Seminar in European Geography
Geography Seminar




Students specialize in one of the three concentrations (A, B, and C) that the department offers. Students must select a minimum of three courses (9 credits) from the selected concentration.

Thesis option
Students take six credit hours of electives at a level of 5000 or higher, keeping in mind that a minimum of ten hours is required at the 6000-level. At least one of the electives must be taken outside of the student's concentration excluding GEO 6908, 6918, and 6944. Electives may also be selected from courses offered outside of the Department, with the consent of the student's advisor and the graduate program coordinator. A maximum of six approved hours taken outside the department can be used in the student's degree program. The remaining 6 credit hours are taken as Thesis (GEO 6971). Students in the thesis option can only apply three credit hours of Internship (GEO 6944), and three credit hours of Directed Research (GEO 6918) or Independent Research (GEO 6908) toward the degree.. Upon completion of a minimum of 18 hours students are required to defend a thesis proposal. Students must also complete a thesis defense during the semester they plan to graduate, and they must be enrolled in a minimum of 2 semester hours of thesis credit during the semester in which they submit their thesis to the Graduate School.

Non-thesis option
Students complete a total of 36 hours, with 27 hours of electives completed at a level of 5000 or higher, keeping in mind that a minimum degree requirement is 16 hours at the 6000 level. Students can also take up to nine hours outside the department with the consent of their advisor and the graduate program coordinator, to apply toward their degree program. Students can apply three credit hours of Internship (GEO 6944), three credit hours of Directed Research (GEO 6918) and/or Independent Research (GEO 6908) toward their degree program. Students must pass a comprehensive written examination that is administered during the semester in which they plan to graduate.

Students select one of the following concentrations:

Human Geography
GEO 6058Geographic Literature and History 3
GEO 6428Seminar in Advanced Human Geography3
GEO 6605Contemporary Urban Issues3
GEO 6475Political Geography Seminar3
GEO 6345Technological Hazards and Environmental Justice3
GEO 6545Economic Geography Seminar 3
GEO 6627Site Feasibility Analysis3
GEO 6704Transportation Geography3
GEO 6119Geographical Techniques and Methodology: Qualitative Research Methods 3
GEO 6166Multivariate Statistical Analysis3
GEO 7606Seminar in Urban Environments3
GIS 6307Socioeconomic Applications of GIS 3
A regional geography (GEA) course may be substituted for a course in the Human Geography concentration.

Environmental Geography

GEO 6116Perspective of Environmental Thought 3
GEO 6345Technological Hazards and Environmental Justice3
GEO 6209CPhysical Geography Seminar3
GEO 6215Geomorphology Seminar3
GEO 6217Karst Geomorphology3
GEO 6255Weather, Climate, and Society3
GEO 6263Soils Seminar3
GEO 6286Water Resources3
GEO 6288Hydrological Systems3
GEO 6347Natural Hazards3
GEO 6166Multivariate Statistical Analysis3
GIS 6038CAdvanced Remote Sensing3
GIS 6039Readings in Remote Sensing3
GIS 6306Environmental Applications of GIS3
GIS 6355Water Resources Applications of GIS3

Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis (TGP)

GEO 5075Global Positioning Systems3
GIS 6038CRemote Sensing3
GIS 6039Remote Sensing Seminar3
GIS 6100Geographic Information System3
GIS 6103Programming for GIS3
GIS 6112Spatial Database Development3
GEO 6115Field Techniques3
GEO 6119Geographical Techniques and Methodology3
GIS 6146GIS Seminar3
GEO 6166Multivariate Statistical Analysis3
GIS 6306Environmental Applications of GIS3
GIS 6307GIS Seminar3
GIS 6355Water Resources Applications of GIS3

The same course cannot be used to satisfy both the required core and concentration course requirements.

MINIMUM TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS (beyond baccalaureate degree)




College Degree Requirements

Refer to the College Section of theGraduate Catalog for College requirements and information.


USF Degree Requirements

See USF Degree Requirements —


Financial Assistance

Financial Aid

Fellowships & Scholarships

Graduate Assistantships


Registration Process

First, contact your graduate program advisor for guidance courses to register for. Obtain any electronic course permit if necessary. Register for the new student orientation online at Then go to the link to OASIS, USF's on-line registration system to register for your classes. Follow the directions given on-line.

To access online course materials, students must have a USF NetID (e-mail account). Please visit: to obtain your NetID.

New students, including those studying online, may obtain a USFCard. Please visit: to obtain your USFCard.

Tuition and fees: Fees are determined by the level of the course. Please visit Cash Accounting, Controller's Office, for information on tuition and fees.


Graduate Course Information

Use the list below to lookup graduate courses related to this program in the USF Course Inventory:

GEO6058, GEO6970, GEO6166, GLY5865, PCB6455, STA5166, SYA6405, AMS6156, ANT6766, COM6400, PHI6305, SYA6315, WST6001, GEA6195, GEA6215, GEA6252, GEA6406, GEA6504, GEA6745, GEO5075, GEO6115, GEO6119, GIS6038C, GIS6039, GIS6100, GIS6307, GEO6166, GIS6355, GIS6306, GIS6112, GIS6103,