- GIS | Health & Hazards Lab
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- For domestic applicants: Office of Graduate Program Services, Research and Graduate Studies, 116 Cartwright Hall, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242.
- For international applicants: Office of International Affairs, Kent State University, 106 Van Campen Hall, 21 Loop Rd, Kent OH 44242.
Apply to our programs
Deadlines for admission
The Department has a rolling admissions deadline, whereby applications can be considered for the upcoming semester as long as all materials have arrived at least one month prior to the start of the semester. To enough time to process your application, we encourage applications to be complete by 1 February for fall enrollment, and 1 October for spring enrollment. Primary consideration for assistantships is given to applications that are complete by 1 February. Assistantship offers are only made for students beginning in the fall semester; students may begin coursework in the spring and then apply for funding the following fall.
What you need to submit
To apply, click on the link in the box on the right. In addition to basic details about yourself, you will need to submit the following:
- Post-secondary transcripts
Kent State requires official copies of transcripts from all post-secondary schools that you have attended. Even if you transferred, and all credits were transferred from the first institution to another, a transcript from the first school is still required.
- Three letters of recommendation
The form can be found here as well as within the online system. If an application needs to be expedited, a scanned PDF may be sent to the grad coordinator, however submission via mail is preferred.
- A current resume
- A personal statement
The personal statement should include your current research interests and career goals, along with how enrolling at Kent State will help you meet those goals. It is recommended that the personal statement should be between one and two pages in length.
- GRE score (taken within the past six years), and
- A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. Applicants from the USA, Australia, Canada (excluding Quebec), British Commonwealth states of the Caribbean, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom are exempt from this requirement.
All applications are evaluated by the Graduate Faculty as a whole, who work to identify those candidates that they feel would best represent an asset to the program. The following criteria are considered:
- The quality of the applicant's academic preparation. Applicants to the MA program must have a Bachelor's degree completed (with exception of those applying to the joint BA/MA program) by the time they enter the MA program. Applicants to the PhD program must have their Master's degree completed by the time they enter the PhD program (with exception of matriculating Kent State students, who have one semester to finish their Master's.) Academic assessment includes:
- Coursework (MA applicant). An applicant's coursework must include at least the equivalent of a minor in geography (24 credit hours). Exceptions may be made for students who major in a closely related interdisciplinary program, especially when aligned with their proposed Masters concentration, and students who major in a related field and come from institutions without a geography program. Applicants who do not meet these criteria may still be admitted conditionally, and required to make up undergraduate coursework as determined by the graduate faculty.
- Coursework (PhD applicant). The applicant's master's degree must be in geography or a closely related discipline. Students with master's degrees in other disciplines may be conditionally admitted. Any deficiencies in a student's background must be made up by course work or independent study verified by an examination with a grade of B or better. Exceptions may be made for students who major in a closely related interdisciplinary program, especially when aligned with their proposed Doctoral concentration, and students who major in a related field and come from institutions without a geography program. Applicants who do not meet these criteria may still be admitted conditionally, and required to make up undergraduate coursework as determined by the graduate faculty.
- Grades. A minimum of 2.75 (out of 4) overall grade point average (GPA) in is required. A GPA of 3.0 or greater is strongly recommended for undergraduate coursework; applicants with a GPA between 2.75 and 3.0 may be conditionally admitted. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in geography (or related) coursework. For PhD applicants, a graduate-level GPA of 3.3 or greater is strongly recommended; applicants below this level may be conditionally admitted.
- GRE score. Applicants are recommended to have a minimum GRE of 1000 (summing verbal and quantitative scores).
- For students that are required to take the TOEFL, the university-designated minimum acceptable scores are 197 on the computerized version, 71 on the Internet based version, or a MELAB score of 77.
- Clarity of expressed research interests, and their compatibility with faculty research. For PhD students, at least two faculty members must be willing to serve as an applicant's advisor.
- Strength of recommendation letters.
Matriculation for current MA students
Students that are currently enrolled in Kent State's MA program in geography do not need to file a full application in order to be considered for the PhD program. Rather, the matriculation process is presently conducted within the department. An interested student should obtain a matriculation form from the Department Office, and submit it to the graduate coordinator, along with:
- A copy of your Kent State transcript,
- Two letters of recommendation, and
- A new statement of research interests (with recommended length of 1 to 2 pages).
All applications are evaluated by the Graduate Faculty as a whole, utilizing the same criteria described above.
If you have any questions regarding applying to the graduate program, please contact Dr. Scott Sheridan (firstname.lastname@example.org), the graduate coordinator.