- GIS | Health & Hazards Lab
- City and Community Studies Initiative
- Center for Ecology and Natural Resource Sustainability
Master's Program Overview
The M.A. program requires a total of 32 semester credit hours; 24 of these hours are taken for graded (letter grades A-F) course work, 2 hours for Colloquium, and 6 hours for the M.A. thesis. A minimum of 18 hours of graded work must be taken in GEOG courses.
There are two required core courses that all M.A. students must take, totaling 6 credit hours:
GEOG 60800 – Development of Geographic Thought
GEOG 69701 – Research and Presentation of Geographic Data
In addition, students must also take at least 6 credit hours of methods courses:
GEOG 59070 – Geographic Information Science
GEOG 59080 – Advanced Geographic Information Science
GEOG 59076 – Spatial Programming
GEOG 59230 – Remote Sensing
GEOG 59480 – Field Methods in Geography
GEOG 60195 – Seminar: Qualitative Methods
GEOG 54070 – Spatial Analysis and Location Theory
GEOG 69004 – Analysis of Spatial Data
GEOG 69009 – Spatial Algorithms
GEOG 69010 – Urban Information and Systems Methodology
Other graduate-level methods courses, as approved by Advisor and Graduate Coordinator, may count towards this requirement.
Students are allowed to take a maximum of 4 credit hours of workshop courses for graduate credit. However, students must first receive approval for receiving graduate credit for appropriate graduate level workshops from their advisor and the graduate coordinator. Approval will be determined based on the applicability of the workshop toward the student's academic progress and the graduate faculty status of the workshop instructor.
Selection of Advisor
Upon entry into the program, the Graduate Coordinator assigns one Faculty member as a temporary advisor to each incoming student, based on mutual interest. This assignment is based on initial expressed interest, and by no means confers an obligation for the student to work with the Faculty member as permanent advisor. The temporary advisor will help the student design a program of courses for the first semester. These are temporary assignments, which are terminated when the student selects a permanent advisor.
of a permanent advisor must take place within the first six weeks of the second
semester in residence. A copy of the
Advisor Assignment Agreement, once signed by the permanent advisor and the
Graduate Coordinator, will be placed in the student's academic file in the
departmental office. All academic
decisions must be made following consultation with the student's advisor. If the student decides to change his/her
advisor prior to the thesis proposal defense, a Change of Permanent Advisor form
must be filed.
students must complete a Master's Thesis as part of their requirements for
graduation. A thesis should reflect the
individual's ability to identify a problem, carry out the necessary research,
apply appropriate analytical tools, and present the results of the research in
a scholarly manner. An advisory committee shall be chaired by the advisor and
at least two additional members selected by the student in consultation with
the advisor. At least one of these two
members must be a member of the Department of Geography.
Procedure for Submitting an M.A. Thesis Proposal
Develop an acceptable thesis proposal with his/her advisor. Excluding references, the thesis proposal may not exceed 15 pages.
When the advisor gives his/her approval, submit copies of the proposal to the remainder of the thesis committee.
After the comments have come in from all committee members, the advisor will confer with the student concerning the acceptability of the thesis proposal or the revisions needed to make it acceptable. After the proposal has been determined to be acceptable, the student, in conjunction with his/her thesis advisor, will arrange for a formal M.A. proposal defense.
When approved by the committee, the thesis topic will then be registered at the Graduate School using the Notification of Approved Thesis Topic form, and the student will be notified of the action.
One copy of the approved proposal will be placed in the student's file. Once the Notification of Approved Thesis Topic form has been approved, the student may register for GEOG 60199-Thesis I. Once the student has registered for Thesis, he/she must remain continuously registered for thesis credits until the thesis is successfully defended.
approval, no changes may be made to the composition of the student's committee
without approval by two-thirds of the Graduate Faculty.
Defense of Thesis
When the Advisor believes the thesis is ready for preliminary approval, it will be circulated among the members of the committee. The Advisor will allow a minimum of 10 days to read the thesis and will then convene the thesis committee (without the candidate) for the purpose of evaluating it. Recommended revisions will be noted by the Advisor and communicated to the candidate, and when in the opinion of the Advisor and the candidate, the appropriate revisions have been made, the Advisor will inform the Graduate Coordinator and the Chair.
When the student's committee has met and has agreed to proceed to the final examination, the Advisor will designate the time and place of the final oral defense and notify all members of the examining committee. The oral defense is open to any member of the University wishing to attend. The defense should be scheduled to allow a minimum of ten days for all of the examination committee to look over the thesis; this is in addition to the ten-day period preceding the Thesis Committee meeting. In the absence of the Thesis Advisor, the oral defense may not be held. If it is a matter of long term absence or enduring illness of the Advisor, the Chairperson/Director of the department/school, in consultation with the appropriate Dean, should make appropriate arrangements for a substitute.
The thesis must be in final form prior to the final oral defense. If, in the opinion of more than one member of the examining committee, the thesis is not in acceptable final form the oral defense will not be held. This is to be determined by vote prior to the final oral examination and without the candidate or others being present. If a negative vote occurs, the candidate may be called in to provide clarification. A rescheduling of the oral defense, if necessary, will occur when, in the opinion of the Advisor and the student, the thesis has been modified to incorporate the suggested changes. The thesis must be acceptable, with no more than one dissenting vote, before the rescheduled final oral can be held. If the thesis is not in suitable form at this second scheduled oral, the Dean will be notified, and all further action is then the responsibility of the Dean.
The final oral defense will be open to the University community. Notification of the time and place of the defense should be made public, with an abstract available to familiarize other members of the Graduate Faculty with the methodology and findings.
The candidate will open the defense with a 15-minute presentation of his/her findings, after which the members of the examining committee will question the candidate in order to be determined by the advisor. Typically, there are two rounds of questioning, with the length determined in consultation with the committee. Following questions by the examining committee, the advisor may open the examination to appropriate questions from others present. Questions dealing with the substance, meaning, and usefulness of the research in the thesis are of greatest propriety. Comments dealing with grammatical minutiae should be written out and privately submitted to the advisor.
If it is deemed necessary to discontinue the defense, the advisor may recess the defense until a time mutually agreeable to the advisor, the candidate, and the Dean.
When the questioning has run its course, the advisor will adjourn the defense and the room will be cleared of everyone except the members of the examining committee. Parliamentary procedure will be observed to determine the success or failure of the candidate. The candidate should be evaluated both (a) upon the overall quality and significance of his/her thesis, and (b) upon the oral defense of his/her findings. A candidate passes the final oral defense if he/she passes with no more than one dissenting vote.
Masters' candidates may submit their thesis in electronic format. A "checklist" and a "how-to" create Electronic Theses and Dissertations is found online at: http://www.library.kent.edu/page/10239. The department requests two paper copies of the thesis for its library.
Recommended timeline for full-time MA students
|Fall, Year 1
||GEOG 60800 (Development of Geographic Thought)
|Two other graduate level courses
|Spring, Year 1
||GEOG 69701 (Research and Presentation)
|Two other graduate level courses
|Permanent advisor declaration by Week 6
|Fall, Year 2
||Two graduate level courses
|Thesis proposal defense by Week 6
|Spring, Year 2
|Additional coursework, research hours, or colloquium
|Thesis defended by Week 10 for May graduation
If you have not completed your thesis after your 4th semester, you must be continually enrolled in Thesis II - including summer- until you have successfully defended your thesis.
Students on funding are required to be enrolled in at least 8 credits each semester. All graduate students are required to attend all colloquia during their residence, and must enroll in colloquium for one of their semesters in residence. You may enroll in colloquium more than once, although it will count towards your credit hours required for graduation only once.
Although the office routinely registers students for Thesis II, it is your responsibly to make sure you are registered continuously and have your bursar's account paid on time.Sometimes a student is registered but due to non-payment of tuition, is dropped from enrollment. The College of Arts and Sciences requires continuous enrollment or you may be dropped from the graduate program or charged late fees to re-enroll.