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Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Geography


Graduate Program

Degrees and Options

Here at ECU we offer a two-year M.A. degree in Geography.  There are two distinct options within the degree program. 

• The ‘Thesis Option’ is a 30-hour degree program culminating in the writing of a thesis.  This is the standard option for students who want the opportunity to engage in independent scholarly research on a topic or issue of interest.

• The second, ‘Non-Thesis Option’, can be viewed as an applied geography program, and is suited for students who are already engaged in professional practice, or who wish to apply geographic knowledge to the solution of a concrete ‘real-world’ problem in an internship setting.  This option requires 6 additional hours of coursework and the preparation of a professional ‘report’, which may be written on behalf of a specific ‘client’ or constituency.

There are also three ‘concentrations’ within our MA, one in Geography, one in Rural Development, and another in Planning.  These concentrations have been developed to provide students with the theoretical background and practical expertise necessary for a wide range of professional occupations.  A student choosing the Rural Development concentration may choose either the Thesis or Non-Thesis Option.  The Planning concentration is limited to the Non-Thesis Option only.

See the Graduate Catalog Course Listing for Geography

See the program details for the M.A. in Geography and Certificate programs in Economic Development and Geographic information Science and Technology


How to Apply

To be considered for admission and department funding, you will need to apply to the Graduate School.  The Graduate School deadline for Fall admission is June 1, and the Geography Department makes admission decisions on a rolling basis.  Decisions about funding, however, are made in early Spring.  To be considered for departmental funding, applications should be submitted by 15 January.

Note that the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for all applicants.  You will also need to submit a Statement of Purpose and arrange for three letters of reference.  Much more information about the application process can be found at the ECU Graduate School Web Page.