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The Department of Geography offers theoretical and practical work in most subfields of geography, including physical geography (climatology, geomorphology, and biogeography), human geography (political, social, economic, cultural, population, and development geography), environment-society relations, geographic information science (GIS) (spatial analysis using GIS, remote sensing, computer cartography, GIS and society, and geography education), as well as regional studies in Colorado, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Europe. Research may also be conducted at CU-Boulder research institutes such as CIRES, INSTAAR, and IBS on the Boulder campus (see University of Colorado-Boulder Catalog section on research institutes).

Degrees Offered:

Degree Details: 

The minimum requirements for an MA in geography may be fulfilled by completing 30 semester hours of graduate work, including a thesis, which carries up to 6 credit hours, i.e., 24 hours of course work, which includes a minimum of 4 hours but not more than 6 hours of thesis. Masters students may, with the written approval of their advisor, use a maximum of 6 hours of 3000 or 4000 level course work (undergraduate upper division) to reach the required 30 hours.

The PhD requires 30 semester hours of graduate course work, a minimum of 30 hours of dissertation credit, demonstrated proficiency in one foreign language, completion of required geography courses, and a successful dissertation defense.

Admissions Requirements: 
  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university to apply to the master’s program.
  2. Have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.00.
  3. The minimum requirement for admission to the Ph.D. program is the successful completion of a Master’s (MA of MS) degree program.
  4. Provide three (3) letters of recommendation.
  5. Provide a Statement of Intent detailing the applicant's sense of purpose, career interests, and research focus.
  6. It is STRONGLY recommended that applicants contact and correspond with potential faculty advisors (e-mail, call or visit) before the application deadline. Please visit the Geography Department website for further details.

Minimum Standards for Applicants
Submit GRE General Test scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing) from exam taken within the last 5 years, scoring on average in the upper 50th percentile. Institution code: 4841. TOEFL required for international applicants with a minimum score of 75 internet-based.

Financial Support: 

Department financial support is in the form of teaching assistantships (TAs) and/or fellowship money. Research assistantships (RAs) are administered directly by faculty. If you are interested in an RA, contact faculty individually to inquire about positions.

Applicant Instructions: 

Fall Domestic Application Deadline: 

Deadline to Submit Application:  December 1 each year

Deadline for Receipt of all Application Materials:  December 15 each year


International Applicant Instructions: 

 Fall International Application Deadline: 

Deadline to Submit Application: December 1 each year

Deadline for Receipt of all Application Materials:  December 15 each year

Fall Domestic Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Fall International Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Contact Information: 

University of Colorado Boulder
Department of Geography
Graduate Program Assistant
260 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0260
Phone: 303-492-8311
Fax: 303-492-7501