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Columbia Campus    
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
  Feb 23, 2024
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin [Archived Catalog]


Caroline Nagel, Chair


The Department of Geography offers training in fundamental geographic skills and the opportunity for advanced study and research in a variety of fields within the discipline. Areas of faculty interest and competence include cartography and visualization; cultural-historical, economic, environmental, physical, political, recreational, and urban geography; geographic education; geographic information science; global positioning systems; and remote sensing. Programs of study lead to the Ph.D., M.A., and M.S. in geography and the M.A.T. in social studies (geography option). The department has a strong record of success in graduate placement in private- and public-sector careers as well as in the academic sphere. To assist in its educational role, the department administers the Center for GIS and Remote Sensing, the Hazards Research Laboratory, the Center for Excellence in Geographic Education, and the South Carolina Geographic Alliance. In addition, the department has strong linkages with the Southeast Regional Climate Center.


For the master’s degree programs, the department does not require an applicant to have an undergraduate major in geography; rather, it requires evidence of general intellectual ability and a compelling interest in geography. For the Doctor of Philosophy program, a master’s degree in geography is normally required. Applicants for all degree programs must submit a brief statement of career goals and probable field(s) of study; at least two letters of recommendation from individuals who have personal knowledge of the applicant’s academic experience and abilities; transcripts of all previous academic work; GRE results; and a Graduate Application Summary form, available from the department. Applicants whose native language is not English are also required to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 230 (computer-based) or 570 (paper-based). The minimum acceptable overall band score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam is 6.5. Students may enter the program at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, although some course sequencing exists that favors fall admission. Applicants requesting financial aid beginning in the fall semester must submit completed applications by February 15; the corresponding deadline for spring semester applications is November 1. Details concerning admission can be obtained from the department’s graduate director or electronically by accessing the department’s Web page at

Programs and Courses