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MA in Geography and Urban Studies

Master’s of Arts in Geography and Urban Studies

The MA degree is designed to prepare students for further graduate study as well as professional positions related to urban and economic development, environmental sustainability and social justice, including local and governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations at the local and international scale, community-based and public interest organizations, and business.

The complexity of human-environment interactions, as well as the interconnectedness of the global economy, culture, and politics, have fueled a resurgence of geographic theory and methods as a framework for analyzing metropolitan and urban conditions. The MA program encourages (although it does not absolutely require) students to develop familiarity with GIS as a research tool. By bringing together a wide range of geographic data at varying spatial scales for representation and analysis, GIS permits a simultaneous view of the human and environmental dimensions of urbanization.

Our faculty excels at theoretical and applied analysis of metropolitan areas within their broader regional, national, and global contexts, often using the complex Philadelphia metropolitan region as a laboratory. We draw upon our Philadelphia location to provide students with opportunities to engage in public policy and applied urban and environmental research. Students can use our faculty’s linkages with public agencies, educational institutions, community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, and social movements in our region to deepen their knowledge of urban dynamics.

Culminating exercise in the MA program:

In their final semester, students select a paper that they had previously written for a graduate level course. Students must enroll in GUS 9991, a course in which they work to revise and expand their selected paper. The students meet as a class to facilitate their projects. In the course of writing the Master’s Research Paper, students gain experience in writing to a professional standard, using the commonly accepted conventions of the field.

For more information about the degree requirements, please visit the MA in Geography and Urban Studies Graduate Bulletin and MA and PhD Graduate Student Handbook.

Curriculum Application Requirements

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MA Open House

February 6, 5:30 pm
GIS Studio
103 Gladfelter Hall
RSVP here to attend.