Geography and Sustainable Development - Master of Arts

Geography integrates social and natural sciences through geospatial and other techniques to address the challenges and opportunities of sustainable development. The MA in Geography and Sustainable Development prepares students with advanced geographical thinking and methods for solving tomorrow’s social and environmental problems today. A flexible and personalized curriculum builds foundational understanding of space, place, and environment, applied through specialized approaches to global development, urbanization and planning, environmental management, or geospatial. All students undertake Individualized inquiry -- research thesis or internship/practicum -- that develops specialized expertise and research-management skills, which they communicate in a high-quality manuscript or report.

This academic program emphasizes intellectual growth, critical analysis and communication, and professional development. Our students are prepared to engage linked social-environmental problems in real-world decision making, positioning them for leadership in mapping a more sustainable future. Alumni have found impactful public, non-profit, and private-sector careers in sustainable development, conservation, geospatial technology, business analytics, and more, as well as admission/funding in top Ph.D. programs and jobs in academia.


Requirements: Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree has both a thesis and internship option. Both options require a minimum of 37 hours.

Advanced Geographical Thinking (4 hours)
GEO 610Research in Geography4
Proposal Development and Techniques (6 hours)
GEO 604Research Project Development3
Advanced geospatial, analytical, or qualitative methods: GEO 541, 542, 548, or equivalent3
Specialized Approaches to Geography and Sustainable Development (minimum 21 hours, pick from any category)21
Global and Sustainable Development
Indigenous Peoples and Their Sacred Lands
Global Periphery's Urbanization
Global Poverty
Urbanization and Planning
Urban and Regional Planning
Urban Geography
Advanced Urban and Regional Planning
Citizenship and the City
Land Use, Law and the State: Geographic Perspectives (Environment and Natural Resource Management)
Environment and Natural Resource Management
Watershed Management
Global Plant Diversity
Geographic Information Systems
Advanced Geographic Information Systems
Python Programming for Geospatial Applications
GIScience Techniques in Landscape Ecology
Geographic Information Systems for Criminal Justice
Techniques and Applications of Remote Sensing
Special Topics and Interdisciplinary Approaches
Advanced Systematic Geography
Independent Studies
Other graduate-level courses offered by Miami University can be taken in consultation with advisor.
Individualized Inquiry and Experiential Learning (6-12 hours)6-12
Thesis Track
Research for Master's Thesis
Non-Thesis Track
Non-Thesis Project
Total Credit Hours37-43

Before the end of the first year, a formal oral presentation of the thesis/internship proposal is required. This program culminates in the defense of a thesis or non-thesis (internship/practicum) report.