The Geography Department offers a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree, and a Master of Science degree. The BA and BS degrees prepare majors for one of two career paths, or for entrance into the MS Program. The BA degree acknowledges general competency in Geography for those seeking careers in either applied geography or environmental management. The GIScience minor is ideally suited for majors from many A&S departments, as well as from other Schools at UNM. These technologies are finding many practical applications in the social and physical sciences, engineering, health care, architecture and planning, and legal professions.
The Complete Geography Course Listing, will direct you to the UNM Geography catalog page,
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Concentrations: a) environmental studies or b) geographic information sciences (GIS, GPS and remote sensing). A master’s degree is offered under both Plan I and Plan II as described in the earlier pages of this catalog. Any student planning to go on for a Ph.D. is strongly urged to take Plan I and write a thesis. A minor may be taken under either plan with the approval of the Geography Department’s Graduate Advisory Committee. In place of a minor, approved courses in related fields may be substituted.
A graduate student who elects to do a master’s degree in geography should have either an undergraduate degree in geography (or related field) or be prepared to make up deficiencies as determined by the Geography Department’s Graduate Advisory Committee. Students must select an advisor who will help them design their programs and guide them through their tenure in the department. All programs are subject to approval by the Graduate Advisory Committee. Students must earn grades of B (3.0 GPA) or better in all courses on their plan of study, including those at the undergraduate level. GRE scores are required for application to the M.S. program.
Students are encouraged to start the program in the Fall semester, but applications are accepted for both the Fall and Spring semester. Upcoming deadlines are as follows:
• To be considered for Spring the application deadline is November 15.
• To be considered for Fall the early application deadline is February 1. Applications
completed by this deadline will be given fullest consideration for potential assistantships.
Applications for Fall will be accepted until April 15 but funding possibilities will be
more limited after the February 1 deadline.
Fall applicants whose application is complete by February 1 can expect a decision by March 1. Spring
applicants whose application is complete by November 15 can expect a decision by December 15.
UNM’s online application will allow you to upload all your necessary documents for application to our program. Within the application, make sure to click Application instructions to see program specific requirements. http://www.unm.edu/apply
You will need to provide:
1. Official transcripts of all academic institutions attended.
2. GRE scores – required for all students, including those with a degree from UNM.
3. Three letters of recommendation.
4. Letter of intent, explaining your background, your interest in the program, research areas you
would like to work on, and your future plans (typically 2 to 3 pages in length).
5. Current resume, documenting your academic and professional accomplishments.
The Department does not have minimum requirements for GPA or GRE scores. However, most
applicants we accept have a minimum GPA score of 3.5 and minimum GRE scores of 500 for verbal
and 500 for quantitative. Lower scores do not necessarily prevent you from getting accepted and
higher scores do not necessarily mean you will get accepted. Scores are important but we look at the
entire application when making our decisions.
Note: this information will be updated when details on the new GRE test have become available.
The M.S. in geography requires 30-33 credit hours of upper-division course work.
For further details of the requirements, please refer to the requirement list page.
The department has a number of Teaching and Research Assistantships. TA positions typically require 20 hours of work per week which consist of teaching several lab sections of our introductory Physical Geography and GIS course. Remuneration is approximately $1,360 per month and includes full tuition waiver up to 9 credit hours and health benefits. Typical TA appointments are for an academic year from late August to early May. Limited TA possibilities exist in the Summer semester. RA positions are typically funded from research grants and RAs work in direct collaboration with one or more faculty. Conditions for RA positions vary but generally have the same terms as TA positions. TA and RA positions are very competitive. When applying to the program you should indicate if you would like to be considered for a TA or RA position
Administered by the Department of Geography
• Tuition scholarships. The department has a limited number of tuition waivers for in–state
students. All eligible students enrolled in or starting our graduate program will automatically be
considered for this scholarship and there is no need to apply. Scholarships are located in the
Summer for the upcoming academic year.
Administered by others:
• OGS Fellowships and Scholarships. Administered by the Office of Graduate Studies.
• Fellowships administered by the Graduate and Professional Student Association at UNM.
Details at: http://gpsa.unm.edu/application-forms.
• Research Projects and Travel (RPT) Grants. Administered by the Office of Graduate Studies.
Details at http://www.unm.edu/grad/funding/rpt.html.
• Jesse Rossbach Memorial Scholarship. Administered by the New Mexico Geographic Information
Details at: http://nmgic.com/jrmsch.
• NMGIC”s SWUG Scholarship. Administered by the New Mexico Geographic Information Council.
Details at: http://nmgic.com/swugsch.
Broad Program Learning Goals for this Degree Program
A. Students will learn to conduct legitimate and original research on geographical topics.
B. Students will develop an ability to communicate clearly and effectively.
C. Students will prepare themselves for professional careers in Geography.
List of Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for this Degree Program
A.1. Students will be able to state an original research question appropriate for geographic analysis.
A.2. Students will be able to state how a research project contributes to an existing body of geographic literature.
A.3. Students will be able to design legitimate geographic methodology.
A.4. Students will be able to implement legitimate geographic methodology.
A.5. Students will be able to explain and assess the results of original geographic research.
B.1. Students will be able to communicate clearly and effectively in a written format.
B.2. Students will be able to communicate clearly and effectively in an oral format.
C.1. Students will be able to enter professional positions or Ph.D. programs related to geography or environmental management.