The Department of Geography offers both M.A. (Plan A and Plan B) and Ph.D. programs. Emphasis is placed on theoretical and conceptual training in the student's chosen field of interest. A variety of philosophical and methodological approaches are encouraged. The strength of the program lies in its focus upon close faculty-student interaction, flexibility in designing an appropriate plan of study, and research training in small seminar environments.
The primary objective of the graduate program is to prepare students for research-oriented careers in government, industry, and universities. Emphasis in graduate seminars is on developing the background and skills necessary for original contributions to geographic knowledge.
Faculty have regional expertise in South and South-East Asia, Japan, the Himalayas, southern Africa, the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe, the states of the former Soviet Union, Western Europe, and North America (particularly Appalachia). Research clusters of the faculty include:
Cultural Studies: Interpretation and analysis of the built environment; space and representation; the political economy of landscape production; regional imagery; media studies; popular culture; the social construction of community; historic preservation; recreation, tourism and society.
Development Studies: Policies and practices of development; political economy perspectives on development; postcolonial theory; economic restructuring and transition economies; household survival strategies; the relations between migration, transportation, tourism, and economic development; environmental management and sustainable development.
Earth Surface Systems: Landscape evolution; biogeomorphology; fluvial systems; climate, landform, hydrosphere, biosphere interactions; urban environments; arctic and alpine environments; nonlinear dynamical systems theory in geosciences.
Political Geography: Electoral systems; state theory; post-Cold War democratization; the geography of revolutionary change; critical geopolitics; political economy of environmental movements; political economy of globalization discourses and practices.
Social Geography: Health care, disease, and society; the geography of AIDS; the geography of aging and the life course; poverty and social policy; race and gender; human behavior in space and time; population and migration studies; spatial structure of social networks; transportation of disadvantaged groups.
Social Theory: Theories of human spatiality; Marxist, neo-Marxist, and post-Marxist theory; regulation theory; postmodernism and post-structuralism; feminist theory; space, landscape, and identity; geographic thought and society; technology and social change.
Urban and Economic: The local state urban change; urban social conflict; neighborhood change; economic impacts of transportation systems; urban historical geography; regional economic restructuring; global financial systems; urban morphology; space-time convergence; information and communications; geography of multinational corporations; impacts of foreign direct investment and trade.
Weathering and Regolith Evolution: Rock weathering; stone durability and decay; landscape geochemistry; solutes; soil geomorphology and pedology; weathering and landscape evolution.
In addition, students have access to faculty with expertise in a variety of methodological areas, including: quantitative, especially multivariate statistics and modeling; mathematical demography; automated and production cartography; GIS; remote sensing applied to human geography; air photo interpretation; qualitative research methodologies, including experiential methods and realism; field techniques.
In addition to the basic graduate school requirements, the following materials should be sent to the Department of Geography:
Three letters of reference from persons who can evaluate your potential for success in our graduate program
Statement of your goals and objectives in which you discuss your areas of scholarly interest, any research directions youmay wish to pursue, and how your interests and goals fit with the University of Kentucky's graduate program in Geography (about two pages, double-spaced)
Letter requesting consideration for assistantships and fellowships (if desired)
Curriculum vitae (if available)
It is requested that copies of the materials (if available) sent to the Graduate School also be sent to the DGS. Once all these materials have arrived in the Department of Geography, the application is reviewed by the faculty members on the Department's Graduate Committee. The committee's evaluation does not place emphasis on any one element of the application, rather the combination of elements must convince the Graduate Committee members that the applicant has great potential for success in our program.
The Department welcomes students with undergraduate concentrations in related fields. In some cases students without an academic background in Geography may be required to complete additional course work so as to gain appropriate foundational knowledge.
There is no official deadline for applications. However, applicants are encouraged to submit all application material before February 1st to ensure consideration for admission for the following fall semester. Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis, but decisions about financial aid usually take place in March and April.
Applicants for the Ph.D. in geography must conform to the general requirements of the Graduate School as set forth in the first part of this Bulletin. Requirements in the Ph.D. program consist of 1) core courses (GEO 700 or other advanced methods course, 702, 707) in the theory and methodology of geography; 2) seminars, independent study and directed research in one of the research foci noted above or in cognate disciplines; 3) successful examination in one modern foreign language; 4) a written and oral qualifying examination in theory, methodology, and the student's selected topical focus; and 5) a dissertation based on original research. A program designed to meet the professional academic goals of each doctoral candidate is outlined in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and the candidate's Advisory Committee.
Applicants for the M.A. degree in geography follow a broadly based program which consists of: 1) required courses (GEO 600, 702, and 710); 2) elective courses in geography and cognate disciplines according to the student's academic goals and career objectives; and 3) the completion of a master's thesis (Plan A). The non-thesis Ph.D.-preparatory program (Plan B) consists of: 1) required courses (GEO 600, 700 or other advanced methods course, 702, 707, 710); 2) elective courses in geography and cognate disciplines according to the student's academic goals and career objectives; 3) a written examination; 4) a publication-quality research paper; and 5) an oral examination. The Plan A option requires 24 credit hours, the Plan B, 30 credit hours.
GEO 405G CARTOGRAPHIC PRODUCTION AND DESIGN (3)
GEO 406G FIELD STUDIES (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (1-9)
GEO 409G GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND SCIENCE: FUNDAMENTALS (3)
GEO 420G URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (3)
GEO 430G PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY FOR TEACHERS (3)
GEO 441G FLUVIAL FORMS AND PROCESSES (3)
GEO 452G WORLD GEOGRAPHY FOR TEACHERS (3)
GEO 475G MEDICAL GEOGRAPHY (3)
GEO 490G AMERICAN LANDSCAPES (3)
GEO 491G JAPANESE LANDSCAPES (3)
GEO 505 PRACTICUM IN CARTOGRAPHY (3)
GEO 506 INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER CARTOGRAPHY (3)
GEO 512 GI SYSTEMS & SCIENCE: ANALYTICAL ISSUES (3)
GEO 514 GI SYSTEMS & SCIENCE: TECHNICAL ISSUES (3)
GEO 516 GI SYSTEMS & SCIENCE: MANAGEMENT ISSUES (3)
GEO 530 BIOGEOGRAPHY AND CONSERVATION (SAME AS BIO 530) (3)
GEO 542 POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY (3)
GEO 544 HUMAN POPULATION DYNAMICS (3)
GEO 545 TRANSPORTATION GEOGRAPHY (3)
GEO 546 TOURISM AND RECREATION GEOGRAPHY (3)
GEO 547 GEOGRAPHY OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS (3)
GEO 551 JAPANESE MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS (SAME AS JPN 551) (3)
GEO 560 INDEPENDENT WORK IN GEOGRAPHY (3)
GEO 565 TOPICS IN GEOGRAPHY (3)
GEO 585 AGING AND ENVIRONMENT (SAME AS FAM 585/GRN 585) (3)
GEO 600 ANALYTIC METHODS IN GEOGRAPHY (3)
GEO 655 SPECIAL STUDY OF SYSTEMATIC GEOGRAPHY (3)
GEO 700 ADVANCED ANALYTICAL METHODS IN GEOGRAPHY (3)
GEO 702 CONCEPTS IN GEOGRAPHY (3)
GEO 705 ADVANCED GEOGRAPHIC METHODS (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (3)
GEO 706 ADVANCED FIELD STUDIES (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (1-9)
GEO 707 DEVELOPMENT OF GEOGRAPHIC THOUGHT (3)
GEO 708 GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS RESEARCHMETHODOLOGIES (3)
GEO 710 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN (3)
GEO 711 CULTURAL STUDIES AND GEOGRAPHY (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (3)
GEO 712 DEVELOPMENT STUDIES AND GEOGRAPHY (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (3)
GEO 713 ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY: (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (3)
GEO 714 POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY: (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (3)
GEO 715 GEOGRAPHY AND SOCIAL THEORY (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (3)
GEO 717 URBAN GEOGRAPHY (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (3)
GEO 720 REGIONAL STUDIES (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (3)
GEO 721 TOPICAL SEMINAR IN PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (3)
GEO 722 SOCIAL GEOGRAPHY: (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (3)
GEO 731 EARTH SURFACE SYSTEMS (3)
GEO 740 RESEARCH INTERNSHIP (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (1-6)
GEO 741 TEACHING PRACTICUM (1)
GEO 742 PREPARING FUTURE FACULTY IN GEOGRAPHY (1)
GEO 748 MASTER'S THESIS RESEARCH (0)
GEO 749 DISSERTATION RESEARCH (0)
GEO 768 RESIDENCE CREDIT FOR THE MASTER'S DEGREE (1-6)
GEO 769 RESIDENCE CREDIT FOR THE DOCTOR'S DEGREE (0-12)
GEO 772 SPECIAL RESEARCH PROBLEMS IN GEOGRAPHY (1-6)