About

Are you excited about carrying out original research in an area of study that you are passionate about? Do you realize that a geography degree can give you excellent training for numerous jobs in both the public and private sectors?

The discipline of geography offers an important interdisciplinary approach to critical societal and environmental themes such as climate change, the spread of disease, and development in vulnerable coastal regions, as well as social justice, local knowledge, and globalization. ECU's masters of arts in geography offers a setting for you to work closely with faculty, students, and the community to develop a set of skills and a global perspective to help solve environmental and social issues. The geography faculty works at the interface between society and the natural world and this interdisciplinary approach is integrated into most of the classes that you will take. The curriculum spans social justice, globalization, geographic information systems, landform processes, and atmospheric science.

The MA degree in geography will leave you with the skills you'll need to help you build a dynamic career solving social and environmental issues. These include a keen understanding of the geographic features of Earth and how they interact with social systems, as well as computer and technological skills related to map-making, geo-location, and terrain analysis. The curriculum covers issues of globalization and the intersection of social and environmental issues. Students also have the opportunity to gain valuable internship experience with state and city government and the private sector, working on community development, hazards impacts, coastal issues, and other topics.

ECU Advantage

ECU's Department of Geography is a regional leader in research and applications of coastal development and hazards, social justice, landform analysis, water quality, and climate change. Our alumni have used their skills and experience acquired at ECU to develop their careers in both government and in the private sector across North Carolina and nationally. Many of our students have taken advantage of the ties our department faculty have with national research laboratories, private consulting firms, and NGOs working in developing countries to start dynamic careers in geography-related fields.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Rosana Ferreira (242-A Brewster Building; 252-328-0751; ferreirar@ecu.edu)

The master of science in geography thesis option requires a minimum of 30 s.h. of 5000- and 6000-level courses, with 18 s.h. at the 6000-level. The nonthesis/internship option requires 36 s.h., with 21 s.h. at the 6000-level.

The master of science in geography with a planning concentration and the professional science master's in geographic information science (GIS) offer only the nonthesis/internship option and require a minimum of 36 s.h. at the 5000- and 6000-levels with a minimum of 21 s.h. at the 6000-level. 

The planning concentration offers students both the theoretical background and practical skills and experience applicable to the planning profession at all levels of government and the private sector. The professional science master's concentration allows students to pursue advanced training in logistics, management information systems, marketing, or public administration while simultaneously developing professional skills valued by employers. The concentration is modeled on recommendations by the National Professional Science Master's Association (NPSMA).

There are several major areas of study in the department from which students can choose: environmental, human, atmospheric science, and geospatial techniques.

Minimum degree requirement is 30-36 s.h. as follows:

1. Core - 6 s.h.
  • GEOG 6100 - History and Philosophy of Geography
  • GEOG 6110 - Research Design in Geography
2. Research skills - 3 s.h.

(Choose a research skills/methods course related to the major area of study and intended research.)

  • ANTH 5015 - Advanced Ethnographic Methods and Theory
  • GEOG 6150 - Quantitative Methods in Geography
  • GEOG 6160 - Field Geography
  • HIST 5960 - Introduction to Oral History
  • Other course selected in consultation with advisor.
3. Concentrations - 6-15 s.h.

(Choose one.)

    a. Geography concentration - 6-12 s.h.
      Thesis option (6 s.h.)

      Choose a minimum of 6 s.h. in the major area of study at the 5000- and 6000-levels. Students are encouraged to take at least one course outside their selected major area of study. Courses in other departments may be selected in consultation with student's advisor.

        Nonthesis/internship option (12 s.h.)

        Choose a minimum of 12 s.h. in the major area of study at the 5000- and 6000-levels in the major field areas. Students are encouraged to take at least one course outside their selected major area of study. Courses in other departments may be selected in consultation with student's advisor.

        b. Planning concentration - 15 s.h.
          Choose 3 s.h. from the following:
          • PLAN 6018 - Internship in Planning
          • PLAN 6028 - Internship in Planning
          • PLAN 6038 - Internship in Planning
          Choose 12 s.h. PLAN electives at the 5000 and 6000 levels
          c. Professional science master's in geographic information science concentration - 15 s.h.
            Choose 12 s.h. from the following:
            • GEOG 6410 - Advanced Cartography
            • GEOG 6420 - Advanced Remote Sensing
            • GEOG 6430 - Advanced Geographic Information Systems
            • GEOG 6440 - Spatial Analysis of Coastal Environments
            • GEOG 6460 - Advanced Digital Terrain Analysis
          d. Rural development concentration - 12-15 s.h.
          • GEOG 6350 - Seminar in Rural Development
          • GEOG 6355 - Rural Development Practicum
          • Choose a minimum of 6-9 s.h. of 5000- and 6000-level courses in geography and other departments in an area of specialization
          4. Electives - 9 s.h.

          (Choose electives according to concentration area.)

            a. Geography concentration

            Choose a minimum of 9 s.h. in the major area of study at the 5000- or 6000-levels.

              b. Planning concentration

              Choose a minimum of 9 s.h. in the major area of study at the 5000- or 6000-levels.

                c. Professional science master's in geographic information science concentration

                Choose a minimum of 9 s.h. of courses in one of the following:  logistics, management information systems, marketing, or public administration.

                  Logistics
                  • IDIS 6500 - Collaborative Planning in the Supply Network
                  • IDIS 6515 - Logistical Security and Safety Management
                  • IDIS 6525 - Transportation Logistics Management
                  • IDIS 6535 - Supply Chain Logistics Management
                  • IDIS 6545 - Global Logistics Management
                  Managment information systems
                  • MIS 6713 - Delivering Business Value through Information Systems
                  • MIS 6873 - Data Management
                  • MIS 6883 - Web Technologies for Business
                  • MIS 6903 - Business Intelligence and Data Analytics
                  Marketing
                  • MKTG 6162 - Marketing Management
                  • MKTG 6752 - Advertising and Promotion Strategy
                  • MKTG 6762 - Business-to-Business Marketing
                  • MKTG 6842 - Consumer Behavior
                  Public administration
                  • PADM 6100 - Politics and Management in Public Agencies
                  • PADM 6101 - Analysis for the Public Sector
                  • PADM 6160 - Public Policy Formulation and Implementation
                  • PADM 6161 - Applied Policy Analysis
                  • PADM 6170 - Intergovernmental/Interagency Relations
                  • PADM 6220 - Leadership and Ethics in the Public Sector
                  • PADM 6260 - Management of Public Information Technology
                d. Rural development concentration

                Choose a minimum of 9 s.h. in the major area of study at the 5000- or 6000-levels.

                5. Thesis or nonthesis/internship option - 3-6 s.h.
                  a. Geography - 3-6 s.h.
                    Thesis option
                    • GEOG 7000 - Thesis (3-6 s.h.)
                    • Note:

                      Students must pass the thesis defense.

                      Nonthesis/internship option
                      • GEOG 6801 - Internship in Geography
                      • GEOG 6802 - Internship in Geography and/or
                      • GEOG 6803 - Internship in Geography
                      • Note:

                        Students must complete internship for minimum of 3 s.h. or maximum of 6 s.h. Students must present professional report and pass report defense.

                      b. Planning - 3 s.h.
                        Nonthesis/internship option

                        (Choose 3 s.h. from the following.)

                        • GEOG 6801 - Internship in Geography
                        • GEOG 6802 - Internship in Geography
                        • GEOG 6803 - Internship in Geography
                        • Note:

                          Students must present professional report and pass report defense.

                        c. Professional science master's in geographic information science - 3 s.h.
                          Nonthesis/internship option

                          (Choose 3 s.h. from the following.)

                            Note:

                            Students must present professional report and pass report defense.

                          d. Rural development - 3-6 s.h.
                            Thesis option
                            • GEOG 7000 - Thesis
                            • Note:

                              Students must pass the thesis defense.

                              Nonthesis/internship option
                              • GEOG 6801 - Internship in Geography
                              • GEOG 6802 - Internship in Geography and/or
                              • GEOG 6803 - Internship in Geography
                              • Note:

                                Students must complete internship for minimum of 3 s.h. or maximum of 6 s.h., present professional report, and pass report defense.

                            For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

                            Careers With This Degree

                            Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

                            • Geography
                            • Geography Teachers, Postsecondary
                            • Public Administration and Legal Services
                            • Education and Training
                            • Geography

                            Career Opportunities

                            ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

                            NC Tower

                            This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

                            • Self-employed;
                            • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
                            • Work outside of North Carolina.

                            US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

                            This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

                            Degree-specific internships

                            For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.

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