Department Head

Professor Kenneth Foote


Berentsen, Boush, Byrne, Cooke, Cromley, Hanink, Weiner

Associate Professors

Atkinson-Palombo, Dierssen, Seth, Trumbull, Zhang

Assistant Professors

Ghosh, Ouimet, Stephenson

Research Professor


Associate Professor-in-Residence


Assistant Professor-in-Residence


The Department of Geography offers a program leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. The graduate program provides study of the theory and methods of analysis of human and physical features of the earth’s surface. Students normally take a limited number of core courses in research methods and design, and select an area of specialization for the remainder of their course work. Examples of common specializations include GIScience and visualization, global climate change, geomorphology, environmental management and planning, and urban and regional analysis. Other specializations in areas of the faculty expertise are possible. Working with their advisors, students select courses that best fit their intellectual interests and professional needs. All graduate plans of study must conform to general University of Connecticut and its Graduate School requirements.

Candidates for the M.A. in Geography may pursue one of two plans. The thesis plan typically requires completion of 24 credits of advanced content course work and at least nine credits of Thesis Research (GRAD 5950 or GRAD 5960), and a thesis, including its oral defense. The non-thesis plan typically requires completion of at least 24 credits of advanced course work and a comprehensive final examination assessing mastery of the field. All M.A. students typically complete a core curriculum that includes one methods course, GEOG 5000 (Research Design); and the one credit Proseminar (GEOG 5010). Time to degree in the M.A. program is typically two years.

The Ph.D. in Geography requires a minimum 30 credits of advanced content coursework beyond a bachelor’s degree or 15 credits of advanced content coursework beyond the master’s degree in Geography, at least 15 credits additional credits of Dissertation Research (GRAD 6950 or GRAD 6960, and with the completion and defense of a dissertation. All Ph.D. students typically complete a core curriculum that includes one methods course, GEOG5000 (Research Design), GEOG 6000 (Development of Geographic Thought), and the one credit Proseminar (GEOG 5010). Those students anticipating an academic career also typically take a one-credit teaching practicum course (GEOG 6800). All Ph.D. students must either demonstrate facility in a language other than English or pass six credits of advanced coursework outside of Geography in a field related to their research. The six credits are beyond the minimum requirement of 15 credits in the Ph.D. program. Time to degree in the Ph.D. program is typically three years for students entering with an M.A. or M.S. in Geography or a closely related field. It is five years for students entering with a B.A. or B.S in Geography or a closely related field as their only preparation.

As the student completes the required coursework, a general examination with both written and oral sections is administered. Doctoral degree students must also submit and present a dissertation proposal for approval by their advisory committee, and defend the finished dissertation in a departmental colloquium.

The Department recommends that applicants for admission to the graduate program have a background in Geography or a related discipline. Applicants should contact individual faculty members with whom they may wish to study to discuss their research interests. Applicants must submit GRE scores and international applicants must also supply TOEFL scores.

Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems

The Certificate Program is designed to recognize completion of a focused set of courses for graduate students and professionals seeking expertise in the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS are used for integrating and analyzing spatial data. These systems, and the science behind their development and use, are the topics covered in the required coursework. GIS and related technologies are used in a wide range of applications in the public and private sectors. The elective coursework provides students with the opportunity for graduate study in fields where GIS are used, especially Geography. The certificate is earned upon the completion of twelve credits of coursework beyond the B.A. or B.S. degree.

Students in the Certificate Program are required to complete Geography 5500 and Geography 5510, plus additional courses in Geography or a related field. The additional courses must be taken at the graduate (5000 or 6000) level. A student’s program of study for the certificate may include only one course numbered 5810. Students develop a program of study with the assistance and approval of the Certificate Program Coordinator.

To earn the certificate, a student must pass all courses counted toward the certificate with a grade of B- or better in each course and an overall GPA for the 12 credits of 3.0 or greater.

All coursework for the certificate must be completed at the University of Connecticut.

Application to the GIS Certificate Program is made through the Graduate School of the University of Connecticut. Students applying for admission to or already enrolled in a graduate degree program in Geography or another field of study at the University of Connecticut may apply for admission to the Certificate Program. Non-degree students may also apply for the program. All students applying for admission to the Certificate Program must have a B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited institution. Official transcripts and a personal statement of interest in the program must be submitted with the application. Letters of reference are not required. Information on the Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems can be obtained from the Graduate Certificate Program Coordinator, Department of Geography Unit 4148, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-4148.

Special Facilities

The program is supported both by in-house facilities and external resources. The department maintains two computer laboratories fully equipped with Windows-based workstations and relevant software. These facilities are complemented by research and practicum opportunities in a wide range of external agencies with which collaborative research projects have been established by means of the department’s experience with internship programs.

The University’s Map and Geographic Information Center (MAGIC), collects maps, atlases, aerial photographs, and digital geospatial data and digitizes public-domain and copyright free maps and resources in order to enable researchers to have digital access to these resources. The Connecticut State Data Center serves as the state’s official liaison to the U.S. Census Bureau and provides data and project consultations, mapping and spatial visualization of data, and assistance with location U.S. Census and other federal and state datasets.


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