The Department of Geography offers work leading to the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees.
The Masters and Ph.D. programs in Geography specialize in three broad areas including cultural/historical geography, resource management, and transportation/urban geography. These degree programs are designed for students to master the theoretical knowledge and skills necessary to design, implement, and present, through oral and written form, original geographic research. Therefore, graduate students study geographic research methods and analysis, the history and philosophies of Geography, and knowledge of current geographic research.
Graduates may seek professional employment in, for example, locational analysis, regional planning, resource management, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), computer cartography, historic preservation, and culturally-focused agencies and organizations. Students completing the Master’s degree are well-prepared to continue in doctoral programs, which place a greater emphasis on theoretical facets of Geography. Doctoral graduates often seek research and teaching positions at the University level; therefore, the doctoral program emphasizes analytical theory as well as higher-level research design and a broader, more substantive geographic knowledge base.
Graduate students in the program are expected to accomplish the following learning outcomes:
1) develop the ability to communicate geographic information effectively in writing at the appropriate master’s or doctoral level,
2) develop apposite knowledge in geographic literature and research at the appropriate level,
3) develop skills in tools for geographic data collection and methods of analysis at the appropriate level,
4) be able to develop geographic creative components, theses, or dissertations that marshal evidence, analyze data, and synthesize meaningful conclusions,
5) be able to identify and discuss significant geographic trends within their (three) chosen specialty areas of Geography (Ph.D. students), and
6) become familiar with work in cognate fields.
The Department of Geography offers two programs options for the M.S. degree: the thesis option and the creative component option. The Ph.D. degree requires a dissertation. The Department also grants certification in GIS. The GIS Certificate requires a suite of courses which may be taken as partial fulfillment of the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees.
Admission to the degree programs in geography is granted to college graduates with superior academic records. An undergraduate geography major is not required. Majors from the social, physical, and behavioral sciences and from the humanities are encouraged to apply. Incoming graduate students must demonstrate coursework in human geography, physical geography, statistics, and cartography, or will be required to make up these deficits upon entrance to the program.
Admission requires the approval of both the Graduate College and the Department of Geography. To apply to the Graduate College, complete the application form and pay the non-refundable application fee. Applying and paying on-line is highly recommended. Applicants also need to send official transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended, and official GRE scores, to the Graduate College. International applicants must submit official TOEFL scores (or an equivalent such as the IELTS) that meet university and departmental minimums. A TOEFL score of at least 102 (iBT), and 26 or higher on the speaking portion, is required for consideration as a teaching assistant.
To apply to the Department of Geography, submit the following items to the Graduate Coordinator in the department: completed and signed application cover sheet (available on the departmental web page), a statement of purpose/application cover letter discussing your academic and vocational goals, a current resume/vita, three letters of recommendation (mailed directly from the recommenders), and a writing sample (see departmental web page for details). While applications are accepted throughout the year, full consideration for assistantships commencing in the fall should be completed no later than February 1. Applications should be received by November 1 for spring admissions, but please note that few if any new assistantship positions are available in the spring. Required forms can be found on the department's web site http://www.geog.okstate.edu/.
The Department of Geography offers a number of teaching and research assistantships each year. For the 2011-12 academic year assistantships were $1,092 per month for M.S. students and $1,442 per month for Ph.D. students. An assistantship includes a waiver of the out-of-state portion of graduate tuition. All GTAs and GRAs (graduate teaching or graduate research assistants) with a 50% appointment qualify for a further waiver of 6 credit hours of resident tuition each semester (students with a 25% appointment receive a 3 credit hour waiver). Each year, the Graduate College awards a number of tuition scholarships to students with outstanding academic records so it is possible to receive an additional waiver for credit hours above 6 per semester. Students who are awarded assistantships are required to submit FAFSA forms in their first semester. Additional information can be found on the department's web site http://www.geog.okstate.edu/.
Graduate Faculty List
Brad A. Bays, Ph.D., Nebraska, Associate Professor. Historical/Cultural, Political, Indigenous, Peoples, Cultural Survival.
Jonathan C. Comer, Ph.D., Ohio State, 1994. Professor. Economic Forecasting, Spatial Modeling, Quantitative Methods.
Carlos Cordova, Ph.D., Texas, 1996. Professor. Geomorphology, Geoarchaeology, Soils.
G. Allen Finchum, Ph.D., University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1992. Associate Professor. GIS, Urban, Population, United States.
Jianjun Ge, Ph.D. Michigan State, 2007. Assistant Professor. Remote Sensing, Regional Climate Modeling, Land Use/Lan Cover Change.
Alyson Greiner, Ph.D., Texas, 1996. Associate Professor. Historical, Cultural, Australia.
Reuel Hanks, Ph.D., Kansas, 1993. Professor. Political, Ethnic, Central Asia, Africa.
Dale R. Lightfoot, Ph.D., Colorado-Boulder, 1990. Professor and Head. Cultural Ecology, Water and Agricultural Resources, Remote Sensing, Latin America, North Africa/Middle East.
Mahesh Rao, Ph.D., Oklahoma State, 1997. Assistant Professor, GIS, Remote Sensing, Agriculture.
John F. Rooney, Jr., Ph.D., Clark, 1966. Regents Professor Emeritus, Sport and Recreation, Resource Management, Geo-Demographics, Cultural, United States.
Rebecca A. Sheehan, Ph.D. Louisiana State, 2006. Assistant Professor. Cultural, Historical, Tourism, Public Space.
Stephen J. Stadler, Ph.D., Indiana State, 1979. Professor. The State Geographer of Oklahoma. Climatology, Meteorology, Remote Sensing, Physical.
Jacqueline M. Vadjunec, Ph.D. Clark, 2007. Assistant Professor. Cultural and Political Ecology, Latin America, Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change.
Thomas A. Wikle, Ph.D., Southern Illinois, 1989. Professor and Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences. Outdoor Recreation, Computer Cartography, GIS, Dialect Geography.
Hongbo Yu, Ph.D. Tennessee, 2005. Associate Professor. Transportation, GIS, Time.