Geography, PhD

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Geography


Department Head: Dr. Shaowen Wang

Director of Graduate Studies: Dr. Brian Jefferson


website: ggis.illinois.edu

email: geography@illinois.edu

phone: (217) 333-1880

Office address:

2044 Natural History Building

1301 W. Green Street

Urbana, IL 61801
 

College of LAS website

Graduate College Admissions


Students must complete the course requirements as determined by their individually planned program, initiate and complete research projects, and qualify for candidacy by passing the departmental qualifying and preliminary examinations. Although we don't have a foreign language requirement, students may study a foreign language as a research tool.


Graduate Degree Programs in Geography & Geographic Information Science

Geography, MA

Geography, MS

concentrations:

Geographic Information Science - Professional Science Master's

Computational Science & Engineering

Geography, PhD

concentration:

Computational Science & Engineering


We offer a program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in geography with the following specializations:

  • Cities, Space, and Society
    Urban health and quality of life; Urban governance and politics; Race, class, and city policing; Critical studies of urban transportation and mobilities; Global north and south; Neoliberalization
  • Geographic Information Science
    Geographic information systems; Dynamic modeling of ecological and social systems; Geocomputation and CyberGIS; Aerial photo analysis; Remote sensing; Inter-regional input-output modeling; Regional science; Spatial analysis
  • River, Watershed, and Landscape Dynamics
    Fluvial geomorphology; Watershed science and management; Aerial photo analysis; Ecosystem dynamics
     

Admission

Students applying for admission to the master's program are expected to have a strong undergraduate background in geography and/or related disciplines. In addition to other Graduate College admission requirements, a grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0) in the undergraduate major is required. PhD candidates are generally expected to have at least a 3.5 average in previous graduate work. GRE scores are not required or evaluated for admission to our graduate programs.

Assistantships and Fellowships

Geography graduate students are usually supported and receive tuition/fee waivers through teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or fellowships.

Graduate Teaching Experience

Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience in this program. We have implemented a professionalization program in our department, where graduate students work with faculty members to receive advice and gain first-hand experience in teaching undergraduate courses. Several of our graduate students have also had the opportunity to lead introductory Geography & GIS courses.

Facilities and Resources

The department also includes several state-of-the-art research laboratories maintained by individual faculty members. The CyberInfrastructure and Geospatial Information (CIGI) Lab, housed in the department, researches and develops cutting-edge cyberinfrastructure to advance geospatial science and technologies. The department also sponsors the CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital & Spatial Studies whose mission is to empower advanced digital and spatial studies through innovation of CyberGIS technologies and applications. The lab houses several high performance computers and servers for performing computationally intensive geographic analysis and problem solving in various research, education, and outreach contexts.

Map and Geography Library

The University Library has a substantial collection of geography books and journals. Most of the new and more recent books are located in the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library (SSHEL); nearly all geography journals are available full-text through the University Library’s website. The Map Library holds a collection of over 626,000 maps and aerial photographs. Additionally, the Map Library houses an extensive collection of books on cartography and geographic information science. Map Library and University Library Scholarly Commons staff can also help students locate geospatial data.

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Geography


For additional details and requirements refer to the department's Graduate Programs and the Graduate College Handbook

Entering with approved M.S./M.A. degree

GEOG 471Recent Trends in Geog Thought4
GEOG 491Research in Geography2
Doctoral students are required to demonstrate competence in a specific research technique
Students must fulfill program requirements specific to his/her specialty area
GEOG 599Thesis Research (4 min applied toward degree)4
Total Hours64

Other Requirements

Other requirements may overlap
Minimum Hours Overall Required Within the Unit: 24
Qualifying Exam Required Yes
Preliminary Exam Required Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required Yes
Minimum GPA: 3.0

Entering with approved B.S./B.A. degree

At least two graduate-level courses on analytical research methods (At least one of these courses must be in geographic information systems (GIS) or related geospatial techniques)
GEOG 471Recent Trends in Geog Thought4
GEOG 491Research in Geography2
Doctoral students are required to demonstrate competence in a specific research technique
Students must fulfill program requirements specific to his/her specialty area
GEOG 599Thesis Research (4 min applied toward degree)4
Total Hours96

Other Requirements

Other requirements may overlap
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 12 (8 in Geog)
Must complete a major research paper of publishable quality approved by the student’s advisory committee.
Qualifying Exam Required Yes
Preliminary Exam Required Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required Yes
Minimum GPA: 3.0