You See the World - We See Geography


In India with professor O'ReillyIn India with Dr. O'Reilly studying rural water technology. Thank you for your interest in our Geography MS or PhD degrees. Our program is ranked 29th out of 64 Geography Departments ranked by Academic Analytics. We have a collegial faculty who are highly productive, ranking 13th or 14th in categories such as grants and journal articles. Our department also has several established clusters of excellence with an international reputation. Our faculty have obtained grants from the National Science Foundation—including two highly prestigious CAREER awards—and many other nationally competitive sources.

We offer Master's and Doctoral degrees in Geography, specializing in one of five thematic areas: Human Geography, Physical Geography, Human-Environment Interactions, Geography Education and Geographic Techniques. We have a varied and vibrant graduate program with more than 50 graduate students pursuing research around the globe. Moreover, our graduate students come from across the United States and several other countries. Our MS students obtain employment in industry or go to top PhD programs; most of our PhD students obtain academic jobs, often in PhD-granting universities, although some work in government or industry.

Our MS program is designed for four semesters of full-time study, while PhD students are expected to pass Preliminary Exams in their fourth semester and obtain the doctorate within 2-4 additional years (depending on the research protocols), so that total time to degree for PhD students is between eight and 12 semesters of full-time study.

Elements of a Strong Application

WeGeography student studying in BolviaGeography student studying in Bolivia. find that the best applicants to the MS program show evidence of undergraduate research in geography or other fields. We strongly encourage PhD applicants to show evidence of having a thesis completed or in progress in geography or related discipline. In addition, we have specific advice on the following elements of your application:

  • GRE scores and grades: we do not admit or deny applicants on the basis of GRE or GPR scores; rather, we aim to consider the applicant as a whole. For guidance, our average GRE score for applicants in the past decade was 1200 combined verbal and quantitative. This translates to approximately 300 combined on the new scale. If your GRE scores are below the 50th percentile, we urge you to consider re-taking the exam to obtain a better score.
  • Statement: the Statement should be an essay describing past experiences relevant to the MS or PhD program and should indicate a proposed topic. Applicants should contact faculty with whom they share research interests, and they should mention these faculty by name in their essay. Strong essays provide an argument for why an applicant seeks graduate study in our Department, making reference to specific faculty. Essays that are generic, focus on personal idiosyncrasies, or elaborate on themes unrelated to the MS or PhD program are neither persuasive nor compelling; similarly, essays that make no mention of previous research experience are weak.
  • Letters of recommendation: Letters of recommendation should come from academic referees, rather than previous employers; however, in cases where your workplace involved issues relating directly to your planned MS or PhD course of study, then letters from supervisors would be welcomed.


Normally, we offer Teaching Assistantships (Graduate Assistant-Teaching; GAT) to our top MS applicants; some of these Assistantships include tuition payments, and some only confer in-state tuition status because of University rules. Moreover, several MS applicants receive offers of a Research Assistantship from faculty members with active research grants. Normally, our Teaching offers are extended for 2 years for MS students and 3 years for PhD students. For PhD students, annual renewal of Teaching offers is contingent upon satisfactory progress toward the degree. We have funded PhD students beyond 3 years when we have demand for their teaching and when they show progress toward completing their dissertations. To support their research, PhD students normally submit grant proposals to fund data collection and analysis, or they are supported by Research Assistantships. PhD students have obtained research funds through the National Science Foundation's Dissertation Improvement Grant. Several of our PhD students have received University-wide funds for enhancing a diverse graduate student population.

International Students

Faculty and students in labFaculty and students in lab.

We expect strong scores on the TOEFL or similar exam, in addition to strong GRE scores, and a Statement showing evidence of research and knowledge of our faculty research expertise. We offer a limited number of Teaching Assistantships to international PhD applicants; however, at this time we are not able to offer GAT awards to international MS students. Nevertheless, some international MS students have self-funded their study, or have been funded through a Research Assistantship. International MS students are encouraged to discuss funding options with potential advisors before applying to our program.

Application Process

Our priority deadline is 1 January (follow the "How to Apply" [link here] for additional details). For applicants meeting this deadline, we aim to have admissions decisions completed by early February. By early March, we will make offers for Teaching Assistantships to our top applicants, who will have until 15 April to accept or decline our offer. Our top applicants usually have offers from other top Departments, so they sometimes decline our offers. Therefore, by mid-April we may have made additional offers to students lower on our priority list.

Don't hesitate to contact me about the elements of a strong application, about your admission status, or about your funding status.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Associate Professor and Graduate Director

Admission Information

Geography Graduate Program

Degree Information can be found in the current Graduate Catalog

Overview of Research Clusters in Geography

Once You Have Been Admitted

Texas A&M Graduate Catalog

* For more information about applying for the Geography graduate program, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (Academic Advisor II, Phone: 1.979.458.0895)

College of Geosciences Atmospheric Science Geography Oceanography Geology & Geophysics Environmental Programs Water Degree Program GERG IODP Texas Sea Grant Berg-Hughes Center Department Icons