Admission requires a bachelor's degree and a grade-point average of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale). An applicant whose grade-point average is 2.75 to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale may be admitted on provisional status.
Prerequisites for the M.A.
Entering students are expected to have had previous work comparable to a minimal bachelor's degree in geography. More specifically, to attain full standing as an M.A. candidate, a person must have had a course or equivalent background in each of the following fields: physical geography, human geography, regional study, and geographic information science (e.g., cartography, quantitative methods, GIS, remote sensing, field methods). If the student needs to take formal coursework to make up a deficiency, these credit hours will not count toward the M.A. A deficiency may be removed by 1) passing the specified course with at least a "C," 2) auditing the course and receiving a letter from the instructor indicating that the course requirements have been met, or 3) passing a written and/or oral examination comparable to the final exam. Deficiencies will be specified at matriculation and must be completed before the M.A. oral examination is taken.
Prerequisites for the Ph.D.
Normally aspirants for the doctorate will have satisfied requirements comparable to the University of Kansas M.A. in geography, including the thesis. Students from other disciplines may find it necessary to eliminate deficiencies early in their program. Under special circumstances, students may proceed directly from the B.A. to the Ph.D., but this is done only at the discretion of the department through approval by an advisor and the GSC.
One of the most important facets of graduate study is the relationship between the graduate student and the faculty advisor/mentor. Because of this, we recommend that you review the research programs of our faculty members to identify an individual whose teaching and research matches or complements your interests. We also strongly encourage and welcome you to contact and correspond with potential advisors prior to and during the application process. (You will note that we ask you to identify a potential faculty advisor as part of your Statement of Interest and Goals, below.)
Instructions for Submission of Graduate Student Applications
At the University of Kansas, a single application form covers admission and financial aid. The items listed below must all be received before the department can make an evaluation and admit a new student to the program. Those who wish to enter in the fall semester and to be considered for a fellowship or teaching assistantship must submit all materials by January 15. Applications for admission only should be submitted no later than June 1 (international student deadline May 1) for the fall term, November 1 (international student deadline October 1) for the spring term, or April 1 (international student deadline February 15) for the summer session.
The following items must be received to complete the application file:
Items 1 through 5 can be submitted online:
1. A completed Application Form. To apply on-line, go to
2. The required application fee.
3. A Statement of Interest and Goals. This is included in the on-line application form, or please attach to the paper application. The Graduate Studies Committee places considerable importance on the thoughtfulness of your remarks - in particular, we are interested in learning about (1) your specific interests within geography and why they are important and interesting to you, (2) what you envision as your educational and career objectives and how a degree from KU Geography helps to meet those objectives, and (3) which of our faculty members you think would be an appropriate graduate advisor and mentor.
4. Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded at the time of application. However, one official copy of the transcript where the undergraduate degree was confirmed and one official copy of the transcript where any graduate degree/credit was earned (if applicable) is required upon admission.
5. Three confidential letters of recommendation sent by referees who are familiar with your academic and/or professional activities and who can address your likelihood of success in graduate school. If possible, we prefer letters from professors, but applicants returning to school after a lengthy absence may substitute letters from supervisors. Note that it is the responsibility of the applicant to request and to confirm that the required letters have been sent by the deadline. When using the on-line reference form to list references, you must include valid e-mail addresses. Once you have completed and submitted your application, your references will be contacted directly via e-mail with directions for submitting their letters of recommendation on your behalf.
6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. All students applying for admission must submit official GRE scores. For information regarding test centers and dates for examinations, see the website of the Educational Testing Service at www.ets.org or the Information Bulletin for the GRE Program available at any university's counseling office. You also may write the Educational Testing Service at P.O. Box 6000, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6000.
If you have additional questions, please contact the Graduate Studies Committee or a member of the departmental faculty in your area of professional interest.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
1. Completion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination or other evidence of English proficiency. Official scores must be received. Copies are not acceptable.
2. Completion of the Financial Resources section on the international graduate student application including the necessary documentation.
In addition, the Test of Spoken English (TSE) and a telephone or personal interview are required before a non-native English speaker can be offered a teaching assistantship. The minimum acceptable score on the TSE is 240.
For more information about the program, please write to:
The University of Kansas
Graduate Studies Committee
Department of Geography
1475 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 213
Lawrence, KS 66045-7613