FSU Department of Geography Graduate Guide

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY
GRADUATE HANDBOOK
- MS, MSGIS, and PHD Degrees

 

WELCOME

USE OF THIS GUIDE
Please start any inquiry with a review of the contents in the FSU Graduate Bulletin. Other helpful sites include the FSU Graduate School (FSU Graduate School Information Package), the FSU Registrar's Office, the FSU Financial Aid Office,   the FSU Department of Geography website, and the FSU Graduate Student Handbook. You may also login to your Blackboard account and look under "My Organizations" for links to the Office of Graduate Studies and departmental resources for graduate students.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Department of Geography general procedures and policies
Academic tracking
Advising
Departmental assistantships
Departmental contacts
Forms for the MS thesis and the PhD dissertation
Financial aid, fellowships, and awards
Full-time loads
Graduation
Teaching guidelines
Teaching standards
Tuition waiver policies
Duel compensation

Information for new and prospective students
Timeline for prospective graduate students
New Graduate Student Checklist
Admission policies
Application procedures
Application deadlines
Advising for incoming students
Building and computer room access
Costs for attendance
Departmental assistantships
Departmental listserv - Geograds
FSUCard
FSUID and FSU email accounts
FSUSN
Geography and Environmental Studies Student Association (GESSA)
Health insurance (mandatory for all graduate students)
Keys for student offices and carrel rooms
Mailboxes
New graduate student orientations
Office assignments and policies
Parking
Registration
Residency
Transfer credit

Faculty research specializations

Graduate degrees, policies, and curriculum
Academic standards
Academic probation
Directed independent study (DIS)
Incompletes
S/U coursework
Supervised Teaching and Supervised Research courses
 
Applied Master's of Science in Geographic Information Science
  Program of study
Master's of Science with non-thesis option
  Program of study
Master's of Science with thesis option
  Program of study
  Requirements
  Thesis examples (electronic only)
Doctoral degree
  General program of study
  Doctoral committee
  Individual program of study
  Prelim exams 
  Dissertation proposal
  Doctoral dissertation
  Dissertation examples (electronic only)
  PhD tracking records
  Written annual review
  Residency requirement
  Required forms for the PhD
  BS to PhD


 
 
 
 

WELCOME

Welcome to the Department of Geography at Florida State University.

The discipline of geography to us means understanding the critical role of spatial reasoning for representing and explaining our rapidly changing world. The Department of Geography at The Florida State University offers graduate degree programs at the masterís and doctoral levels designed to equip students with the technical skills and intellectual creativity required in a changing labor market, a proverbial balance between geographic methods and "the geographical imagination." We offer three specific degrees:

Both a thesis and non-thesis master's degree in Geography.  These master' programs are designed to provide students with training in geographic concepts, techniques, and analytical skills.

An applied non-thesis master's degree in Geographic Information Science that can be completed within one year (three semesters). It is designed to provide students with GIS skills in demand on the job market. It is the only one-year applied professional Master's degree in GISci in the Southeast.

A doctoral degree in Geography designed to provide students with the methodological skills and theoretical perspectives necessary for undertaking independent, analytical research.

 

USE OF THIS GUIDE

This handbook serves as a guide for new and current students as well as those wanting more information about our graduate program. Very useful information is also provided by the FSU Graduate Bulletin , much of which is not covered in detail in this guide. Other helpful sites include the FSU Graduate School, the FSU Registrar's Office, the FSU Financial Aid Office,   the FSU Department of Geography website, and the FSU Graduate Student Handbook


 

Department of Geography general procedures and policies


 
Academic tracking

Students are responsible for adhering to the guidelines communicated in this document. Faculty will also monitor student progress, but the student is ultimately responsible for fulfilling the curriculum requirements for the degree. Lack of timely progress through a graduate program can result in loss of funding and/or dismissal from the department. Students writing theses and dissertations are expected to develop a research proposal in consultation with faculty and their major professor. However, it is the student's responsibility to initiate and refine this proposal until it is at a level of proficiency that professional exchange and mentoring can take place. Masters students who cannot develop an adequate thesis proposal are encouraged to take a non-thesis masters degree. PhD students who cannot develop a scholarly dissertation proposal will be diverted to the masters degree program. It is not the responsibility of major professors or committee members to compose thesis or dissertation proposals for students. It is a collaborative process that requires students to be engaged with scholarly debates and techniques, and to possess the organizational ability, the communication skills, and the commitment to complete an independent research project.

 

Advising

MSGIS students are not required to have a major professors who serves as an advisor. For advisement, MSGIS students should contact any of GIS-affiliated faculty. MS non-thesis students do not require a major professor and should direct their questions to the appropriate faculty or the Graduate Director. Masters students intending to do a thesis should have a committee formed by the end of the second semester of attendance. PhD students are admitted on the basis that their stated research interests have a degree of overlap with one or more faculty members. New PhD students should have a major professor before the end of the semester following a year of matriculation. Faculty are not obligated to accept PhD or Master's thesis students by virtue of the student's preference. Students must be accepted by faculty pending communication of research interests, evidence of scholarly potential after admission, development of a workable dissertation proposal, and maintenance of good academic standing in the program.



 
Departmental assistantships

The Department offers a limited number of graduate assistantships. These require students to perform twenty hours of work per week for the Department as well as registering for at least nine credit hours per semester. In return, students receive in-state and out-of-state tuition waivers and a nine-month stipend of $16,000 (the rate for the 2014-2015 academic year). Work assignments for half-time assistantship holders typically involve having full responsibility for teaching one course, assisting faculty in teaching or conducting research, or managing departmental computer facilities.

Departmental assistantships are presently reserved for doctoral students. When funding offers are made, doctoral students are given an offer for three years with the condition that the Department reserves the right to withdraw funding due to studentís poor performance (in studies or in performance of work duties) or to unforeseeable changes in Department finances. Doctoral students can extend their funding for a fourth year if funds allow and progress has been made toward the completion of the degree.

Some students may begin the program as self-funded or with funding provided by sources outside of the department and/or university. In these cases, the Department does not guarantee departmental funding. If the students seeks funds from the department , (s)he must notify the Graduate Director by the end of January so that (s)he will be considered along with incoming students for funding. Summer funding for course instruction ($2,500 per course for Summer 2015) is provided whenever possible.

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy requires that out-of-state U.S. residents on assistantships must fill out paperwork after their first year to become Florida residents. This change-of-status reduces the cost of the Collegeís tuition waiver as well as studentís out-of-pocket fees (which are not covered by tuition waivers). Failure to obtain instate residency may result in loss of funding. See Residency.

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy also mandates that tuition waivers can be used for courses outside the College only if the course content is closely related to the student's plan of study in geography (e.g., a biology course for a student writing a biogeography-based dissertation).

The IRS has ruled that student assistantships are not tax exempt. However, some foreign countries have treaties with the U.S., and individuals from those countries may be tax-exempt. Questions about taxes (especially prior returns) should be directed to the Internal Revenue Service.


 


Departmental contacts


Current Graduate Director - Tingting Zhao
Departmental Chair - Victor Mesev


 

Forms for MS thesis and PhD dissertation

All Thesis and Dissertation forms can now be found on the Office of Graduate Studies Blackboard website. To access these forms, students should log in to their Blackboard (https://campus.fsu.edu) accounts and click on "Graduate School" under the "My Organizations" tab. Faculty and Staff can access these forms by clicking a similar link under their "My Organizations" tab.

Copies of these forms have also been downloaded and posted to the "Geography Graduate Students" site on your Blackboard home page under "My Organizations".

Forms are also available through the FSU Registrar.


 

Financial aid, fellowships, awards

For more information, refer to the Student Financial Services Website for federal and private programs to provide funds for higher education.

Many of the following sources of financial assistance are posted from the FSU Graduate School.

Doctoral students from states in the American South without a Geography Ph.D. program (currently Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Virginia) can apply to pay Florida instate tuition rates through the Southern Regional Education Boardís Academic Common Market program.

International students should check to see if their country participates in the FSU Linkage program. Email the respective linkage contact to inquire about the application process.

There are other ways to reduce the cost of tuition at FSU. Employees of the state government of Florida may be able to use the stateís tuition waiver program, which allows state government employees to sign up for six credit hours of classes per semester free of charge in the Masterís or Doctoral program. FSU employees may also sign up for six credit hours of classes per semester for free.

Ma
sterís and Doctoral students who are permanent residents of countries or territories in Latin America and the Caribbean can apply for an FSU Latin American and Caribbean scholarship, which allows students from these areas to attend FSU at instate tuition rates.

The FSU Graduate School offers several other fellowships, including the Graduate School Legacy Fellowship, Fellows Society Adelaide Wilson Fellowship, International Dissertation Semester Research Fellowship, Henderson Family Fellowship, McKnight Doctoral Fellowship, McNair Scholars Fellowship, FAMU Feeder Fellowshi, and Dissertation Research Grants.

Every year, the DeVoe L. Moore Center for the Study of Critical Issues in Economic Policy and Government sponsors a dissertation fellowship competition open to doctoral students in the College of Social Sciences who have been admitted to candidacy. Students writing dissertations on subjects related to the Centerís mission are encouraged to apply, although preference will be given to dissertations evaluating the impacts of state and local regulations. The Fellowship offers an $20,000 stipend for 12 months, during which time the recipient is to devote full time to dissertation research.


 

Full-time loads

Twelve hours per semester constitute a full-time load for unfunded graduate students in the spring and fall. For doctoral students on assistantships, nine hours per semester constitutes a full-time load in the spring and in the fall. The maximum number of hours a graduate student may carry without special permission is fifteen.

All funded students should post nine hours of course credit on their registration screen during the first registration window and maintain nine hours throughout the period leading up to the start of the semester. This will insure that your tuition waiver will be awarded. If you have less than nine hours posted to your registration at any time, you may not receive your tuition waiver.

Federal guidelines require that international students be enrolled full-time. Full time for international students is 9 credit hours per semester.

Students who previously received or who are currently receiving financial aid and who are not prepared to begin repaying student loans MUST be registered for a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester. This standard is determined by the federal government.

Full time for Summer Term A is nine hours for students on assistantships. Funded full time for Summer Term B or C is five hours. Funded students enrolling in Term A and Term B or C are required to maintain the full-time status while on an assistantship.

During the summer, if you are on financial aid (obtained through FAFSA) a full-time load is six hours instead of five. If you want the full amount of your loans you must sign up for either Term A (whole summer) or one class in each of the two short terms, B and C.

Masterís Students:
Prior to completion of required coursework and 6 hours of thesis (if enrolled in a thesis masterís program) a full-time masterís student must enroll for at least 9 to 12 hours per semester. Students receiving assistantships (e.g., RAs and TAs receiving a stipend and waiver) must enroll for a minimum of 9 hours and students on fellowships (internal or external) must enroll for at least 9 to 12 hours as stipulated by the fellowship requirements. Domestic masterís students without an assistantship or fellowship may opt for part-time status with the approval of their program. Federal guidelines require that international students be enrolled full-time.

After completion of required coursework and 6 hours of thesis (if enrolled in a thesis masterís program) full-time status requires that a masterís student must enroll for a minimum of 3 hours per semester (of which at least 2 must be thesis hours) until completion of the degree. Students receiving assistantships (e.g., RAs and TAs receiving a stipend and waiver) must enroll for a minimum of 9 hours (of which at least 2 must be thesis hours) and students on fellowships (internal or external) must enroll for at least 9 to 12 hours (of which at least 2 must be thesis hours) as stipulated by the fellowship requirements. Domestic doctoral students without an assistantship or fellowship may opt for part-time status with the approval of their program in which case they must enroll for a minimum of 2 thesis hours. To receive financial aid, students must meet the minimum enrollment requirement of 6 credit hours. Federal guidelines require that international students be enrolled full-time.

Doctoral Students:
Prior to completion of preliminary examination and 24 hours of dissertation a full-time doctoral student must enroll for at least 9 to 12 hours per semester. Students receiving assistantships (e.g., RAs and TAs receiving a stipend and waiver) must enroll for a minimum of 9 hours and students on fellowships (internal or external) must enroll for at least 9 to 12 hours as stipulated by the fellowship requirements. Domestic doctoral students without an assistantship or fellowship may opt for part-time status with the approval of their program. Federal guidelines require that international students be enrolled full-time.

After completion of preliminary examination and 24 hours of dissertation full-time status requires that a doctoral student must enroll for a minimum of 3 hours per semester (of which at least 2 must be dissertation hours) until completion of the degree. Students receiving assistantships (e.g., RAs and TAs receiving a stipend and waiver) must enroll for a minimum of 9 hours (of which at least 2 must be dissertation hours) and students on fellowships (internal or external) must enroll for at least 9 to 12 hours (of which at least 2 must be dissertation hours) as stipulated by the fellowship requirements. Domestic doctoral students without an assistantship or fellowship may opt for part-time status with the approval of their program in which case they must enroll for a minimum of 2 dissertation hours. To receive financial aid, students must meet the minimum enrollment requirement of 6 credit hours. Federal guidelines require that international students be enrolled full-time.


 
Graduation

During the first two weeks of the term in which a candidate expects to receive a degree, application must be made for graduation by visiting the "Secure Apps" section of the Blackboard site. For additional information, contact the Office of the Registrar


 
 

Teaching guidelines

Students wishing to teach as part of their assistantship are required to have a MS degree. Instructors must hold a PhD to teach at the graduate level. The standard appointment for an assistantship is twenty hours per week and it is expected that instructors should spend this time in teaching-related tasks. The instructor of record writes the syllabus, all lectures, homework assignments and examinations.

This is the Department of Geography outline of guidelines for teaching assistants. It supplements the university teaching manual available at http://distance.fsu.edu/instructors/instruction-fsu-guide-teaching-learning-practices. More information on teaching policies is available at http://fda.fsu.edu/content/download/21184/136846/ImportantPolicies13.pdf.

For students acting as instructors of record:

Syllabus
The syllabus is the most important piece of paper(s) the TA will hand out all semester. It represents a contract between the students and the TA. As a result, the syllabus should contain as much information about the course as possible. University policy requires that a course syllabus be distributed at the beginning of the semester. All policies for the course should be explicitly stated in the syllabus including: how students will be evaluated, a grading scale and how the grading will be weighted for various assignments and tests; written objectives for the course; an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) statement, and a statement regarding academic integrity.

A list of textbooks and other materials needed for the course should be included. The TA should include his/her office hours on the syllabus as well as a phone number where she/he can be contacted. Include an e-mail address. Important dates, such as for the midterm and final examinations, should be listed. In short, if the syllabus is a good one, it will head off many potential problems by laying the rules out for everyone to see at the beginning of the semester. Each teaching assistant is required to have her/his syllabus and examinations reviewed by his/her supervisor.

It is also highly recommended that instructors include a statement of their policy and/or expectations regarding classroom conduct and missed work. Once the course has begun, no changes should be made to the syllabus that will substantially affect the implementation of the instructorís grading [evaluation] statement.

An attendance policy should be clearly stated in the syllabus. Students are expected to attend all of their scheduled University classes. The University reserves the right to deal at any time with individual cases of nonattendance. The effect of absences upon grades is determined by the instructor. Arranging to make up work missed because of legitimate class absence is the responsibility of the student. A student reported for excessive absence in any course may be required by the academic dean to drop the course with the grade of "F".

It is university policy that final examinations shall be given only during the final examination time specified for the course in the Schedule of Classes.

Other protocols for instructors of record
Set up a basic Blackboard site for communication with students before the start of the semester.

Set up a TEC classroom account before the start of the semester in order to use classroom audiovisual and computing resources.

The instructor of record calculates and assigns all grades, including submission of the final grades at the end of the semester. Final grade submission has a strict deadline and must be met. To access "Grade Roster Submission" go to the Secure Apps tab on your Blackboard account main page.

PhD students teaching for the first time should consult a faculty member in the semester before they teach so as to learn about ordering textbooks and writing a syllabus. Lecture notes may be available from your advisor, or another faculty or student who has taught the course. For a student teaching a course for the first time, obtaining a set of "skeleton" notes from which to build your curriculum is recommended.

TA's and faculty are on the payroll for at least two weeks prior to the start of every term, and are expected to use that time for class preparation and organization.

Teaching assistants are required to attend one of the Program for Instructional Excellence teaching conference at the start of their matriculation or prior to teaching. PIE attempts to offer workshops that will benefit both the new and the returning TA. These conferences are held in the Fall and the Spring semesters, a few days before the beginning of each semester. For more information regarding these conferences, contact the Program for Instructional Excellence, 408 Westcott, 644-8844.

All teaching assistants must set up office hours and be available during those hours for student meetings. Typically, for every hour spent in the classroom, the TA will have one office hour. Therefore, if the TA teaches a three credit hour class, she will schedule three hours in her office during the week. It is best to stagger these times somewhat to allow students with varying schedules to be able to drop by. If there are students who have conflicts with the scheduled hours, the TA should be flexible in setting up alternative meeting times.

Any TA who spends time in the classroom is required to administer the SUSSAI (student evaluation of teaching) forms EVERY semester that they teach.

Teaching evaluations for all graduate teaching assistants will be reviewed by faculty. TA should be prepared to accept closer supervision and direction if assigned to a new course and/or receives low evaluations. Consistently low scores on teaching evaluations are grounds for suspension of funding. Teaching assistants can be assigned to teach labs or to be the instructor of record for independent undergraduate sections.

Students who meet all of the following requirements are eligible for Departmental Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards. The student must be in good academic standing with the University; currently enrolled and actively pursuing a graduate degree in Geography at FSU; had full classroom teaching responsibility for a class in the previous spring and/or fall semester. TAs may receive multiple Departmental Outstanding Teaching Assistant awards throughout their tenure at FSU.

The University also presents a number of Outstanding Teaching Assistant awards each year. The TAs must be nominated by either their students or members of their departments.

The Department has a policy of dropping students who did not attend the first class of a term. At the first meeting of the term you should take roll, compare the roll against the official class roster (obtainable front the front office staff person) and pass on the names of those absent to front office.


 

University-wide Standards for Teaching Assistants at Florida State University

These are University-wide standards that any student must meet prior to assuming one of the various instructional roles. These are meant to be university-wide minimum standards; departments may adopt additional or more stringent standards. Graduate programs which do not use graduate students in instructional roles would not be affected by these standards. They are meant to cover the formal use of teaching assistants in course instruction. Extra help sessions and voluntary tutorials in addition to regular class meetings would not normally fall under these requirements.

Certification of General Teaching Competence

Each semester in accordance with guidelines of the Commission on Colleges (SACS) and the standards outlined in the following sections, the Academic Dean of each College is required to certify in writing to the Vice President of Faculty Development and Advancement and the Dean of The Graduate School that each student who serves as a teaching assistant (TA) in the classroom or online is competent to teach and for international teaching assistants (ITA) that they are also competent to teach in spoken English. (See SACS statement below.)

General

Administrative responsibility for the teaching assignment rests within the department in which the student is employed as a teaching assistant (TA). Each department is responsible for providing orientation, training, supervision and evaluation of its graduate student TAs, and for assigning a faculty member to work closely with the individual graduate student to assist him or her in carrying out teaching responsibilities and to facilitate professional development. There should be a departmental orientation for TAs prior to beginning their teaching responsibilities. It is also recommended that all TAs attend the fall orientation program sponsored by the Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) before beginning their teaching responsibilities.

It is recommended that each program have a discipline-specific teaching manual for its teaching assistants to supplement the university teaching manual, Instruction at FSU which can be viewed online at http://distance.fsu.edu/instructors/instruction-fsu-guide-teaching-learning-practices.

Graduate Assistantship Job Code

To monitor compliance with university policies and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements, it is imperative that the proper appointment classifications be used for teaching assistants. It is the responsibility of departments that employ graduate teaching assistants to establish the appropriate job code according to teaching responsibility. The Graduate School and the Human Resources Office will verify the requirements for each classification and are the offices to contact if there are any questions. Job codes can be accessed at http://hr.fsu.edu/PDF/Forms/compensation/NRA_Job_Codes.pdf.

As a general rule:

  • Levels 1–4: W9185 Graduate Assistant (Teaching) – Stipend (FLSA Exempt)
    This Graduate Assistant shall be classified as a degree-seeking graduate student who assists in the teaching function, but does not have primary responsibility for teaching. The appointee must be fully admitted to and meet the requirements of the University, be fully admitted to a graduate degree program, and be under the supervision of a faculty member. Examples: Graders, tutors, recitation leaders, lab supervisors, assistant to faculty instructor.
  • Levels 5–7: M9184 Graduate Teaching Assistant – Stipend (FLSA Exempt)
    This Graduate Teaching Assistant shall be classified as a degree-seeking graduate student who has a master's degree in the teaching discipline or eighteen graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline and performs primary teaching duties that are related to that student's academic program. The appointee must be admitted to and meet the requirements of the University, be fully admitted to a graduate degree program, and be under the supervision of an appropriate faculty member. Example: A graduate student having full instructional responsibilities for a credit class.

Minimum Requirements for Different Levels of Instruction (provided face-to-face or online)

  • Level 1: Grader
    • a program specific statement of standards for graders

  • Level 2: Proctor for Computerized Exams and Laboratories
    • undergraduate majoring in the discipline
    • specific instruction on proctoring exams and laboratories
    • attend training on Sexual Harassment, Academic Honor Policy, and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
    • supervision by the faculty member teaching the course

  • Level 3: Lab section
    • undergraduate majoring in the discipline specific instruction in laboratory demonstration
    • attend training on Sexual Harassment, Academic Honor Policy, and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
    • direct supervision by senior lab assistant/or faculty member in the teaching discipline
    • planned and periodic evaluations of the teaching assistant

  • Level 4: Recitation/discussion section
    • undergraduate degree in discipline or related field
    • some graduate work completed or currently enrolled
    • attend the TA Orientation/PIE Teaching Conference held each fall before the beginning of the semester or an equivalent
    • attend training on Sexual Harassment, Academic Honor Policy, and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
    • direct supervision by a faculty member in the teaching discipline
    • planned and periodic evaluations of the teaching assistant

Course level types 5–7 presume the teaching assistant is providing the primary instruction in the course.

  • Level 5: Lower-level course
    • eighteen hours of graduate work in teaching discipline
    • attend the TA Orientation/PIE Teaching Conference held each fall before the beginning of the semester which includes training on the following FSU teaching policies: Sexual Harassment Policy, Academic Honor Policy, American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Grading Policies, Textbook Adoption Procedure Policy, Syllabus Policy, Class Attendance Policy, Final Exam Policy, Copyright Law Regulations (Copyright Revision Act of 1976 "fair use"), and Course Evaluation Policy or an equivalent
    • student participation in a "teaching in the discipline" course or equivalent departmental orientation
    • direct supervision by a faculty member in the teaching discipline
    • planned and periodic evaluations of the teaching assistant

  • Level 6: Upper-level non-major non-liberal studies course
    • master's degree or equivalent
    • attend the TA Orientation/PIE Teaching Conference held each fall before the beginning of the semester which includes training on the following FSU teaching policies: Sexual Harassment Policy, Academic Honor Policy, American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Grading Policies, Textbook Adoption Procedure Policy, Syllabus Policy, Class Attendance Policy, Final Exam Policy, Copyright Law Regulations (Copyright Revision Act of 1976 "fair use"), and Course Evaluation Policy or an equivalent
    • student participation in a "teaching in the discipline" course or equivalent departmental orientation
    • direct supervision by a faculty member in the teaching discipline
    • planned and periodic evaluations of the teaching assistant

  • Level 7: Upper-level major course
    • master's degree or equivalent
    • enrolled in doctoral level coursework and strongly encouraged to have completed two semesters of doctoral level coursework
    • attend the TA Orientation/PIE Teaching Conference held each fall before the beginning of the semester which includes training on the following FSU teaching policies: Sexual Harassment Policy, Academic Honor Policy, American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Grading Policies, Textbook Adoption Procedure Policy, Syllabus Policy, Class Attendance Policy, Final Exam Policy, Copyright Law Regulations (Copyright Revision Act of 1976 "fair use"), and Course Evaluation Policy or an equivalent
    • student participation in a "teaching in the discipline" course or equivalent departmental orientation
    • direct supervision by a faculty member in the teaching discipline
    • planned and periodic evaluations of the teaching assistant

Certification of Spoken English for Graduate Teaching Assistants

As noted above, Academic Deans are required to certify to the Vice President of Faculty Development and Advancement and the Dean of The Graduate School that the TAs in the college are competent to teach. This statement should also include certification that all graduate TAs whose native language is not English are competent to teach in spoken English.

All international graduate students who are not native speakers of English, and who are going to be TAs, should take the SPEAK test when they arrive on campus (as noted below, students who scored 26 or higher on the speaking portion of the IBTOEFL may be exempted from taking the SPEAK test). The Center for Intensive English Studies (CIES) administers and scores the SPEAK test, CIES also offers courses in spoken English (EAP courses). The SPEAK test is administered several times in the week(s) prior to the beginning of each semester, and the scores are available within three to four days of the date the test is administered. Departments are urged to take advantage of this opportunity to receive an initial estimate of speaking ability. In addition, the SPEAK is routinely administered as an end-of-term evaluation for students enrolled in EAP courses. TAs not enrolled in EAP courses may also take the test at that time. Course offerings, as well as test dates for SPEAK tests, are published in fliers distributed periodically to departments, as well as via e-mail to TA coordinators. This information is also available on the CIES Web site at http://www.cies.fsu.edu.

The standards for certification of spoken English are as follows:

  • A score of 50 or higher on the SPEAK test, or 26 or higher on the speaking portion of the IBTOEFL, certifies a student to teach at any level.
  • A score of 45 on SPEAK, or 23–24 on the Speaking section of TOEFL iBT, certifies a student to teach at levels 1 and 2; and to teach at levels 3 and 4 for up to two semesters if also concurrently enrolled in an appropriate CIES English language course. By no later than the end of these two semesters, if the student's skills have not improved sufficiently to achieve a score of 50 on the SPEAK exam, the student will be eligible to only teach at levels 1 and 2. The student will only be allowed to teach at levels 3–7 by meeting at least one of the following two criteria:
    • Achieve a score of 50 on SPEAK.
    • Enroll in Advanced Spoken English for ITAs (EAP 4831) and score 90 or better in the course.
  • Student's scoring 40 or below on SPEAK should enroll in the appropriate CIES English language course(s) if the goal is to be a TA. Once a 45 on SPEAK is achieved such a student will be certified to teach at levels 1 and 2; and to teach at levels 3 and 4 for up to two semesters if also concurrently enrolled in an appropriate CIES English language course. By no later than the end of these two semesters, if the student's skills have not improved sufficiently to achieve a score of 50 on the SPEAK exam, the student will be eligible to only teach at levels 1 and 2. The student will only be allowed to teach at levels 3–7 by meeting at least one of the following two criteria:
    • Achieve a score of 50 on SPEAK.
    • Enroll in Advanced Spoken English for ITAs (EAP 4831) and score 90 or better in the course.
  • The standard for international students serving as ITAs in Modern Language and Linguistics is 45 (SPEAK) or 23 (TOEFL) if the student is teaching a course in their native language.

In unique instances, a Department Chair or Dean may appeal the application of these standards by submitting a request to the Dean of The Graduate School. The Dean of The Graduate School will convene a committee to consider the request. The committee will consist of the Director of the FSU Center for Intensive English Studies, the Chair (or designee) of the Undergraduate Policy Committee, the person making the appeal, and the Dean of The Graduate School.

Equivalent Previous Experience and Emergencies:

With the exception of the eighteen-hours-in-the-discipline rule for primary instruction and in accordance with guidelines provided by the Commission on Colleges (SACS), the following options will be available to deal with special circumstances:

  • A student who through previous preparation or teaching experience has demonstrated knowledge and strong teaching skills can be exempt from some of the requirements in 3–7, as appropriate, by certification of the program chair.

In an emergency, a department may appoint a graduate teaching assistant who has not met all the University-wide requirements for that level of appointment if there is an assurance that the student will meet the requirements by the end of the term in which the student is teaching.

SACS Statement

Graduate teaching assistants: master's degree in the teaching discipline or eighteen graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline, direct supervision by a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline, regular in-service training, and planned and periodic evaluations. [Reference: Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS); Commission guidelines "Faculty Credentials" (Adopted Dec. 2006)].

Sexual Harassment, Academic Honor Policy and FERPA policies and equivalency

University policy on sexual harassment training is provided by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance (EOC) within Human Resources (http://www.hr.fsu.edu), the Academic Honor Policy training is offered by the Office of the Vice President of Faculty Development and Advancement (http://fda.fsu.edu/) and the FERPA training is offered by the Office of the University Registrar (http://registrar.fsu.edu/). These offices provide training at the fall TA Orientation/PIE Teaching Conference. In addition PIE facilitates sessions in the spring usually during the second week of classes.

Program for Instructional Excellence Workshops

The Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) supports and complements departmental TA training programs. To prepare TAs for immediate undergraduate classroom responsibilities, PIE conducts an annual two day teaching conference the Wednesday and Thursday before classes start in the Fall semester. The conference is free to participants and focuses on policies and services at FSU as they relate to teaching. PIE offers workshops on teaching during the Fall and Spring semesters and an online training series called the "Basics of Teaching @ FSU". PIE also assists departments in developing TA departmental training programs.


 
Tuition waiver policies

Instate tuition waivers:
Students receiving teaching or research assistantships for at least one-quarter time or who are on a fellowship are eligible for tuition waivers. These provide for a waiver of the instate tuition fees only up to nine credit hours. Students are still responsible for activity, athletic, health fees, etc.

Out-of-state tuition waivers:
Students receiving teaching or research assistantships for at least one-quarter time or who are on a fellowship are eligible for out-of-state tuition waivers up to nine credit hours. Students are still responsible for activity, athletic, health fees, etc. College of Social Sciences policy requires that funded out-of-state US residents fill out paperwork after their first year to become Florida residents. This change-of-status reduces the cost of the Collegeís tuition waiver as well as studentís out-of-pocket fees (which are not covered by tuition waivers). Failure to obtain instate residency may result in loss of funding.

Students with tuition waivers who drop classes after drop-add may be responsible for paying back tuition funds.  

Undergraduate courses can be covered by tuition waivers if approved by your major professor or the Graduate Director. This does not mean that the course can automatically be counted toward a graduate degree.

Duel compensation

The stipend provided to graduate students is intended to facilitate educational and research progress. Department of Geography strongly discourages additional, unrelated, outside employment since it reduces a student's role in contributing to the departmental graduate program, and also may be construed as indicative of a lack of commitment to a student's training.

However, it is recognized that special, extenuating circumstances occur, and provisions are given for graduate teaching or research assistants. Such a student finding it necessary to obtain supplementary, outside employment must provide justification and obtain approval of his/her major professor, Graduate Director, and Chair.

Without the necessary approvals, it is inappropriate to be a full-time student on an assistantship and also receive outside employment. Unapproved dual employment could jeopardize eligibility for continued departmental funding support.

A copy of the duel employment application form can be accessed here.


 

Important information for new and prospective students


Apply to the FSU Department of Geography (Read Geography Department overview before starting)
Timeline for Prospective Graduate Students
Fact sheet - New domestic students
Fact sheet - New international students
New Graduate Student Checklist

For information not covered in this handbook see the FSU Graduate Bulletin. Other helpful sites include the FSU Graduate School, the FSU Registrar's Office, the FSU Financial Aid Office and the website for the FSU Department of Geography. 


 
 
Admission policies

Applicants must hold a degree from an accredited college or universityóa baccalaureate in the case of students entering the master's program and a master's degree in the case of applicants to the doctoral program (note that on rare occasions, the Graduate Committee may reclassify master's applicants as doctoral applicants and vice versa based on its assessment of the student's preparedness for conducting doctoral-level studies). Individuals holding degrees in disciplines other than Geography are welcome to apply but may need to make up deficiencies as judged by the Graduate Director and their major professor. Minimum requirements for admission are a 3.0 grade point average in upper-level (Junior and Senior year) collegiate course work and at least 50 percentile on each of the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE test. Students whose native language is not English must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score oft 550 on the paper-based test or 80 on the Internet-based test.

Please note that consideration for admission cannot be assessed until a full application has been received.


 
Application procedures

The formal application for US citizens and international applicants is prepared and submitted online. To begin the application process, navigate to http://www.coss.fsu.edu/geography/app/app.htm. Read the instructions on this page for all details on how to apply. Essentially, you will complete an online application form, upload supporting documents (a statement of intent, a writing sample, a resume or vitae) and request letters of reference via email from your letter writers. All of these steps are completed through the ApplyYourself online application system. A link to the AY site is provided on the Department of Geography Admissions web page.

Once you have formally submitted your application, FSU staff will check for its completeness and notify you of any missing documents. Within a couple weeks of submitting your application in AY you will receive an email from the FSU Office of Admissions requesting payment of the application fee. Your application is considered ready for an admission decision when 1) this fee has been paid, 2) a complete application has been received in AY, 3) your formal GRE scores have been received, and 4) all of your pertinent transcripts have arrived.


 
Application deadlines

Application for admission is usually made for the Fall term. A smaller number of students are accepted in the spring. All international applicants should review the information on the FSU International Center website. Departmental funding decisions for international as well as domestic students will not be made until a completed application has been received and the student formally admitted.

US residents,
all master's and doctoral degree applicants:
Fall deadline: January 15 for full priority; applications accepted until July 1.
Spring deadline: Nov 1

International students, all master's and doctoral degree applicants:
Fall deadline:
December 15
Spring deadline: September 15


 
Advising for incoming students

Advising for new graduate students will formally commence until the week before start of fall semester classes. New student registration windows are not open until this time, and course offerings typically change in the weeks leading up to the start of a new semester.

The departmental orientation session held for new students during the week before the start of the fall semester will typically cover most of the advising questions new students present.

MSGIS students are not required to have a major professor and should contact any of the GIS-affiliated faculty for advising no earlier than the week before classes start.

MS students seeking the non-thesis degree are not required to have a major professor and should contact the faculty member most pertinent to the question at hand or consult with the Graduate Director. New student advising should not commence until the week before the fall semester classes begins.

New MS thesis and PhD students should contact faculty working in their area of research interest or the Graduate Director.

 

Building and computer room access

To gain card swipe access to the building, you must first obtain your FSUID number and your FSUSN. To access these numbers, you must have obtained your FSU ID card created your email account. Go to University Information Technology Services to activate your email account.

Email the 16-digit number on the front of your FSU Card (not your library number) and your FSUSN to the Graduate Director.

To access your FSUSN you will first need to have an FSU email account. Your FSUSN is not your SSN, but a number the university is using in place of your SSN as a means of insuring the security of your private information.

Below are instructions to see your own FSUSN:
1. Log into Blackboard
2. Click the Secure Apps tab
3. Read and accept the Secure Applications Policy
4. Click the FSUID Identity Management link
5. From Quick Links, click See Your FSUSN
6. Type your FSUID and password (i.e. your Blackboard username/password)
7. Click Submit
8. Your FSUSN appears in a yellow box


 

Costs for attendance

Student Credit Hours/Fees (2013-2014 tuition rate; may be subject to increase):

Resident Rate per Credit Hour: $403.51 + Fees: $74.19 = $477.70
Non-Resident Rate per Credit Hour: $1,004.85 + Fees: $104.25 = $1,109.10

For more information, refer to the Student Financial Services Website


Departmental assistantships

For new students seeking competitive departmental assistantships, please include a request in your formally submitted statement of intent essay required as part of your application. State any teaching experience you may have had and what courses you would be interested in teaching. Assistantship funding is presently held for PhD track students only; no MS or MSGIS students are typically funded on departmental assistantships.
 

Departmental listserv - GEOGRADS

The department maintains a listserv for the dissemination of pertinent information for graduate students. In order to join the list, send an email request to Audrey Nichols. Please use your FSU email account to send this request.


FSUCard

With your FSUCard (your university photo id), you can pay your fees, obtain a parking permit to park on campus, obtain an FSU email account, use facilities across campus, such as the Leach Center and the Student Life Cinema, ride the Star Metro city buses for free, and receive discounts in various establishments throughout Tallahassee. Get your FSUCard immediately upon arrival

First, go to the FSUCard Center website. You will find the office hours, where the FSUCard Center is located and what you need to bring with you to get a card. There will be a $10 fee which you will pay when you pay your course registration fees. You must be physically present on campus to get your card if you are admitted to a degree program that is offered on site. It is not possible to get your card through the Web or through telephone service.


 

FSUID and FSU Email Accounts

Once you obtain your FSUCard, you can activate your FSUID and create a pin to access your FSU email account, course registration, and the information posted on your Blackboard home page (https://campus.fsu.edu). Much of the business you will conduct with the University will be done through Blackboard. Academic and non-academic resources, course information, and other tools are housed within your Blackboard home page under the "Secure Apps" tab.

To activate your FSUID and obtain and FSU email address go to the University Information Technology Services website. For more information about setting up your email account and accessing FSU's web/computer resources view the Guide to Computing Resources.

Your FSU Email account is the official form of communication for the University as well as for many academic programs. You may forward e-mail from your FSU email address to your personal email address. FSU email accounts can be accessed from anywhere in the world by using the FSU Webmail system.

If you have trouble establishing your FSUID and activating your FSU Email account contact the FSU Technology Help Desk at (850) 644-HELP.


 

FSUSN

The FSUSN is a number that replaces the use of your Social Security number (SSN). It has been implemented in order to protect the security of your SSN.
Below are instructions to see your own FSUSN:

1. Log into Blackboard
2. Click the Secure Apps tab
3. Read and accept the Secure Applications Policy
4. Click the FSUID Identity Management link
5. From Quick Links, click See Your FSUSN
6. Type your FSUID and password (i.e. your Blackboard username/password)
7. Click Submit
8. Your FSUSN appears in a yellow box


 

Geography and Environmental Studies Student Association (GESSA)

GESSA is made up of both undergraduate and graduate students that are interested in geography and/or environmental studies. This student-led organization works to foster a good working community within the Department of Geography by increasing communication between faculty and students, organizing trips to conferences, and sponsoring various social events. An organizational meeting is typically held at the start of the Fall semester for new students.

Their web site provides tips for new students, and one of their members has also made a Google open map for you to learn more about the Tallahassee area. You can contribute to the content on the map by following the instructions from Google.


 
Health insurance

Effective fall 2007, ALL new graduate students are required to show proof of adequate health insurance, either purchased through FSU or through comparable coverage as determined by Thagard Student Health Center. For insurance information including coverage and cost, go to the Thagard Student Health Center website or call 850-644-4250.

The Graduate School offers qualifying graduate assistants a supplement towards the purchase of the University-sponsored health insurance and will be applied at the time of purchase. For more information visit the FSU Graduate School informational page on health insurance . If purchasing FSU insurance, buy as far in advance as you can in order to qualify for the supplement. Funds are on a first come first serve basis.


 

Keys

Office space is made available to PhD students and then MS students as space permits. See the front office staff person in Rm 323 of Bellamy, Jessie Marshall, to order an office key. After a waiting period of two days, you may pick up the key at the Key Bank/Service Center, 150 MMA (Mendenhall Bldg A) off of Wildwood Drive. For access to your carrel or office until you get your key, also see Christina Dippre in the front office for assistance. A small deposit may need to pick up your key from the key bank.


 

Mailboxes - Departmental

PhD students are given shared mailbox space in the main departmental office in Room 323 Bellamy The mailing address is:

Department of Geography
Room 323 Bellamy Building
113 Collegiate Loop
PO Box 3062190
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL
32306-2190


 

New graduate student orientation sessions

At the beginning of the fall semester the Graduate Director meets with all new graduate students to acquaint them more fully with the program. The meeting is designed to welcome students to the department and answer provide students with information vital to their success in graduate school. Every incoming graduate student is expected to attend this meeting. Notification of the date and time of the meeting will be sent to you in advance. It is typically held the week before classes start. Here are the Powerpoint slides from the Fall 2013 orientation session.

In addition to a departmental orientation, the FSU Graduate School offers a New Graduate Student Orientation. The goals of the orientation are to provide students with an understanding of what to expect academically and financially as graduate students; describe the professional ethics associated with graduate research and creative endeavors; and highlight FSU's academic and social opportunities and services available to graduate students. Registration is required to attend.


 
Office assignments and policies

Funded PhD student who are teaching are given first priority for office space. PhD students are prioritized over MS students for office space; however, MS students will be assigned space if PhD students do not use the space allocated to them. please notify the Graduate Director if you need office space, decide to vacate your office or use it infrequently, or trade spaces with another student. Key orders can be placed in the front office. A small deposit may need to pick up your key from the key bank.
 
Parking

To park on campus, each vehicle is required to have a parking permit. To obtain a permit by filling out an online parking permit application and to view all of the parking regulations and visit the FSU Parking and Transportation website. Students must have a valid FSUCard to obtain a "W" student parking permit. Permits are valid for one year: September 1 through the following August 31. Permits become available the third week in August. It is not necessary to pay for the permit at the time of procurement, as it is charged to the student via the Transportation Access Fee on the tuition bill. For a map on where to park on campus, visit http://parking.fsu.edu/PMap/ParkMap.asp.
 
Registration

Registration is conducted by telephone or via the Internet at specified registration windows for all new and continuing students. Course registration information, including proposed course listings, is available in myFSU Student Central's Student Center several months before a semester begins. Refer to the Registrarís website for important registration and class information. Failure to register by university deadlines will result in additional fees.


 
Residency

Graduate students on departmental assistants who are US citizens and who have lived in Florida for a twelve-month period prior to their first day of classes may apply for instate residency. Steps to be taken include registering to vote, obtaining a Florida drivers license, and other tasks that must be completed before the first day of classes. See this memorandum for complete information.

During the summer after your first year, usually before July 31st, you will turn in the Declaration of Domicile and all supporting papers to the FSU Residency Office in the Registrar's Office in University Center. You will also be required to bring proof of employment. If you are on a departmental assistantship, print out the Graduate Assistant Verification Form and bring it to the Geography Graduate Director in mid-July of the first summer of your matriculation. This form will be signed and annotated by the Graduate Director. Once this form is complete, and all your supporting papers are assembled, deliver them in person to the Registrar's Office. The Graduate Director can refer you to other students who have gone through this process successfully.

If you are not 24 years old during your first year of graduate school, you may be asked to bring in your parentís income tax statement to prove your independent status.


 
Transfer credit

The University has rules regarding transfer of credits from before you were an admitted student. If you have taken graduate-level classes at FSU prior to entering the degree program you may retroactively credit up to twelve hours from these toward your degree. If you have taken graduate-level classes at another institution prior to entering the degree program at FSU, you may retroactively credit up to six hours.

For final approval, all transfer credit must (1) be approved by the student's advisor, the Graduate Director, and the Graduate Committee when necessary, (2) be evaluated as graduate work by the evaluation section of the Admissions Office of Florida State University, and (3) have been completed with grades of 3.0 (B) or better.

How to apply for credit:

In consultation with your advisor compose an email containing the details below. Send this to the Graduate Director who will then initiate the process of making a decision on its acceptance. The Graduate Director will also file this email in your permanent record to document the approval (or disapproval) of any transfer credit.

1. What course to give credit for: type in the full course titles/numbers of the FSU Department of Geography courses you wish to receive credit for. Include the category (required, elective, methods) for this course when appropriate.

2. What course will be applied toward this credit: write up the course titles/numbers from other institutions/degree programs that apply. State the full university name, department, and instructor for these courses, when you took them, and the grade received.

3. Please provide a short description of the courses in (#2) taken from the the course catalog or from a syllabus of the institution where you took the courses.

Again, application for credit does not mean all requests will be granted. Final decisions will be made by your advisor, the Graduate Director and/or the Graduate Committee members.


 


Graduate Degrees, Policies, and Curriculum

 

Academic standards

Any course in which a graduate student receives less than a B- will not count toward a graduate degree. Core courses will not count toward a geography graduate degree if a student receives less that a B.


 
Academic probation

A graduate student whose cumulative grade point average for courses taken at Florida State University falls below 3.0 at the end of a term will be placed on academic probation. If a 3.0 cumulative grade point average is not attained by the end of the next full term of enrollment, the student will not be permitted to re-register for graduate study. However, the student's major professor may petition the academic dean and the dean of Graduate Studies for an exception to this regulation, but under no circumstances will a student be allowed more than one additional term of probation. After one probationary period a student whose average falls within the probationary range will be automatically dismissed.


 
Directed independent study (DIS) GEO-5908

Directed independent study courses are of specialized nature jointly designed by a graduate student and faculty member concerning a particular topic. While students may take an unlimited number of DIS courses during their graduate career, only six hours of DIS course credit may be counted towards the minimum required number of course credit hours for the MS non-thesis and thesis degree. PhD students are strongly suggested to cap the DIS hours they wish to apply toward graduation at nine (9). MSGIS students cannot apply DIS courses toward their degree requirements except in approved cases where 5908 credit is being used to replace Introductory GIS (GIS 5101) and/or Introductory Remote Sensing (GIS 5035) labs because the student took one or both of these courses at FSU (or elsewhere) as an undergraduate. In such cases, no more than (2) 5908 credits would appear on the student transcript. These situations should be cleared with the graduate director in advance.

All DIS courses use the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading system.


 

Incomplete grades

A student who is passing a course but has not completed all of the required work in the course at the end of the term may, in exceptional cases and with the permission of the instructor, be assigned a grade of "I". This may include excused absences from final examinations. Grades of "I" are not assigned to any courses if a student withdraws from the University, and should be used only in those exceptional cases when a student, for reasons beyond his or her control, has failed to complete a well-defined portion of the course. An "I" or an "NG" not removed by the end of the next term in which the student is enrolled will be recorded as "IE" or "GE". Both "IE" and "GE" compute as an "F" in grade point average calculations. Students may not reregister for courses in which incomplete grades ("I") or no grade ("NG") have been received. If they do so, the original "I" or "NG" will automatically be changed to "F". This "F" grade is not repeatable and is so indicated on the student's permanent record.

An "I" will be changed to a final grade at the time the student completes the required work. Make sure the instructor submits a change of grade form.

If you are enrolled in the semester after you received an Incomplete, and you anticipate that you will not complete the work needed to makeup your Incomplete before this next semester ends, please see the instructor and ask them to submit an Incomplete Extension form. If you do not submit this form, your grade will revert to an "F" equivalent, and jeopardize your GPA.


 

S/U coursework

With the permission of the major professor or chair of the student's major department, a student may enroll in as many as six (6) semester hours during the master's degree program or up to nine (9) semester hours during the doctoral program on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. A student's registration in a course under the S/U option must be indicated on the proper form to the Office of the University Registrar from the major professor or chair of the student's major department. A student may change to a letter-grade (A, B, C) or S/U basis during the first seven weeks of a term. Please note that some courses are offered for S/U grade only and are not available for a letter grade.

Semester hour restrictions as stated above on the S/U option do not apply to courses normally offered on the basis of the S/U grading system, including courses in the College of Law for students of other graduate programs. Such hours are exempt from the total stipulated as permissible in the preceding paragraph.

In individual study, thesis, dissertation, recital, supervised research, and internship credit, as well as for courses taken on the S/U option, the assigned grade will be "S" (satisfactory) or "U" (unsatisfactory). Although course hours with a grade of "S" can be credited toward a degree, the "S" and "U" grades are not used in determining grade averages for admission to candidacy or for conferral of a degree.


 
Supervised Teaching and Supervised Research coursework

Credits earned in GEO 5918 (Supervised Research) or GEO 5947 (Supervised Teaching) may not be counted towards the total credit hours required for graduation. Students may register for a supervised teaching course when they assume departmental teaching responsibilities. These courses may be repeated for credit up to a maximum of 3 credits.


 
Applied Masters of Science in Geographic Information Science

The Master's of Science (M.S.) program in Geographical Information Science (GISc) is aimed at individuals who wish to cultivate an understanding of geospatial technologies in mapping and data analysis. Students seeking the MS in GISc will learn how to describe, analyze, and communicate spatial patterns and processes, both in theory and in practice. The focus is on the understanding of GISc fundamentals and the applications of geographic information technologies (GISc, remote sensing, spatial statistics, and database management) to support environmental analysis, resource management, urban and regional planning, and socio-economic analysis. The MS in GISc will help meet the regional and local demand for technical operators, developers, and managers of geospatial information across a broad range of applications.

  MSGIS Program of Study
Coursework for the applied master's option consists of a minimum of 32 credit hours, including six hours in a capstone project. This option allows students to complete their degree in 12 months, if desired.

Core courses

Three core courses (11 credit hours) are required. They are designed to provide a foundation for investigating geographic issues. Students must earn a grade of "B" or better in each of the following core courses:

GIS 5034 Remote Sensing with Lab (4)
GIS 5101 Geographic Information Systems with Lab (4)
GIS 5106 Advanced Geographic Information Systems (3)

Students who have taken courses similar to the core courses may petition for exemption. In such cases, the student should have earned a grade of 'B' or better in the course previously taken to be considered for exemption. For example, a student earning a grade of 'B-' for a previously taken Introductory GIS course would still have to take GIS 5101. Requests for required core course exemptions are considered by the Graduate Director in consultation with those teaching the pertinent required core course. If a student is exempted from a required core course, these credit hours must be made up in elective courses so that the total credit hours of Masterís coursework totals at least 32 hours.

Capstone Project
The capstone project is a 6-credit hour culminating experience to the program beyond the required course work. Candidates are required to demonstrate the familiarity with the tools of research and scholarship in geographic information science, the ability to work independently, and the ability to present the results of GIs-based analysis effectively. Upon approval, students can use a GIS internship as part or replacement of the capstone project. Capstone projects and internships are offered only in the summer terms and will be conducted under the direct supervision of a faculty member serving on the GIS Committee (Dr. Yang, Dr. Zhao, or Dr. Mesev).

Elective courses
In addition to the required courses, each student selects at least five elective courses (15 credit hours) from the list of courses below. Before enrolling in an elective course not on the list below or taught outside of the department, students should consult with one of the GIS Graduate Committee (Dr. Yang, Dr. Zhao, and Dr. Mesev). This is in part a partial list given that new courses are being developed and offered in our department and in other departments on campus.

GEO 5165 Quantitative Geography* (3)
GEO 5934 Advanced Quantitative Geography (3)
GIS 5038C Advanced Remote Sensing (3)
GIS 5111 Spatial Modeling in GIS (3)
GIS 5131 Geographic Visualization (3)
GIS 5305 GIS for Environmental Analysis and Modeling (3)
GIS 5400 GIS Applications in Social Sciences (3)

GEO 5115 Environmental Field Methods (3)
GEO 5934 Landscape Ecology (3)
GEO 5934 GIS Customization (3)
GEO5934 Programming in GIS (3)
GEO5934 Spatial Database (3)
GEO 5934 Environmental Change Modeling (3)
ISM 5206 Database Development and Management (3)
URP 5272 Urban & Regional Information Systems (3)
URP 5279 Urban & Regional Information Systems Practicum (3)

*Students who do not have adequate preparation for GEO 5165 (Quantitative Geography) will take GEO 4162C (Spatial Data Analysis) as a remedial course prior to taking Quantitative Geography. Graduate students taking Spatial Data Analysis must take the course as a regular 4000 level class and have it graded on an S/U basis. Credits earned from Spatial Data Analysis may not be applied to the minimum number of credits needed for the Masterís degree.

Students are not allowed to use a DIS to substitute any regular course in the MS-GIS program.

The University mandates that all masterís degrees must be completed within seven years of entry into a program.

 

Master's of Science with non-thesis option

The non-thesis option of the Master's of Science (MS) program is designed as a flexible course of study allowing the student to develop a specialized program tailored to the studentís interests in geography. Students entering this program generally seek the MS as a terminal degree. Those interested in using the MS program as a gateway to the Ph.D. program either at Florida State University or elsewhere are strongly encouraged to pursue the traditional MS thesis option.

  MS Non-thesis Program of Study
Coursework for the non-thesis option consists of a minimum of 32 credit hours.

Core courses

Three core courses (9 credit hours) are required. The core courses are designed to provide a solid foundation for investigating geographic issues and applying geographic methods. Students must earn a grade of "B" or better in each of the core
courses:

GEO 5058 Survey of Geographic Thought
GEO 5118 Geographic Research
GEO 5165 Quantitative Geography*

Requests for required core course exemptions are considered by the graduate program director, in consultation with those teaching the pertinent required core course. If a student is exempted from a required core course, these credit hours must be made up in elective courses so that the total credit hours of Masterís coursework totals at least 32 hours.

*Students who do not have adequate preparation for GEO 5165 (Quantitative Geography) will take GEO 4185 (Spatial Data Analysis) as a remedial course prior to taking Quantitative Geography. Graduate students taking Spatial Data Analysis must take the course as a regular 4000 level class and have it graded on an S/U basis. Credits earned from Spatial Data Analysis may not be applied to the minimum number of credits needed for the Masterís degree. If a student does not pass GEO 5165 Quantitative Methods with a B or higher, they may consult with the Graduate Coordinator about taking the course in another department. These outside courses can count toward the Quantitative Geography requirement only if the student has taken the course in Geography and made a B or lower: STA 5126 (Intro Applied Stats), URP 5211 (Planning Statistics), or EDF 5400 (Basic Descriptive and Inferential Statistics Applications).

Elective courses
In addition to the core courses, each student selects courses totaling at least 23 credit hours in consultation with her/his advisor. In combination with the three required core courses, the electives chosen should build towards an integrated program of study focusing on one or more major areas within the discipline. Although students may register for an unlimited number of credit hours of GEO 5908 (Directed Independent Study), no more than six credit hours of GEO 5908 may count towards the 32 credit course hour minimum for the MS degree. Students may take electives from departments throughout the University with the approval of the graduate director or their major advisor. Only 9 credits from these non-Geography courses may be counted toward elective credits. Up to 3 credit hours of language course work can be counted toward elective credit for the non-thesis MS Language courses must be taken for a letter grade and should be clearly relevant to the studentís professional plans. Credits earned in GEO 5918 (Supervised Research) or GEO 5947 (Supervised Teaching) may not be counted toward the total credit hours required for graduation.

The University mandates that all masterís degrees must be completed within seven years of entry into a program.

 

Master's of Science with thesis option
The thesis option of the Master's of Science (MS) program is designed to provide for and certify a student's mastery of the discipline. This requires both breadth of geographic knowledge, acquired through a range of coursework, and depth of experience, achieved through original research culminating in a thesis. Master's students planning to pursue a doctoral degree should take the thesis option. The Department offers both the Master's of Science (MS) and Master's of Arts (M.A.) degrees. Most students pursue the MS, but those interested in earning the MA degree should consult the FSU Graduate Bulletin for detailed requirements in language and the liberal arts. MS thesis degree seeking students are required to have a major professor declared by the end of their second semester. The timeline for completion of the MS with the thesis option is typically 2 to 3 years.

  MS thesis Program of Study
Coursework for the thesis option consists of a minimum of 24 credit hours plus a minimum of six thesis hours.

Core courses

Three core courses (9 credit hours) are required. The core courses are designed to provide a solid foundation for investigating geographic issues relating to social and environmental problems. Students must earn a grade of "B" or better in each of the core courses:

GEO 5058 Survey of Geographic Thought
GEO 5118 Geographic Research
GEO 5165 Quantitative Geography*

Two additional courses need to appear on your transcript in order to receive the MS degree with the thesis option: GEO 5971 Master's Thesis (6 hours total) and GEO 8976 Masters Thesis Defense. Thesis students will sign up for GEO 8976 in the semester they plan to defend their thesis.

Students who have taken courses similar to the core courses may petition for exemption. Requests for required core course exemptions are considered by the graduate program director, in consultation with those teaching the pertinent required core course. If a student is exempted from a required core course, these credit hours must be made up in elective courses so that the total credit hours of Masterís coursework totals at least 24 hours.

*Students who do not have adequate preparation for GEO 5165 (Quantitative Geography) will take GEO 4162C (Spatial Data Analysis) as a remedial course prior to taking Quantitative Geography. Graduate students taking Spatial Data Analysis must take the course as a regular 4000 level class and have it graded on an S/U basis. Credits earned from Spatial Data Analysis may not be applied to the minimum number of coursework credits needed for the Masterís degree.

If a student does not pass GEO 5165 Quantitative Methods with a B or higher, they may consult with the Graduate Director about taking the course in another department. These outside courses can count toward the Quantitative Geography requirement only if the student has taken the course in Geography and made a B or lower: STA 5126 (Intro Applied Stats), URP 5211 (Planning Statistics), or EDF 5400 (Basic Descriptive and Inferential Statistics Applications).

Elective courses
In addition to the core courses, each student selects at least five elective courses (15 credit hours) in consultation with the graduate advisor or major professor. Although students may register for an unlimited number of credit hours of GEO 5908 (Directed Individual Study), no more than six credit hours of GEO 5908 may count towards the 24 credit hour minimum. Students may take electives from departments throughout the University that bolster the Department's offerings. Up to 6 credits from these non-Geography courses may be counted toward the 24 credit hour minimum. Please consult with your advisor or the graduate director before taking these outside courses. Up to 3 credit hours of language course work can be counted toward elective credit for the thesis MS Language courses must be taken for a letter grade and should be clearly relevant to the studentís research. Credits earned in GEO 5918 (Supervised Research) or GEO 5947 (Supervised Teaching) may not be counted towards the total credit hours required for graduation.

 


Requirements for the MS thesis
Several steps are required in the preparation of the master's thesis. The student and major professor first select two additional members of the Geography faculty to comprise a supervisory committee responsible for assessing the thesis. Second, the student prepares and presents to her/his committee a written thesis prospectus that identifies a substantive geographic topic and demonstrates familiarity with the literature and methods appropriate to its investigation. The prospectus is developed in consultation with the major professor. When the major professor deems it ready, the student calls a meeting of his/her committee and gives an oral defense of the prospectus.

All committee members including the major professor must have Graduate Directive Status. Please view the Graduate Faculty Status listings to determine their status. If a faculty does not have the appropriate status, it may be possible to have them appointed. Consult with any faculty lacking the appropriate status to find out if they are going to apply, a process that will involve the their departmental chair preparing an application for directive status. Information on this application process is available from the website of the FSU Graduate School.

Full-time students should plan to defend the prospectus by the end of the first year of matriculation. Once the prospectus has been accepted, the student begins the research and writing process, working with the major professor on initial drafts and drawing the supervisory committee into the process over time. The final step involves an oral defense of the thesis after the complete working draft has been accepted by the major professor. The defense is open to departmental faculty and graduate students.

For oral defenses of theses, the department of geography follows the general policy of the FSU graduate school which states 'all committee members and the student must attend the entire defense in real time, either by being physically present or participating via distance technology.' The department of geography specifically requires the student to be physically present on the FSU campus for their oral thesis defense. The department defers to the defending student's major professor in determining an appropriate number of committee members who must be physically present vs. those participating using distance technology to constitute a valid defense, so long as the entire committee may participate in real time. The department encourages major professors and students to schedule defenses such that all members may participate in person, if possible.

Students should have a draft of their thesis approved by the University formatting officer at the Graduate School well before the final submission is made. The deadline for submitting oneís final, post-defense draft to the University typically is about five weeks before the end of the term. Since the student must leave time for the committee to read the defense draft of the thesis prior to the defense and also leave time for making post-defense revisions, the student should plan on submitting the defense draft to her/his committee not less than two months prior to the end of the semester in which (s) he intends to graduate. Please note that the Graduate School requires electronic submission of theses. The University mandates that all masterís degrees must be completed within seven years of entry into a program.

Please note that starting in the Fall 2009 semester, students will be required to complete the entire clearance of their final manuscript within 60 days of their defense date, or they will have to re-defend. No exceptions will be made to this policy.

A student who has completed the required course work and continues to use campus facilities but has not made a final thesis submission shall include in their required full-time load a minimum of two (2) hours of thesis credit per term. Those with underload permission must register for at least two (2) hours of thesis credit per term.

Required forms for the MS thesis degree
The student and the major professor are responsible for completing these required forms. All forms can now be found on the Office of Graduate Studies Blackboard website. To access them, students should log in to their Blackboard (https://campus.fsu.edu) account and click on "Graduate School" under the "My Organizations" tab. Faculty and Staff can access these forms by clicking a similar link under their "My Organizations" tab. Forms are also posted from the "Geography Graduate Students" link under "My Organizations" on your Blackboard home page. Forms are also provided below.

Forms are also available under "Geography Graduate Students" on your Blackboard home page under "My Organizations" .

1. A formal program of study must be filed and submitted to the Graduate Director no later than the end of the first year of matriculation.

2. A prospectus/topic approval form must be filed after a successful defense of the proposed thesis research. This form must be signed by all committee members. Deliver a photocopy of this form to the Graduate Director and send the original to the Graduate School.

3. An online defense announcement form must be submitted at least two weeks before the date of the thesis defense. You will need to login the blackboard system.

The University mandates that all master’s degrees must be completed within seven years of entry into a program.

 

Doctoral degree
A doctoral degree involves an advanced, research-oriented program requiring the individual to demonstrate professional expertise in the theory and applications of geographic knowledge and to make original contribution to that knowledge base. The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Geography at FSU consists of a coherent program of coursework, a written and oral preliminary examination, and the successful completion and defense of a dissertation. Ph.D. students should have a major professor declared before the end of the first semester following a year of matriculation. The University requires that the degree be completed within 5 calendar years from the time the student gains admittance to candidacy by passing the preliminary exam.
 


PhD Program of Study

Because the attainment of a doctoral degree indicates that an individual is capable of advanced, independent, and comprehensive research, course requirements are designed to maximize flexibility in accordance with the student's chosen area of concentration. Two years of full-time coursework (36 credit hours) are standard. Generally, full-time students take their doctoral exams toward the end of their second year or the beginning of their third year enrolled in the program. A student who has completed the required coursework, passed preliminary exams and submitted an application for Candidacy to the Office of the Registrar, and who continues to use campus facilities or receives faculty supervision must enroll in a minimum of two dissertation hours (GEO 6980) per credit term.

Core courses

Students are required to take five core courses (15 credit hours) in geographic philosophy and methodology. Students must earn at least a "B" in each core course.

Three of these core courses are as follows:

GEO 5058 Survey of Geographic Thought
GEO 5118 Geographic Research
GEO 5165 Quantitative Geography

In addition to these three core courses, doctoral students must take two additional foundation courses to provide training in methodology. In consultation with their major advisor, select a course that emphasizes advanced study in:

1. the gathering and processing of data (e.g. through sampling, surveys, focus groups, interviews, reading of documents, participant observation, ethnography, etc.);

2. the analysis of data (e.g. through geovisualization, statistics, semiotic analysis, quantitative content analysis, grounded theory, literary deconstruction, spatial modeling, techniques using remote sensing and/or geographic information systems, etc.)

These requirements may be met by courses offered both within and outside of the Geography Department. Geography courses frequently used to meet this requirement include Advanced Quantitative Geography, Remote Sensing, and Qualitative Methods in Geography. Please note that Introduction to GIs may not be used to fulfill this methods core course requirement. DIS courses cannot count toward this requirement.

*Students who do not have adequate preparation for GEO 5165 (Quantitative Geography) will take GEO 4185 (Spatial Data Analysis) as a remedial course prior to taking Quantitative Geography. Graduate students taking Spatial Data Analysis must take the course as a regular 4000 level class and have it graded on an S/U basis. Credits earned from Spatial Data Analysis may not be applied to the minimum number of coursework credits needed for the Doctoral degree.

If a student does not pass GEO 5165 Quantitative Methods with a B or higher, they may consult with the Graduate Coordinator about taking the course in another department. These outside courses can count toward the Quantitative Geography requirement only if the student has taken the course in Geography and made a B or lower: STA 5126 (Intro Applied Stats), URP 5211 (Planning Statistics), or EDF 5400 (Basic Descriptive and Inferential Statistics Applications).

Students who have taken courses similar to the core courses at the masterís level may petition for exemption. Requests for required core course exemptions are considered by the graduate program director, in consultation with the studentís advisor and those teaching the pertinent required core course. Doctoral students who are exempted from one or more core courses do not need to make up the lost credits in additional elective courses; however, this decision will be made by the studentís advisor and the Graduate Director.

Students working toward the PhD after earning a MS degree in the FSU Dept of Geography may receive credit for core courses, but will still be required to earn 6 hours of required methods courses and 21 hours of electives.

Three additional courses need to appear on your transcript in order to receive the Ph.D. degree. You must register for the zero credit hour Preliminary Doctoral Examination (GEO 8964) in the semester in which you are planning to take comps. You must register for a total of 24 hours of GEO 6980 Dissertation. You must register for the zero credit hour Dissertation Defense (GEO 8985) in the semester in which you are planning to defend your dissertation.

During the past several years, the Department has made an effort to offer a course on 'professional development' to Ph.D. students. Depending on demand, the course is offered about every two years and most typically in the fall semester. Ph.D. students should consider this course as a 'requirement' in the sense that it will prepare them for professional life in geography. It is expected that all funded Ph.D. students will take Professional Development in the semester that it is offered. The instructor and/or graduate director can be flexible and work with students' schedules, particularly if they are at an advanced research stage and are involved with field work.

Elective courses
In addition to the required core courses, doctoral students are required to complete a minimum of 21 hours of additional course credit hours. The student and major professor work closely to select additional formal courses and seminars as necessary to prepare for preliminary examinations and the dissertation. In addition to courses in the Geography Department, students may take graduate-level courses elsewhere in the University as appropriate. Some of the other departments at FSU most frequently utilized by Geography students include Political Science, Sociology, Economics, Urban and Regional Planning, Public Administration, Oceanography, Biology, Geology, Meteorology, Statistics, History, Communications, and Education.

Although students may register for an unlimited number of credit hours of GEO 5908 (Directed Independent Study), no more than nine credit hours of GEO 5908 may count towards the minimum 21 hours of elective course credit hours. Up to 3 credit hours of language course work can be counted toward elective credit for the PhD. Credits earned in GEO 5918 (Supervised Research) or GEO 5947 (Supervised Teaching) may not be counted toward the total credit hours required for graduation.


 

Doctoral Committee
Given the flexibility of doctoral work, it is very important that students identify a major professor and, in conjunction with the major professor, select additional members of their doctoral committee soon after entering the program. A doctoral committee should be assembled by the end of the first semester following a year of matriculation. The doctoral committee is responsible for charting the student's progress on an annual basis until completion of all degree requirements. The doctoral committee consists of three faculty members from within the Geography Department and a fourth member from outside the department. All faculty members who serve on doctoral examination committees and dissertation committees must hold the graduate directive status at FSU. Only tenured faculty are eligible to serve as the outside member from another department. Please view the Graduate Faculty Status listings to determine their status. Consult with any faculty lacking the appropriate status to find out if they are going to apply, a process that will involve the Departmental Chair preparing an application for directive status on the behalf of the faculty.


 

Individual program of study
A program of study, documenting proposed coursework and a general timeline should be submitted no later than the end of the first semester following a year of matriculation. This program of study should be submitted in consultation with your major advisor and supervisory committee. The program of study does not have to be presented in a formal committee meeting, however, frequent meetings with your committee (at least annually) are a good idea for insuring that you receive the necessary mentoring. Outside committee members are not required to sign off on your program of study. If you do not have a program of study in your file, you cannot be elected to candidacy following successful completion of your prelims.

Program of study forms will be made available to you by the Graduate Director. They are also posted under "My Organizations" on your Blackboard home page. Looks for the link to "Geography Graduate Students". Submit an electronic copy and a hardcopy to the Graduate Director once your program of study has been completed and approved. New programs of study do not need to be submitted if changes in your coursework develop. However, if you have a major change in research focus and topical interest, a new program of study should be completed.


Preliminary examinations
Following completion of their coursework, Ph.D. students must pass preliminary exams for admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree. There are two parts to the exam, a written component and an oral component.

The written exam is composed and administered by the departmental members of the studentís doctoral committee. Individual committee members can chose to submit questions for the written prelims to the major professor for subsequent delivery to the student, or individual faculty may elect to coordinate delivery of their questions to the student. Email sent and recieved during written prelims should be archived so as to verify a timestamp for the delivery and receipt of prelim questions and responses.

The outside committee member does not typically participate in the written exam; however, that decision is up to the studentís major advisor. The written exam consists of three sets of questions, built around three fields of geographic inquiry. The first field, Geographic Thought and Methods, tests the student's ability to address philosophical and methodological approaches to geographic research. The other two fields cover two topical specialties chosen by the student in consultation with their committee. Typically, the second field is a major sub-field of the discipline (e.g., economic geography, geomorphology) while the third field is more specialized, although still broader than a dissertation topic (e.g., food and hunger, karst systems). Students are encouraged to compile reading lists for each field using material from coursework, directed individual studies, and independent readings, and to have these lists approved by committee members well in advance of the examination. Each set of questions is given as a 24-hour take-home exam, and the three components are to be completed within a period of nine days.

A student may retake only one of the three written components of the preliminary examination in full and may attempt this retake only once. Selected answers within a component can be rewritten without failure of the overall component. A majority vote of the departmental committee members is necessary for passage. Designations for performance in a given prelim field

Pass Ė Student satisfactorily answers all questions in the field. No revisions are necessary
Conditional Pass Ė Student satisfactorily answers most questions in the field. For those not answered satisfactorily, the student revises their answer to the unsatisfactorily answered question(s) and resubmits them to the committee. Once the committee finds the revised answer(s) to be satisfactory, the student receives a ďpassĒ for that field.
Fail Ė The student answers an unacceptable number (as decided by the committee) of questions in a field in an unsatisfactory manner. The student is then given an entire new set of questions to answer in that field (a retaking of the field). A student may retake only one of the three written components.

The written exam is followed by an oral defense. A student may retake their orals exams once. The oral defense includes the outside committee member as well as departmental faculty. In the oral defense, the full committee will 1) use the platform of the oral defense to sound out the studentís competency on the material in the written exam according to the criteria above; 2) make a ruling on the studentís combined performance, written and oral; and 3) formalize a decision based on preliminary examination performance as to whether the student should proceed immediately to candidacy, or if not, what steps need to be taken to acquire candidacy, unless the performance has been unsatisfactory at a level that negates any remediation. Failure to pass any component of the preliminary exam, written or oral, results in dismissal from the program.

Upon successful completion of the preliminary examination, the student is admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, and considered ABD. Any coursework credit hours for which the student is registered that semester may retroactively be reclassified as GEO-6980 dissertation hours (and thus be counted toward the 24 dissertation credit-hour minimum required for graduation). All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within five calendar years from the time the student is admitted into candidacy.

A formal admission to candidacy form must be submitted to the Graduate School and the Geography Graduate Director. All dissertation forms can now be found exclusively on the Office of Graduate Studies Blackboard websites. To access these forms, students should log in to their Blackboard (https://campus.fsu.edu) accounts and click on "Graduate School" under the "My Organizations" tab. Faculty and Staff can access these forms by clicking a similar link under their "My Organizations" tab.


Doctoral dissertation proposal
After admission to candidacy, the student prepares a written dissertation prospectus that demonstrates the potential to conduct original research making a significant contribution to knowledge. Once the prospectus is deemed acceptable to the major professor, the doctoral committee, inclusive of the outside member, reads it and provides feedback. The student gives an oral defense of the prospectus and the doctoral committee passes the defense with a majority vote.

Upon successful defense of your proposal, a formal proposal defense form must be completed, signed by the full committee (including outside committee member), and copies submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies and the Geography Graduate Director. All dissertation forms can now be found on the Office of Graduate Studies Blackboard website. To access these forms, students should log in to their Blackboard (https://campus.fsu.edu) accounts and click on "Office of Graduate Studies" under the "My Organizations" tab. Faculty and Staff can access these forms by clicking a similar link under their "My Organizations" tab. Forms are also available under "Geography Graduate Students" on your . Blackboard home page under "My Organizations" .


Doctoral Dissertation

Completion of the dissertation normally requires at least one year.

A minimum of 12 months must elapse between approval of the proposal and defense of dissertation.

The student then begins the research and writing process, working with the major professor and doctoral committee as warranted, while signing up for the Dissertation course (GEO 6980) each semester. The final step involves an oral defense of the dissertation. The defense is publicly announced and open to departmental faculty and graduate students. The doctoral committee passes the defense by a majority vote.

For oral defenses of dissertations, the department of geography follows the general policy of the FSU graduate school which states 'all committee members and the student must attend the entire defense in real time, either by being physically present or participating via distance technology.' The department of geography specifically requires the student to be physically present on the FSU campus for their oral dissertation defense. The department defers to the defending student's major professor in determining an appropriate number of committee members who must be physically present vs. those participating using distance technology to constitute a valid defense, so long as the entire committee may participate in real time. The department encourages major professors and students to schedule defenses such that all members may participate in person, if possible.

Final copies of the dissertation are submitted to the University in electronic form. Students should have a draft of their dissertation approved by the University Formatting Officer in the Office of Graduate Studies well before the final submission is made. The deadline for submitting one's final, post-defense draft to the University typically is about five weeks before the end of the term. Since the student must leave time for the committee to read the defense draft of the dissertation prior to the defense and also leave time for making post-defense revisions, the student should plan on submitting the defense draft to her/his committee not less than two months prior to the end of the semester in which (s) he intends to graduate. Please consult the FSU Graduate Bulletin for specific information about the Dissertation Defense.

Please note that starting in the Fall 2009 semester, students will be required to complete the entire clearance of their final manuscript within 60 days of their defense date, or they will have to re-defend. No exceptions will be made to this policy.

A student who has completed the required course work and continues to use campus facilities but has not made a final dissertation submission shall include in their required full-time load (twelve semester hours if unfunded or nine semester hours if funded on an assistantship) a minimum of two (2) hours of dissertation credit per term. Those with underload permission must register for at least two (2) hours of thesis credit per term.


PhD tracking records
PhD students are required to update annually a tracking form in consultation with their major advisor and the Graduate Director. This event will be announced in the fall of each year.

Written annual review
To record and gauge academic accomplishments, each PhD student will undergo a review in consultation with their major professor and members of their committee each fall. Your committee, inclusive of the outside member, should be assembled by the end of the first semester after your first year of matriculation. Please submit a copy of your annual evaluation to the Graduate Director. Evaluation forms are posted from the "My Organizations" area on your Blackboard home page. Looks for the link to "Geography Graduate Students" to access the forms.

Residency requirement
After earning at least 30 hours of course credit or a masterís degree at FSU, a doctoral student must register for 24 credit hours within a 12-month period. These credit hours may include dissertation hours (GEO 6980), regular class hours, or both.

Required forms for the PhD
The student and the major professor are responsible for completing these required forms. All forms can now be found on the Graduate School Blackboard website. To access them, students should log in to their Blackboard (https://campus.fsu.edu) account and click on "Graduate School" under the "My Organizations" tab. Faculty and Staff can access these forms by clicking a similar link under their "My Organizations" tab. Forms are also posted from the "Geography Graduate Students" link under "My Organizations" on your Blackboard home page. Forms are also provided below.

Please submit a copy of all forms to the Graduate Director and follow the instructions on each form for submitting it to the Office of Graduate Studies. The student and the major professor are responsible for the submission of these forms.

1. A formal program of study must be filed and submitted to the Graduate Director no later than the end of the first semester following a year of matriculation.

2. An annual reviews form is required of all PhD students. Submit the signed hardcopy version to the Graduate Director.

3. An admission to candidacy form which acknowledges that the student has officially attained ABD status after defending written and oral prelims. Deliver a photocopy of this form to the Graduate Director and submit the original to the College of Social Sciences Academic Dean's Office.

4. A prospectus/topic approval form must be filed after a successful defense of the proposed dissertation research. This form must be signed by all committee members, including the outside member. Deliver a photocopy of this form to the Graduate Director and submit the original to the Office of Graduate Studies.

5. An online defense announcement form must be submitted at least two weeks before the date of the thesis defense. You will need to login the blackboard system.

6. An outside committee member defense form are required at the close of a studentís degree. The Outside Committee Member Dissertation Defense Report must be returned to the Office of Graduate Studies within one (1) week of the successful completion of their student's defense.  The Outside Committee Member is responsible for ensuring that University policies are followed, and that decisions made by the Supervisory Committee reflect the collective judgment of the committee.  Therefore, the Defense Report should be used as a means to monitor the actions of the student and the student's Supervisory Committee. 

 

BS to PhD
Students working toward the PhD from the BS will be required to take more electives such that the final number of hours of coursework is 42.

At the conclusion of your first year, you will undergo a review, coordinated by a faculty member who has agreed to be your advisor.  This review will involve the advisor reviewing your record, discussing it with you, and consulting with the Graduate Committee. At the conclusion of the review, the Graduate Committee will either clear you to proceed with the doctoral program or reclassify you as a masters student. Keep in mind that part of the criteria for adequate progress will be the cultivation of a research relationship with a faculty member. Faculty are not obligated to take on the role of PhD advisor at your solicitation; it is up to you to cultivate the research interests, methodological training, and content knowledge that will facilitate a working relationship. Based on your application and background, we feel there is overlap with our faculty. However, it is your responsibility to develop the research interests and skills that will encourage a faculty member to serve as your PhD advisor. Failure to secure an advisor can result in reclassification to the masters level, where you can pursue the MS thesis or non-thesis option. By the end of the third year of matriculation, significant work toward PhD, either candidacy, proposal, or significant body of research is required or you will be asked by the Graduate Committee to take the MS.

Prior to taking your comprehensive exams, you must have successfully completed at least 42 semester hours of course work (including the required courses for the doctoral program). If after passing your comprehensive exams and successfully defending your dissertation proposal, you choose not to complete your dissertation, you retain the right to have yourself reclassified as a masters student.

Given the extra requirements for your PhD, you will be offered funding for four years, with renewal subject to an annual review. Funding beyond this time frame is not insured. If downgraded to a MS student, funding will no longer be available.

 

Faculty research specializations

 


Dr. James B. Elsner (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1988). Professor. Climate and weather; hurricanes and hurricane hazards; weather of Florida and Puerto Rico

Dr. David C. Folch (Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2012). AssistantProfessor. Geocomputation; spatial analysis; GIScience; urban analysis; Neighborhood change, gentrification, segregation

Dr. Mark Horner (Ph.D., Ohio State University, 2002). Professor. Geographic information science; transportation; urban geography; spatial modeling; sustainability

Dr. Mary Lawhon (Ph.D., Clark University, 2011). Assistant Professor. Political geography; (urban) political ecology; development geography/theory from the South; urban geography; waste politics; (South) Africa

Dr. Victor Mesev (Ph.D., University of Bristol, 1995). Professor and Chair. Remote sensing; geographic information science; spatial data analysis; urban geography.

Dr. Stephanie Pau
(Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2009). Assistant Professor. Biogeography; remote sensing; climate change; human-environmental relationships

Dr. Joseph Pierce (Ph.D., Clark University, 2011). Assistant Professor. Urban geography; political geography; land use policy

Dr. Christopher Uejio (Ph.D., University of Wisconson-Madison, 2011). Assistant Professor. Medical geography; public heath; environmental health; applied climatology; hazards

Dr. Xiaojun Yang (Ph.D., University of Georgia, 2000). Professor. Remote sensing of environment; geographic information science; urban ecology and land change science; coastal ecosystems; applied geomorphology and natural hazards; China

Dr. Tingting Zhao (PhD, University of Michigan, 2007). Associate Professor and Graduate Program DIrector. Environmental geography; energy consumption and conservation; human impact on carbon cycle; remote sensing and GIS