Master’s in Geography

A Master’s in Geography (MA or MS) is an internationally-respected program designed to provide students with the methodological skills and theoretical perspectives necessary for undertaking independent, analytical research. Faculty and students collaborate to investigate critical issues dealing with society, geospatial inquiry, and the physical environment.

There are two tracks a student may pursue: A thesis track (for those students intending to pursue doctoral research) or non-thesis track (for those students seeking to immediately enter the workplace). Students applying for the thesis track will be given priority over non-thesis applicants for a funded position. 

Admissions Deadlines

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Applicants from Ghana and Nigeria are now required to complete the WES evaluation for Fall 2023 and forward; WES will provide a report within 7 business days. For admitted students, the Graduate School will issue a Foundation scholarship in the amount of the WES evaluation to students who enroll and are in good academic standing after their first term.  For more information on WES, you can visit:

Spring 2024 – Deadline to apply is October 1.
Fall 2024 – Opens August 1. For priority consideration submit your application by January 19.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the deadline of March 1.

*International applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications earlier due to the extended time for visa processing

Program Requirements

Please click here for program requirements. 


Full financial support is available for qualified students. Current funding is approximately $18,900 per year for 2 years, plus all a 9 hour tuition waiver. Funding is conditional on good scholastic standing and available Departmental resources. In order to be considered for funding, applicants must have an undergraduate degree and GPA over 3.0. Students may also be admitted without funding. Students are liable for FSU fees not covered by the scholarship below.

Qualified students with a Graduate Assistantship/Appointment will receive up to $250 in scholarship funding per semester. To qualify for the scholarship, graduate assistants must be enrolled full-time, as determined by the Graduate School, in a degree seeking program and must be employed from at least the first day of classes through the last day of finals. Graduate Assistants working 20 hrs.+ (.50 FTE) shall be awarded $250. Graduate Assistants working 10-19 hrs. (0.25 FTE – 0.49 FTE), shall be awarded $125 per semester.

Additional funding and awards offered by the University can be found here: Funding & Awards

International Admissions

We welcome students from all over the world to join are program! Please check out the International Admissions page to learn more about applying to FSU as an International student.  

Connecting with Faculty

Students on the thesis track are strongly encouraged to identify and make contact with 1-2 prospective faculty members that would serve as supervisors for the duration of their graduate program. A good research fit between advisor and advisee is the cornerstone of a successful graduate experience, so communications between prospective students and advisors should be initiated before the application deadline. MA/MS thesis students are unlikely to be admitted if a faculty member does not agree to serve as their advisor.
*Students on the non-thesis track are not required to reach out to faculty.
– For an overview of Faculty expertise click here.
– For research interest and contact information please click here.
   *Click on each Faculty member’s name for more information. 

GPA & GRE Scores

FSU has waived the GRE requirement through Fall 2026 due to the COVID pandemic.
It is recommended to have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and GRE scores of at least 144 (Quant) and 153 (Verbal).  However, Applications from students with lower GPA and GRE scores may also be accepted to the program.


Unofficial Transcripts:

  • Unofficial Transcripts are required for your application to be reviewed. Please submit ALL unofficial transcripts from each College and/or University attended. Unofficial Transcripts must be translated to English for review. *Applications will show as incomplete until official transcripts have been submitted. Applications with incomplete status due to missing official transcripts will still be reviewed. 

Official Transcripts:

  • Official Transcripts are required for Admitted students and must be submitted prior to beginning classes. 

International Transcript Requirements

  • All transcripts/academic records that are not in English must be accompanied by certified English translations. 
  • To be considered “certified,” documents should be true copies that are signed and dated by an educational official familiar with academic records. Any translated record should be literal and not an interpretive translation. Documents signed by a notary or other public official with no educational affiliation will not be accepted. 
  • If the transcript/academic record does not indicate the degree earned and date the degree was awarded, separate proof of degree is required.

Writing Sample

*Students on the non-thesis track are not required to submit a writing sample.

Please upload one sample of academic writing. Appropriate writing samples include: a chapter from a master’s thesis or undergraduate honor’s thesis; a first-author journal article (published, in review, or submitted); or a course paper, ideally from a relevant subject area.

Statement of Purpose

Master’s Thesis

Format: 1-2 pages, single-spaced

Please describe the following:
1.) What research topic(s) would you be interested in exploring through graduate studies? What motivates your interest in exploring this topic and doing a graduate degree in Geography at FSU? Why is this topic important and deserving of scholarly attention? How does this program of study advance your career interests?
2.) What previous experiences have prepared you to succeed as a graduate student and conduct research in this area? You may reference relevant academic, professional, and personal experiences. If relevant, feel free to discuss obstacles or hardships that you had to overcome in order to succeed, and how you surmounted these obstacles.
3) How would the Geography graduate program at FSU support you to conduct this research? Which faculty members could supervise your research? What other faculty in the department have complementary expertise that could support the development of your thinking?

Master’s Non-Thesis

The one-to-two page statement of purpose should concisely discuss your education and/or work background, experience, career goals, and rationale for applying to FSU Geography.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation. The letters should be from faculty and/or employers familiar with your academic, research, or professional experience.  This may include but is not limited to education, work, volunteer, and/or internship experiences.

English Language Proficiency

Official English Language Proficiency results are required of all international applicants whose native language is not English. Minimum scores required for admission and additional information can be found here. Applications are unable to be reviewed and will be cancelled if the minimum requirements are not met.

  • Exemptions: This requirement can be waived for students who have completed a Bachelors or Master’s Degree from a U.S. Institution or other Institution where English is the required language of Instruction. Exempt students who receive a teaching assistantship will still be required to take the Speak Exam, unless the citizenship is to a Native English Speaking country. 
  • SPEAK EXAM: The Geography Department requires ALL International students receiving appointments as Teaching Assistants to pass the SPEAK Exam. The Speak Exam evaluates the English-speaking ability of non-native speakers of English and is administered free of charge (First time) at Florida State University.