Design and conduct impactful research

Be part of a supportive community dedicated to teaching and cutting-edge research using advanced technologies and methodologies. You’ll collaborate with faculty and have opportunities to publish and present your research. 

MA in Geography

Our MA in Geography prepares students for a professional career or more advanced studies with thesis and professional (non-thesis) options.

PhD in Geography

Our PhD in Geography prepares students for geographic research and teaching. Our program is research-focused, and designed for students seeking careers requiring advanced research skills.

Why geography?

The graduate degree program in Geography empowers graduates to design and conduct significant research. Our department is structured around research and teaching in the areas of human-environment interaction and geographic information science (GIScience).  

Within these core areas, you can study environmental policy, land-use, geography of health, environmental hazards, spatial environmental modeling, and GIScience. Ideal applicants are talented, curious, and motivated, with research interests aligned with these topics. 

Established in 1946, the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences has long focused on graduate education and research. As a graduate student, you’ll investigate a wide range of social, environmental, health, and GIScience topics, from applied methodological problems in the master's program to advanced theoretical research and academic preparation in the doctoral program. Students regularly collaborate with Geography and faculty across the university. Students are also encouraged and supported to publish their research and present at conferences. 

The University of Iowa is a Carnegie Doctoral/Research-Extensive (R1) university. Our strong research foundation supports intellectual activity in geography while providing rich opportunities for interdisciplinary research. Geography faculty and students have established research relationships on campus with the Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research, the Iowa Informatics Initiative, the Environmental Modeling and Assessment Facility, the Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination, and IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering. 

The Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences has dropped the GRE requirement for graduate studies.  

For more information about the structure of our graduate program and expectations for students, please view our Graduate Student Handbook.