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Graduate Application Deadline: January 1

All required application materials for the M.A. and the Ph.D. programs must be submitted by this date to ensure full consideration for admission and financial aid. Our admission cycle is for fall entrance only; we do not accept entry into the program in January.

Applicants who are admitted to either the M.A. or the Ph.D. program typically receive awards in the form of fellowships, scholarships and graduate assistantships that cover the full tuition costs for up to two years for M.A. students or four years for Ph.D. students.


Graduate Application Materials

  • Online application and $75 application fee**
  • Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (admitted students must have official transcripts submitted from their degree-granting institution(s))
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Résumé or CV
  • Personal statement: In approximately 1,000 words, please describe your general academic plans, including your interests in geography, why you are applying to Syracuse University and your specific interest areas. Specific topics within these areas are especially helpful. Ph.D. applicants should identify one or more potential dissertation field areas of interest, and identify certain faculty members with whom they wish to work.
  • English proficiency exam scores (TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo are accepted) are required for applicants whose first language is not English.

NOTE: To apply to the Ph.D. program you must have a master’s degree completed by the time of matriculation.

**Students facing financial hardship can request an application fee waiver.

Admitted Graduate Students

Admission decisions and next steps information will be communicated via email to the address you provide in your online application. Additional information can be found on the graduate admission website.

Funding Opportunities for Graduate Students

Competitive funding opportunities for graduate students are available through Syracuse University and the academic departments within the Maxwell School. For more information, students are encouraged to contact the department’s director of graduate studies for further information.

Professor Robinson with students in GIS lab

Community Geography Graduate Assistantship

Offered in association with Syracuse Community Geography, funding is available for up to three years for students with GIS skills and an interest in using GIS and other research methods to investigate community concerns.

Preference will be given to students with experience and interest in community geography, participatory GIS and participatory research, and community organizing.

Graduate Assistantships

Master's or Ph.D. students can work with faculty as instructors and graders for undergraduate courses. Departmental funding is usually provided for two years for M.A. students and four years for Ph.D. students. Funding is contingent upon satisfactory progress in the program.

University Fellowship

Awarded on the basis of the applicant’s overall merit, the fellowship covers master's students' first year of study and years one and three for doctoral students. Funding for year two, for both master's and doctoral students, and year four for doctoral students, is provided through the teaching assistantship.

Watson Assistantship

This provides a one-year stipend and tuition credits for a student from Latin America or the Caribbean, or students conducting M.A. or Ph.D. research in Latin America or the Caribbean. Students are able to take classes without the need to work as a graduate assistant. The department can typically provide one Watson Assistantship per year.

Summer Research Awards

These awards are intended to help defray the costs of activities that advance the student’s research agenda or professional development. Master's students are guaranteed one year of summer funding, receiving the maximum award. Ph.D. students will be guaranteed summer funding following their first three years of residence, receiving the maximum award each year.

2023 Forever Orange Scholarship Program

We are happy to continue our support of the Forever Orange program! Syracuse University Class of 2023 graduating seniors are eligible to apply for our master’s program and, if admitted, will receive a guaranteed 50% tuition scholarship! Please visit the Graduate School website for additional details on eligibility, participating programs and application instructions.


Request information about our graduate programs.

Contact the Director of Graduate Studies Jonnell Robinson.

Geography and the Environment Department

144 Eggers Hall

Syracuse, NY 13244-1020

Phone: +1.315.443.2605


Geography and the Environment Department
144 Eggers Hall