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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Department of Geography

Ph.D. Requirements

The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 72 credit hours of approved graduate work in geography and related fields.  The 72 hours may include credits accepted from the Master’s degree.  Doctoral students must obtain a minimum of 60 hours of approved course work and a minimum of 12 dissertation hours (GEO 999).  Students with an approved Master’s degree from another university must take at least 30 hours of course work in residence at Syracuse (not including the dissertation), including at least 20 hours of work at the 600 level or above.  Up to 30 credits from a completed Master’s degree at another institution may be counted toward the 60 for the Ph.D. 

It is expected that students who enter the Ph.D. program with a Master’s degree from another university will have, or will acquire, qualifications equivalent to those normally achieved by a Syracuse M.A. in geography (in particular, note the breadth requirements described in MA Requirements).

Specific course requirements, in addition to the dissertation hours mentioned above, include:

  • GEO 602 (Research Design in Geography)
  • GEO 603 (Geographic Thought, formerly GEO 805)

               Option A

    • Two Seminars (numbered 700 or above) from different Geography faculty, and
    • One spatial methods/techniques course (see approved list below) 


               Option B

    • One Seminar (numbered 700 or above) from Geography faculty, and
    • Two spatial methods/techniques courses (see approved list below)

Approved list of spatial methods/techniques courses include: GEO 681 (Map Design), GEO 683 (Geographic Information Systems), GEO 685 (Qualitative Methods), GEO 686 (Advanced Quantitative Geographic Analysis), GEO 682 (Environmental Remote Sensing), GEO 6xx (Seminar on Qualitative Methods).

For full details please access the Guide to the Graduate Program in Geography.