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The M.S. Geography Program at Virginia Tech  Apply Online Now

We are a student-centered department with 20 faculty members and a full-time professional academic advisor all dedicated to student success.  Our department has award winning instructors who teach classes at the cutting edge of geographical, geospatial, and meteorological sciences.  Our faculty are research intensive, publish regularly in scientific journals, and compete for research grant funding.  You will receive personalized mentoring and unique opportunities to conduct research with our accomplished faculty as part of your thesis work.  Our graduates are consistently placed in industry, agency, research/lab, and non-profit sectors while others opt to pursue a Ph.D.  The M.S. Geography program prepares students to:

  • Identify critical debates and gaps in the literature to formulate original research questions
  • Collect primary and/or secondary data and utilize geographic methods to analyze spatial and temporal processes
  • Present findings in publishable form

Why the M.S. in Geography?

Funding Opportunities: 

We offer a multiple Graduate Teaching Assistantships awarded on a competitive basis.

  • All applicants considered, but priority deadlines are Jan. 15 and Oct. 15
  • Full tuition remission, $16,000 9-month stipend ($16,500 in year two), and health insurance option
  • Teaching Assistant duty for 20 hrs/wk
  • Individual faculty may have grant funding to support students as a Research Assistant

Application Process (priority deadline Jan. 15 for Fall semester start, Oct. 15 for Spring semester start)  Apply Online Now

  • Visit faculty profiles and their personal websites to identify faculty with common interests and contact them to discuss your interest in the M.S. program
  • Contact Graduate Director Dr. Andrew Ellis with questions on the program and application process
  • Arrange a visit to the department (if possible)
  • Complete the Graduate School’s required online application

Application Materials:

  • Graduate School Admissions website
  • We pay particular attention to the “Academic & Professional Goals Statement,” which requires you to address the following questions:
    • Why do you want to attend graduate school and why are you qualified to do so?
    • What do you expect to derive from the program?
    • What is your research concentration area?
    • What do you expect to contribute as a student and subsequently a professional?
    • Which faculty member(s) are you interested in working with?
  • CV/ Résumé
  • References:  At least two of the three required letters should come from faculty members (letters from employers are acceptable if you have not been a recent student)
  • GRE exam is not required 
  • TOEFL / IELTS exam required for international students, but not in cases where English is a national language or graduation from an accredited university where English is the medium of instruction
  • Writing Sample (e.g., research paper, undergraduate thesis, poster presentation, or similar product)
  • Unofficial transcript(s) (official transcript(s) required upon enrollment)
  • Deadlines:  Jan. 15 for a Fall start and Oct. 15 for a Spring start to receive full consideration for Graduate Teaching Assistantship positions (applications are considered after the priority deadlines, but will not receive priority for funding)

Address for mailing materials to the Department:

Department of Geography 
Graduate Admissions
238 Wallace Hall
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Graduate Director Contact:

Dr. Andrew Ellis
Department of Geography
227 Wallace Hall
Phone: (540) 231-8049