NMSU: Department of Geography
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New Mexico State University
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Geography

Graduate Degrees Offered

Master of Applied Geography (MAG), Thesis Option
Master of Applied Geography (MAG), Residency (Non-Thesis) Option
Graduate Minor in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS&T)


General Information

The Department of Geography at NMSU offers a thesis- and residency-based Master of Applied Geography (MAG) degree as well as a Graduate Minor in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS&T). Each of the three programs of study is described briefly below. For additional information on geography graduate studies at NMSU, explore our Graduate Program links in the navigation menu to the left.


Master of Applied Geography, Thesis Option (Back to Top)

The thesis-based Master of Applied Geography (MAG) degree is designed for students who would like to use geographic knowledge and skills acquired during their course work to carry out their own research (i.e., thesis) project. Thesis students collaborate closely with a geography faculty advisor and other thesis committee members all of whom are critical in guiding the thesis research. The thesis-based MAG degree has various requirements, including the successful completion of at least 30 graduate credits, including 6 thesis credits; an approved final thesis document; and a successful thesis defense. The thesis-based MAG program represents the traditional approach to masters-level research in geography and prepares students for both doctoral studies as well as careers in the public and private sectors. Click here for examples of past MAG theses.


Master of Applied Geography, Residency (Non-Thesis) Option (Back to Top)

The residency-based Master of Applied Geography (MAG) degree—a non-thesis option to earn a MAG degree—is designed primarily for students who are also working professionals, i.e., students who may benefit more from additional coursework and a work-related project than a personal and more complex thesis project. Residency students collaborate most closely with a sponsor (usually the student's employer) who articulates which questions should be answered as part of a residency project. However, residency students also have a mentoring committee with a faculty advisor. The residency-based MAG degree has various requirements, including the successful completion of at least 36 graduate credits, including 3 residency credits; an approved final residency report; and the sucessful passing of an oral exam. While the residency-based MAG program does not preclude students from pursuing a doctoral degree after graduation, it prepares students more effectively for advanced jobs in the public and private sectors. Click here for examples of past MAG residencies.


Graduate Minor in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS&T) (Back to Top)

A Graduate Minor in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS&T) is available for all interested graduate students at New Mexico State University, regardless of major. The Graduate Minor focuses on geographic information systems and remote sensing and requires the successful completion of two mandatory and two elective geospatial courses. For more information on the minor's degree requirements, click here.