Master of Applied Geography (MAG) Degree Requirements:

Thesis Option

Once a MAG degree-seeking applicant has been admitted to the NMSU Graduate School and the Department of Geography MAG Program, s/he can begin completing the following requirements for earning a MAG degree.

Undergraduate Preparation

While an undergraduate degree in geography is not required of our graduate students, all geography graduate students are required to have fundamental knowledge and skills in physical geography, human geography, and cartography. More specifically, all of our graduate students are required to have completed the following NMSU undergraduate courses or their equivalents (to be determined by the graduate advisor):

  • GEOG 111G, Geography of the Natural Environment
  • GEOG 120G, Culture and Environment
  • GEOG 281, Map Use and Analysis

Students who do not satisfy one or more of these course prerequisites must clear the corresponding course deficiencies within the first year of enrollement as geography graduate students.

Unit, Course, and Grade Requirements

The MAG program aims at offering students flexibility in designing their desired course of graduate study while at the same time ensuring that all students have a fundamental level of geographic compentence at the graduate level. To that end, all MAG-Thesis candidates are required to complete a minimum of 30 graduate credits, including 6 thesis credits, at least 15 credits from courses numbered 500 and above, and at least 15 graduate credits in geography. All candidates are moreover required to maintain an overall GPA or 3.00 or higher. Finally, all candidates must earn a grade of B- or better in the following required geography graduate courses:

  • GEOG 501, Research Design and History of Geographic Thought
  • GEOG 585, Advanced Spatial Analysis
  • One grad-level GIS&T course either prior to entering the program or before graduation

Note: In addition to the core geography graduate courses listed above and those courses a student wishes to take as electives, a student’s committee may ask a student to make up deficiencies in additional areas (e.g., statistics, word processing, spreadsheet analysis and modeling, or database management) of critical relevance to the student’s successful completion of his or her thesis research.

The MAG Thesis Requirement

Students seeking a thesis-based MAG degree have to develop, execute, and write a master’s thesis and successfully defend that thesis. The thesis process and associated products will vary among students because students work on unique projects and with unique thesis committees. However, to fulfill the MAG thesis requirement, students have to ensure that they 1) follow all guidelines established by the Graduate School and by the Department of Geography and 2) meet the demands of the thesis advisor and committee members. See the following links for additional information: