Jump to content

Is geography selective?


Lev Bronstein

Recommended Posts

Geography isn't (to my knowledge) one of the disiciplines ETS tracks GRE scores on, so it's hard to give you a quantitative answer. However, I would be inclined to say that they're similar in the sense that there's a fair bit of variance in the "numbers" of admitted students and both attract an interesting mix of backgrounds. If you look at geog rankings you'll notice that most of the Ivys and selective private schools don't offer geog Ph.D's, which means that it's the typical big-state schools that lead the disicipline (Berkeley and Madison come to mind, which happen to be #1 and 2 for US News soc - although there's a lot of debate about whether those rankings are justified).

I would imangine that fit matters a great deal since, like soc, geog is an extremely diverse disicipline. Some departments (U Washington, for instance) are really interdisicplinary social science programs with an emphasis on spatial inequality, whereas others (e.g. one of the so cal UC's I think) have much stronger ties to geology.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm leaning towards pursuing a grad degree in geography and was wondering if I have the background. I'm an env. studies major with double minor in econ and asain studies. I've only taken 3 undergrad geography courses; intro GIS, geography of garbage, environment and development in east asia. I found out kinda late that I want to continue geography and I don't exactly have an amazing GPA. I do however have one summer research internship, one semester study abroad.

Do grad geography programs look for very diverse undergrad study?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have more of a geography background than I do, and I was accepted into several programs. My educational background is Asian Studies and music performance, and I've been working in disaster management consulting for a few years. I took only one geography class in undergrad, and definitely nothing related to GIS. Environmental studies and econ both provide a good foundation. I think graduate geography programs expect that people will be coming from a variety of backgrounds. You should go for it! Your personal statement can discuss how your diverse experiences have pointed you in the direction of geography.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do grad geography programs look for very diverse undergrad study?

In a nutshell, yes. If you look at the CVs of a lot of geography professors, you'll often notice that they did their bachelor's in another field. Personally, I switched to geography from the humanities without having ever taken a geography course. It wasn't a hindrance when I applied to MA or PhD programs. Definitely look for MA programs, maybe even at the schools that are MA-only (as in, they don't offer a PhD). Make contact with potential advisors before applying. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Ok I'm taking my last final today: microeconomics. Then I've got a week off before I start a 4 week summer course at Binghamton University, then I'm officially done as an undergrad. Will begin practice for the GRE, word memorization and math practice. Starting the apps, bugging my profs. for letters of recommendation. What are a few common books that first year grad geographers read?

You guys are really helpful btw.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.