This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: M.A., Geography

Geographic Information Science


The Department of Geography offers two options within the Master of Arts degree program. Option 2 offers a highly structured specialization in Geographic Information Science, where most of the requirements are met with graduate courses dealing with various aspects of GIS. This option is designed for students wishing to pursue a career in this highly technological subfield of geography.

Program Requirements

A. Requirements for Admission to the Department

  1. One of the following:
    1. Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better.
    2. A score at or above the 50th percentile on two of the three portions of the aptitude test of the Graduate Record Exam.
    3. A graduate degree in another field from CSUN or other accredited institution.
  2. At least a 2.75 GPA in the last 60 units attempted.
  3. Two letters of recommendation.
  4. Demonstration of research and writing skills. Applicants must submit to the graduate committee a sample research paper, written in English, and preferably one that was completed as part of the baccalaureate degree requirements, such as a senior thesis or other research paper done in an Upper Division undergraduate course. Because of the importance of research and writing to the graduate program, the committee needs to be assured of applicants’ abilities and promise in these areas.

B. Classified and Conditionally Classified Status

Requirements for Classified Status

One of the following:

  1. An undergraduate major in Geography.
  2. Demonstrated competence in human geography, physical geography and cartography or map interpretation, as determined by the departmental graduate committee.
  3. A passing score (8 or higher) on the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE).

Conditionally Classified Status

  1. If the requirements for classified status are not met at the time of application, the student will be admitted as conditionally classified, pending completion of the requirements, which include the completion of prerequisite courses in the areas of identified deficiencies and/or the UDWPE.
  2. No more than 12 units of work taken prior to attaining classified status may be applied to the master’s degree program.

C. Program Requirements

Completion of the following courses (a total of 30 units with a GPA of 3.0 or better).

1. Introductory Seminar (3 units)

GEOG 600 Geographic Thought, Analysis and Research (3)

2. Seminars in Geographic Visualization (9 units)

Select three courses from 690A-H, 695A.

3. Other Seminar (3 units)

Select one 600-level Geography seminar.

4. Additional GIS Courses (6 units)

Select any two 400-level courses, as specified below:

GEOG 406 Advanced Geographical Information Science (3)
GEOG 407/L Remote Sensing and Lab (2/1)
GEOG 408A/L Human/Cultural Applications in GIS and Lab (2/1)
GEOG 408B/L Environmental/Physical Applications in GIS and Lab (2/1)
GEOG 409/L Digital Cartography and Lab (2/1)

5. Statistics (3 units)

GEOG 690B Geographic Information Science: Spatial Statistics (3)

6. Thesis Preparation (3 units)

GEOG 696 Directed Geographic Research (3)

7. Culminating Experience (3 units)

Submission of a thesis or comprehensive exam approved by a departmental faculty committee.

GEOG 697 Directed Comprehensive Studies (3)
or GEOG 698 Thesis (3)

Total Units Required for the M.A. Degree: 30


Chair: Edward Jackiewicz
Sierra Hall (SH) 150
(818) 677-3532

Graduate Coordinator: Soheil Boroushaki
Sierra Hall, Room 130-B
(818) 677-4715