MA Program General Information

MA Program Information

MA in Applied Geography
Program Purpose

The Master of Arts in Applied Geography at UCCS is a terminal master's program that encourages graduate students to focus on applied research projects to solve local, regional, and even international issues. Given pressing research needs and future labor force demands, the MA in Applied Geography incorporates a multitude of issues that speak to people, profit, and planet.

About the MA in Applied Geography Program

The MA in Applied Geography program requires that students conduct problem-solving research, think critically about spatial relationships, and communicate effectively. Graduates from the MA program go onto PhD programs, serve in professional and managerial positions, and/or as information and technology experts for consulting firms, public agencies, and non-profit organizations. Additionally, the program prepares graduate students for emerging careers as geospatial analysts in the Military and Intelligence Communities.

Examples of what our graduates do after earning their MA in Applied Geography:

  • One 2020 graduate is employed with El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office as GIS and Data Technician.
  • Another 2020 graduate is employed with Battelle Memorial Institute as an Air Monitoring Technician working at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP). This graduate is also creating an LLC to offer GIS consulting services to the residential/homeowner market.

The MA program prides itself in the diverse areas of geography, and focuses on sustainability, applied and community-based research, physical systems, and geospatial technologies.

  • Sustainability studies integrates knowledge and methodologies from the sciences, humanities, and arts to provide a roadmap that can be applied to the design, selection, and implementation of sustainable policies, practices, technologies, and strategies.
  • Students engaged in applied, community-based research projects often provide practical and systematic solutions that address one or more of the universal sustainability goals of environmental protection, social equity, and economic opportunity.
  • Students interested in physical systems contribute knowledge to disciplines of geomorphology (mountain systems, rock weathering, fluvial systems, hydrology, hazards), weather and climate (weather hazards, micro-climate, meteorological / landscape relationships, climate systems and climate change, wildland fire regimes), geology (paleontology and geologic hazards), geomorphometry / digital terrain modeling, soils, biogeography, cryosphere (snow science and glaciation), and more.
  • Student research that focuses on geospatial technologies (including geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, internet mapping, and geovisualization) is profoundly changing the way research scientists are addressing critical social, economic, human-environmental, and physical geographic systems.

Areas of Specialization

  • Sustainability Studies: Sustainability studies integrates knowledge and methodologies from the Sciences, Humanities, and Arts to provide a road map that can be applied to the design, selection, and implementation of sustainable policies, practices, technologies, and strategies. Sustainability Studies provides a dynamic feedback loop of information and practice. The Master of Arts in Applied Geography provides opportunities to explore nature-society relations and social equity issues at a variety of scales.
  • Applied, Community-Based Research: Students typically engage in applied, community-based research projects. These students often provide practical and systematic solutions that address one or more of the universal sustainability goals of environmental protection, social equity, and economic opportunity. The context of this research is typically the local community, but several students have expanded the scope of their work to include the western US and the US more generally. Some have even gone as far away as Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa to collaborate with both our skilled faculty and local experts to provide social, economic, and technological solutions for specific problems facing these communities.
  • Physical Systems: Here, students conduct research around physical geographic systems to contribute knowledge to disciplines of geomorphology (mountain systems, rock weathering, fluvial systems, hydrology, hazards), weather and climate (weather hazards, micro-climate, meteorological / landscape relationships, climate systems and climate change, wildland fire regimes), geology (paleontology and geologic hazards), geomorphometry / digital terrain modeling, soils, biogeography, cryosphere (snow science and glaciation), and more.
  • Geospatial Technologies: Many graduate students use the emerging field of geospatial technology to advance research on the above topics because visualizing data through technologies such as geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and/or internet mapping is profoundly changing the way research scientists are addressing critical social, economic, human-environmental, and physical geographic systems.

Program Outcomes

The program requires graduate students to undertake problem-solving research, think critically about spatial relationships, and communicate effectively. Graduates from the MA program go onto PhD programs, serve in professional and managerial positions, and/or as information and technology experts for consulting firms, public agencies, and non-profit organizations. Additionally, the program prepares graduate students for emerging careers as geospatial analysts in the Military and Intelligence Communities.

Program Contact

Brandon Vogt, PhD
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in GES
email: bvogt@uccs.edu

MA Program Information