University General Course Catalog 2020-2021 
    Mar 02, 2024  

Geography, Ph.D.

The Department of Geography offers a Ph.D. in Geography. Department faculty promote the integration of physical, human, cultural, and resource geography. The Geography program emphasizes arid lands and landscapes, with a focus on intermountain environments, and specialties in geographic information science, climate, dynamics of past environments, and cultural historical geography. The Department houses the office of the Nevada State Climatologist, the Geographic Alliance in Nevada, the GeoSpatial Laboratory, Laboratory for Conservation Biogeography, and two physical geography laboratories, one for Palynology, the other for Dendrochronology. The Department has facilities for computer mapping and Geographic Information Systems. Students should read the Graduate School  section of the catalog and contact the Department for additional information.

Contact Information

Thomas Albright, Graduate Director Geography
(775) 784-6673

Department website:

Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes

  • Student will maximize their learning experiences by efficiently progressing through the program.
  • Students will attain a suitable degree of comfort with advanced-level research in physical, human, or cultural geography.
  • Students will demonstrate an advanced level of scholarly research by completing a dissertation.
  • Students will link their work and educational experiences.

Admission Requirements

For admission to the Ph.D. program, a Master’s degree in Geography or a related discipline is required.

Applications for acceptance into the PhD program are sent to the Graduate School  , and must include:

  1. a graduate admission application form, including fees;
  2. an official copy of GRE scores (optional); and
  3. official college transcripts.

Applicants must also send to the department a statement of purpose and goals and three recommendation letters. Applications received in full by February 1st will be considered for the fall semester. Prospective students are urged to contact potential graduate advisors among Department faculty well ahead of application deadlines.

Applicants for the Ph.D. degree in Geography must satisfy the general admission requirements of the Graduate School.

I. Program Requirements

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree in Geography must satisfy the general requirements of the Graduate School. Candidates must select a Ph.D. graduate committee consisting of at least five members of the graduate faculty, including the Advisor. In addition to the permanent advisor as chair, the committee is composed of two or more members from Geography; one or more members from departments in related fields; and, one member outside Geography, who is the Graduate School Representative. Each candidate for the Ph.D. in Geography is required to successfully complete a written and oral comprehensive examination.

II. Total Units (72 units)

Including 24 units from the Master’s degree.


  • All Ph.D. students must fulfill the Graduate School residency requirement, which requires two consecutive semesters of at least nine (9) graduate credits each.
  • Students on 20 hr/week assistantships require six (6) credits each for two consecutive semesters.
  • Each graduate course must be completed with a grade of “C” or better for the credit to be acceptable toward the degree. Additionally, students in the program must maintain a 3.0 (B) or better cumulative grade point average in all graduate credits attempted at the University.
  • Students have up to eight (8) years (six (6) years for a masters degree) to complete all requirements for their degree (including the period for the transfer credits). Be advised that the eight-year clock starts on the date the earliest course on the program of study was taken, even if that course was taken at another institution.
  • If credits are from another institution, the “Graduate Credit Transfer Evaluation Request” must be filed.