Daniel D'Souza
Written By - Daniel D'Souza

Check MarkEdited By Darryl S.

Check MarkReview & Contribution By Dr. Ethan Reed

Geography studies places and the relationships between people and their environments. Geographers explore the physical properties of Earth’s surface and the human societies spread across it. Geography seeks to understand where things are found, why they are there, and how they develop and change over time. The purpose of the Master’s in Geography online program is to provide a framework for students to gain proficiency in at least one of the systematic branches of geography, at least one primary research technique, and a basic understanding of geographic information systems (GIS) and geographic information science program. Master’s degree work incorporates formal classwork, seminars, and hands-on research experience.


Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Best Master’s in Geography Online Programs

A few of the biggest dilemmas while deciding to do a master’s in the program are which program to pursue, which school to pick, and which university to enroll in. And then there are other considerations such as cost, placements, starting salary, employment rates, acceptance rates, etc. The teams at OMC went through all these matrices and created a list of the best online masters in geography:

To Link to this page, please copy and paste this code into your website

<a href="https://www.onlinemasterscolleges.com/masters-in-geography-online/">Masters in Geography Online</a>

Code copied successfully!

College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
Texas A & M University, College Station
JKW Administration Building, Suite 200, College Station, Texas 77843
George Washington University(on-campus)
1918 F Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20052
University of Southern California
University Park, Los Angeles, California 90089
Johns Hopkins University(on-campus)
3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
Salisbury University
1101 Camden Ave, Salisbury, Maryland 21801
South Dakota State University(on-campus)
1004 Campanile Ave, Brookings, South Dakota 57007
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Rd, Administration Bldg., Room 339, Boca Raton, Florida 33431
University of Maine
168 College Avenue, Orono, Maine 04469
Northern Arizona University
1900 S Knoles Dr, Babbitt Administrative Center, Room 200, Flagstaff, Arizona 86011
Georgia Southern University(on-campus)
1332 Southern Drive, Statesboro, Georgia 30460
Northwest Missouri State University
800 University Drive, Maryville, Missouri 64468
University of North Alabama
One Harrison Plaza, Florence, Alabama 35632
The University of West Florida
11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, Florida 32514
University of Central Arkansas
201 Donaghey Ave, Conway, Arkansas 72035
The University of Montana(on-campus)
Missoula, Montana, Missoula, Montana 59812
University of Colorado-Denver
1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400, Denver, Colorado 80217
Northeastern Illinois University(on-campus)
5500 N Saint Louis Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60625
Pennsylvania State University
128 Outreach Building, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding Master’s in Geography Online Programs

Exploring Geography Master’s Programs online provides an in-depth understanding of the Earth’s physical and human landscapes and the role of geographical principles in analyzing and addressing complex spatial issues. Students engage in a flexible online learning environment with a curriculum spanning physical geography, human geography, geographic information systems (GIS), and environmental studies. Here, they immerse themselves in geographic research and analysis, gaining the expertise to conceptualize, study, and address diverse geographical challenges. This program typically requires 30 to 36 credits, ensuring graduates emerge well-prepared to navigate and contribute to the dynamic field of geography, addressing issues related to the environment, society, and spatial relationships.

Curriculum and Skills Gained in Geography Master Programs

Online Geography Master’s programs offer a comprehensive curriculum encompassing spatial analysis, environmental dynamics, and societal interactions. With adaptable formats, students can blend online learning with on-site experiences. Spanning 30 to 36 credits, coursework involves research, community projects, and practical applications, preparing graduates to address complex geographical challenges through evidence-based practices in diverse professional settings.

The curriculum of programs may differ from school to school; however, some standard core courses may be a part of coursework, including:

  • Coastal Geomorphology
    This course explores the dynamic interactions between landforms and coastal processes. Students delve into the study of coastal landforms, sedimentation, and the impact of human activities on coastal environments. The program integrates fieldwork, research, and advanced analytical skills to address coastal management challenges.
  • Glacial Geomorphology
    This course explores the study of landforms shaped by glaciers. This program explores glacial processes, landform development, and paleoclimatology. Students gain fieldwork, mapping, and data analysis expertise to comprehend glacial dynamics and their implications for climate change and landscape evolution.
  • Urban Systems
    This course explores urbanization, spatial patterns, and social, economic, and environmental aspects of urban systems. Students engage in interdisciplinary research to address contemporary urban challenges and contribute to sustainable urban development.
  • Environment and Subsistence in Indigenous Cultures
    This course explores the intricate relationships between indigenous communities and their environments. Students delve into sustainable resource management, cultural practices, and the impact of environmental changes on subsistence strategies, fostering a comprehensive understanding of indigenous geographical dynamics.
  • Human Geography
    This course explores the complexities of human-environment interactions, urbanization, migration, and socio-cultural patterns. Students analyze spatial relationships, power dynamics, and the impact of globalization, gaining a nuanced understanding of how geography shapes societies and influences the human experience in diverse geographical contexts.

Upon completing Geography Master’s programs, graduates emerge with a rich skill set. Some of the skills they would have acquired are:

  • Advanced data analysis proficiency
  • Critical thinking application to complex geographical issues
  • High-level spatial reasoning skills
  • Expertise in navigating and interpreting GIS
  • Problem-solving at the intersection of environment and society
  • Effective communication in interdisciplinary settings
  • Research design and execution capabilities
  • Geographic information technology application
  • Policy analysis and Formulation Competence
  • Spatial modeling and visualization expertise

Geography Master Degree Types

Geography Master’s degree programs offer either Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) options. These degrees cater to diverse interests within the discipline, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of spatial relationships and environmental dynamics. The MA often emphasizes human geography, while the MS focuses on physical geography and quantitative methodologies.

Master of Arts in Geography (MA)

A Master of Arts in Geography offers an interdisciplinary exploration of spatial patterns and human-environment interactions. Emphasizing qualitative methodologies, it explores geography’s cultural, economic, and social aspects. This program fosters critical thinking and research skills, preparing graduates for urban planning, environmental analysis, and social policy roles.

Master of Science in Geography (MS)

A Master of Science in Geography focuses on quantitative methods and physical geography, examining spatial phenomena through scientific approaches. This program emphasizes research, data analysis, and mapping techniques. Graduates are equipped for careers in environmental science, GIS (Geographic Information Systems), and research positions that demand a strong foundation in analytical geography.

Specializations in Geography Master Programs

Specialization in education allows students to focus deeply on a specific subject or field of interest, acquiring in-depth knowledge and skills. This targeted approach enhances expertise, preparing students for specialized careers and making them valuable contributors to their chosen fields. Specialization also fosters a sense of passion and commitment as students engage with topics they are genuinely interested in, leading to a more fulfilling and successful academic journey. Here are some specializations in a master’s in geography:

Area of FocusDescriptionCareers This Concentration prepares for
Environmental GeographyThis specialization explores spatial patterns of environmental change, sustainable resource management, and the impact of climate change. Graduates possess environmental analysis and policy development expertise and contribute to a more resilient and sustainable world.• Environmental Consultant
• Conservation Scientist
• Climate Change Analyst
• Sustainability Coordinator
GIS and Spatial AnalysisThis specialization focuses on advanced geospatial technologies to analyze and interpret spatial data. Students gain expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and spatial modeling. This specialization equips graduates with skills to address complex spatial challenges across various sectors, from urban planning to environmental management.• GIS Analyst
• Cartographer
• Spatial Data Scientist
• Geospatial Intelligence Analyst
Urban and Regional PlanningThis specialization emphasizes strategic development and sustainable urban design. This specialization equips students with skills in spatial analysis, land-use planning, and policy formulation. Graduates contribute to shaping vibrant, resilient cities, addressing contemporary challenges in urbanization, and fostering sustainable communities through informed planning practices.• Urban Planner
• Regional Planner
• Transportation Planner
• Housing Policy Analyst
CartographyThis specialization explores the art and science of mapmaking. This specialization focuses on advanced techniques in map design, visualization, and spatial representation. Graduates possess expertise in creating informative and visually compelling maps, contributing to the effective communication of geographic information across diverse fields and industries.• Cartographer
• GIS Specialist
• Map Designer
• Geospatial Analyst
BiogeographyThis specialization explores the interactions between organisms and their environment, equipping students with skills to address conservation, ecology, and environmental management challenges in various geographic contexts.• Biogeographer
• Conservation Biologist
• Ecologist
• Environmental Scientist

Timeline For Graduating From Masters in Geography Online Programs

The timeline for graduating from online Master’s in Geography programs varies but typically spans 1.5 to 2 years of full-time study. Part-time options may extend the duration. Students progress through coursework and research projects and may complete a thesis or capstone. Flexibility in scheduling allows individuals to balance academic commitments with other responsibilities. Adherence to the program’s structure ensures timely completion, culminating in a Master’s degree in Geography.

Accelerated Master’s in Geography Online Programs

Accelerated programs offer a condensed and intensive educational experience, enabling students to complete their degrees faster than traditional programs. These programs often feature a streamlined curriculum and focused coursework and may involve summer sessions. Accelerated programs are designed for motivated and dedicated individuals and provide an efficient path to academic and professional advancement. Some of the colleges providing an online master in geography program in the U.S. include:

Admission Requirements For Master’s in Geography Online Programs

To enroll in an online Master’s in Geography program, potential students must meet specific admission prerequisites. It is crucial to assess whether these requirements align with one’s qualifications to gauge the likelihood of acceptance. Each educational institution defines unique criteria tailored to its program structure. Some standard admission requirements for online geography masters programs involve:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A completed undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is typically required. 
  • GPA (Grade Point Average): Many programs will specify a minimum GPA for admission. This is often on a 4.0 scale, and a GPA of 3.0 or higher is commonly required.
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all previous academic institutions attended are usually required as part of the application process.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Some programs may request letters of recommendation from professors, employers, or others who can speak to your academic or professional abilities.
  • Statement of Purpose: A personal statement outlining your academic and professional goals and reasons for pursuing a Master’s in Geography online.
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV): A summary of your academic and professional experiences, including any relevant research, publications, or work experience.
  • GRE Scores: While some programs may not require GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores, others may consider them part of the application. Check the specific requirements of the program you are interested in.
  • Interview: Sometimes, an interview may be part of the admission process. This can be conducted in person, over the phone, or via video conferencing.

Master’s in Geography Online No GRE Programs

The GRE, a standardized test for graduate school admissions, is increasingly being waived by colleges to promote inclusivity and assess applicants holistically. This shift acknowledges that test scores may not accurately reflect an individual’s potential. Many institutions now consider work experience, personal statements, and recommendation letters, recognizing diverse strengths and experiences in the admission process. Here are some online master’s in geography no GRE programs:

Accreditation for Master’s in Geography Online Programs

Accreditation ensures educational quality and standards, validating that institutions meet established criteria. Accredited programs assure students of a reputable education recognized by employers and other institutions. These programs enhance student outcomes by promoting rigorous curriculum, faculty expertise, and effective learning environments. Graduates benefit from increased job prospects, transferability of credits, and confidence in the value of their education, fostering lifelong success. Here are the six regional accrediting agencies in the United States that accredit universities regionally:

Free Online Geography Courses

Accessible from anywhere, free online courses cover diverse subjects, enabling learners to explore their interests cost-effectively to acquire new skills and knowledge.  While not accredited, they provide valuable insights, boost resumes, and can serve as a foundation for further learning. Students benefit from flexibility, self-paced study, and a wealth of resources, making them an excellent supplement to formal education.

Here are a few examples of free courses geography students can explore:

CourseGIS Data Quality and Geographic Positioning System6
Provided byAlison
DescriptionThis free online course explores GIS Data Quality and Geographic Positioning System (GPS). It addresses errors and factors influencing spatial data quality by covering data assessment techniques. The course delves into aspects of data accuracy and sources of error and introduces map display and global navigation satellite systems for comprehensive learning.
CourseRepresenting the Real World in Geographic Information Systems7
Provided byAlison
DescriptionThis course focuses on enhancing knowledge in geographic information systems. Participants will acquire an understanding of georeferencing techniques, systems, and diverse projections. The course covers coordinate reference systems, geographical coordinate systems, geodetic data, and earth representation, providing comprehensive insights into GIS concepts.
CourseAdvanced Diploma in Geographic Information Systems8
Provided byAlison
DescriptionIn this course, participants will understand geographic information systems and explore the representation of real-world data. The course covers data flow, diverse databases, models, and opportunities within GIS. It provides insights into data analysis possibilities and the software employed for mastering GIS tools.

How to Pay for Master’s in Geography Online Programs

The expenses associated with pursuing an online Master’s in Geography program can vary depending on factors such as geographic location, program structure, travel, and other essential resources for students. Due to these considerations, some individuals may feel hesitant about pursuing these programs. However, students can explore various funding options to support their educational pursuits. Here are some funding options that master’s in geography students could avail are:


Scholarships provide invaluable financial support to students, easing the burden of educational expenses. By rewarding academic excellence, talents, or specific achievements, scholarships open doors to higher education, empowering individuals to pursue their academic goals and contribute meaningfully to their fields.


Grants offer vital financial aid, supporting students in their pursuit of education. These non-repayable funds, often need-based, bridge financial gaps, ensuring access to higher learning and fostering opportunities for personal and academic growth.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships provide students with valuable opportunities for hands-on experience and financial support. These roles, often tied to research or teaching, contribute to professional development and alleviate the financial challenges of pursuing advanced education.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a vital tool for college students, gauging eligibility for U.S. government financial aid. It’s essential in determining financial need and qualifying for assistance through grants, work-study programs, or loans.

Read the Financial Aid Guide to learn about college funding.

Scholarships for Master’s in Geography Students

Graduate students pursuing a Master’s in Geography can explore diverse funding options, with scholarships being a prominent choice. These financial awards significantly alleviate the economic strain on students, making advanced degrees in geography more attainable. To secure such scholarships, diligent research on institutions, eligibility criteria, and application processes is imperative. By investing time in this exploration, students can identify suitable opportunities, enhancing their chances of obtaining financial support for their academic pursuits.

Career Paths and Average Salaries for Geography Graduates

Geography graduates can explore various job opportunities across different sectors, utilizing their spatial and analytical skills. They contribute to both public and private domains, positively impacting society. The diverse career paths available allow these graduates to find fulfilling roles that promote personal growth and meaningful contributions within their chosen fields. Graduates in geography can pursue careers in various fields, such as:

OccupationMedian Annual Salary (US $)Job Growth (2022-2032)Job Description
Urban and Regional Planner9$79,5404% (as fast as average)Urban and regional planners devise land use plans and programs to shape communities, accommodate population growth, and rejuvenate physical infrastructure in towns and cities. Their responsibilities include meeting with officials and the public, analyzing data from various studies, conducting field investigations, reviewing development plans, and staying abreast of zoning and environmental regulations. Planners are crucial in recommending and presenting proposals to enhance community development. Urban and regional planners may specialize in areas such as transportation planning, community development, historic preservation, or urban design, among other fields of interest.
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists10$71,8905% (faster than average)Cartographers and photogrammetrists specialize in collecting, measuring, and interpreting geographic information to craft maps for regional planning, education, and other applications. Cartographers design user-friendly maps, while photogrammetrists use technology to create Earth surface models. They utilize geodetic surveys, aerial cameras, satellites, and LIDAR systems for accurate mapping, supporting applications in urban planning and government agencies, including those involving national security and public safety.
Geographers11$88,9001% (little or no change)Geographers investigate Earth’s land distribution and human activities, collecting data through diverse methods like field observations and satellite imagery. They analyze and visually present geographic data using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and GPS. Geographers contribute to fields like urban planning and disaster response, providing valuable insights to governments, businesses, and the public.
Geographic Information Systems Manager12$134,400No Data AvailableThe Geographic Information Systems Manager oversees mappers and drafters, coordinating GIS projects to enhance understanding of variables in specific locations. They offer technical support, develop solutions, and deliver updated maps and datasets to clients. Proficient in GIS software and technology, they efficiently manage applications and ensure effective utilization of Geographic Information System techniques.

Certifications and Licensing for Geography Graduates

The geography vocation typically doesn’t need a certification nor a mandatory license to practice their craft. However, organizations put a lot of value on professional certifications while hiring candidates. If one has completed a master’s in geography, it would not be a bad idea to pursue one of the certifications relating to their field of work or a graduate certificate in geography. A few certifications to consider are:

Geographic Information Science Graduate Certificate13
The Geographic Information Science Graduate Certificate equips students for government roles demanding GIS expertise. Tailored for business and industry needs, it benefits government contractors in the U.S. and abroad. Available on a flexible schedule, full or part-time, it caters to diverse professional commitments.

Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)14
The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate enhances geographic awareness and geospatial technology skills, opening diverse career prospects. Integrating research and hands-on experience with cutting-edge tools, the program equips graduates to solve intricate industry challenges. They gain advanced GIS data analysis expertise, empowering them to develop practical solutions.

Additional Resources for Master’s in Geography Students

A master’s in geography is a gateway to an industry with huge potential. But to further their careers and remain relevant in this fast-paced industry, professionals can become members and accredit themselves with a professional organization in their chosen career field of geography. Apart from being a body that assists in developing and distributing knowledge, professional geography associations keep their members informed about the newest developments and innovations. Here are a few such organizations:

The American Association of Geographers (AAG)
The American Association of Geographers (AAG) is a prominent organization advancing the understanding, study, and application of geography. With a diverse membership, it fosters collaboration through conferences, publications, and educational initiatives. AAG promotes geographic research, education, and outreach to address global challenges and contribute to informed decision-making.

American Geographical Society (AGS)
Founded in 1851, the American Geographical Society (AGS) originated with a mission to rescue Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin. Though unsuccessful, AGS expanded its focus to exploration, surveys, and scholarly publications. With Archer Huntington’s support, it thrived, becoming a leading force in global geography, fostering innovation, advancing science, and addressing societal challenges. 

National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE)
The National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) promotes geographic teaching through professional development, journals, publications, and resources. It recognizes educators, advocates for geography in schools, and organizes conferences to foster idea-sharing and innovation. NCGE is dedicated to equipping students with knowledge, perspectives, and decision-making skills, supporting educators in creating engaging learning experiences. 

Geography Education National Implementation Project (GENIP)
GENIP, the Geography Education National Implementation Project, unites the Association of American Geographers, the American Geographical Society, the National Council for Geographic Education, and the National Geographic Society. The Coordinating Committee spearheads collaboration to advance K-12 geography education, fostering initiatives, supporting projects, and presenting a unified voice on policy, research, and standards implementation.

FAQs About Master’s in Geography Online Programs

What is a master’s in geography?

A Master’s in Geography is a higher-level degree where you learn more about Earth’s features, how people interact with the environment, and analyze maps. It helps you become skilled in researching, understanding global patterns, and using technology to study places. It’s like becoming an expert in understanding the world around us.

How long does it take to complete a master’s in geography?

Are online geography programs as reputable as traditional ones?

Are online geography programs more affordable than on-campus ones?

Can I transfer credits from another institution into an online geography program?

What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning in online geography programs?