Apr 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Geography and Environmental Systems, Ph.D.

Degree Requirements (44 credits minimum)

Once enrolled, students will work with a faculty advisor to select courses and a program of study that meets their particular needs. The selection of courses includes core courses, other departmental requirements, electives, and research credits. Minimum credit totals and specific course requirements are listed below for each degree option. Additional courses needed either as prerequisites for graduate study or to prepare the student for the research area identified, may be required after consultation with the student’s graduate advisor.

Ph.D. students will typically complete the degree requirements within 8 to 10 semesters of matriculation, depending in part on previous coursework and relevant experience. Prospective Ph.D. students who have not completed a Masters degree prior to arriving at UMBC can expect to take more coursework and will typically need more time to complete the program than students who have already completed a Masters degree. A faculty committee will evaluate progress toward the degree and will be responsible for administering an oral defense of the thesis after it is complete. Ph.D. students will take a comprehensive qualifying exam between the end of their fourth and fifth semesters and will defend their dissertation proposal by the end of their next semester after passing the comprehensive exam. The committee also will administer an oral defense of the dissertation after it is completed.

Core Courses (8 credits)

Required Courses (7 credits)


(Graduate-level statistics and GIS requirements can be waived if a student has already taken equivalent; this will require faculty evaluation.)

Electives (12 credits)

Electives will be chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor and committee. One of these electives will be selected from among the following areas: Social Science Methods, Remote Sensing, Computational Methods and Modeling, and Environmental Science Field and Laboratory Methods. Eligible courses available each year will be determined by the faculty and the list will be disseminated to faculty advisors and graduate students.

Additional electives will be chosen based on the specific subject areas needed to prepare for success in conducting doctoral research. Courses offered by Geography and Environmental Systems or by other departments can be used as electives where they meet a particular need.