Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate programs offered

Earn a Graduate Degree

  • MA or PhD in Geography
Areas of Study

These informal areas of focus may help to shape your course of study but they will not appear on transcripts.

  • Geographic Information Science (GI Science)
  • Great Plains Studies
  • Historical-Cultural Geography
  • Human Geography
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Geography

Earn a Graduate Certificate

Certificates have their own deadlines and checklists; select one for details.

Online and Distance Opportunities

Some online coursework may be available for your program; contact dept. for details.

Contacts for Geography

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Other Ways to Connect

On the Web

Graduate Chair
Dr. Elizabeth Walter-Shea

Graduate Admissions Coordinator
Ms. Patty Swanson

Campus Address
304 Hardin Hall
Lincoln NE 68583-0961

Promo image for Geography

Application checklist and deadlines

1. Required by Graduate Studies

Submit these items as part of the standard steps to admission.

2. Required by Geography

After you apply, allow one business day for us to set up your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these requirements.

  • Entrance exam(s): GRE
  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 79, IELTS 6.5
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Statement of goals

When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, UNL's institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

Application Deadlines for Geography
  • For Financial Consideration: January 8 for Fall.

Application/admission is for entry in a specific term and year. UNL's academic year is divided into 3 terms: Fall (August-December), Spring (January-May), and Summer (multiple sessions May-August). Some UNL programs accept new students only in certain terms and/or years; if your desired entry term isn't mentioned here, you may want to consult the department for clarification.


Geography is an integral component of the UNL School of Natural Resources. The School has an innovative structure designed to facilitate interdisciplinary teaching and research on important issues involving climate variability and change, water resources and applied ecology, including human-cultural and social factors critical in environmental management and policy. Both master's and doctoral degrees in Geography are offered.

Particularly strong programs exist in: 1) Geographic Information Science, emphasizing geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing and cartography; 2) Historical and Human Geography, focusing on culture and settlement of the Great Plains, environmental perception and political behavior; 3) Natural Resources and Environmental Geography, emphasizing geospatial dimensions of conservation, water resources, natural hazards, climatology and related areas; and 4) Community and Regional Planning, a cross-disciplinary doctoral program combining strengths of the faculty of Geography and GI Science and faculty of Community and Regional Planning.

Many geography faculty and students are affiliated with UNL research centers such as the Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies, the National Drought Mitigation Center, the High Plains Regional Climate Center, and the Center for Great Plains Studies.

Cost of attendance

Cost differs from one student to another. For details see Tuition, Fees, and Funding or try our Cost Estimator.

Courses and More

Admitted students will choose courses from the Course Catalog, typically in: During the first half of their coursework, students will work with an advisor to create a plan of study — one of the essential Steps to Degree Completion.

Faculty and research

Where available, faculty names link to bios or homepages and conversation icons () link to directory listings with address, phone, and email.

J. Clark Archer

Political; Settlement; Computer Cartography; Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Rodrigo Cantarero

Economic Development and Planning; GIS; Minority Health Issues; Small Town Quality of Life Issues; ImmigrationAffiliated Faculty

Kenneth Dewey

Climate Variations; Severe Weather Safety; Climate Assessment and Impacts

Paul Hanson

Geomorphology and Landforms; Climate Change; Physical Geography of Nebraska and Great Plains

Cody Knutson

Physical and Human Aspects of Water Management; Drought Risk Management; Environmental Perceptions and Justice

Yunwoo Nam

Public Policy; Urban Modeling; Urban Spatial Structure; GIS and Analytic Methods; Land Use and Transportation InteractionAffiliated Faculty

Sunil Narumalani

Remote Sensing; GIS; Environmental StudiesAffiliated Faculty

Donald Rundquist

Remote SensingEmeritus

Gordon Scholz

Land Use Planning; Historic Preservation; Urban Planning and DesignAffiliated Faculty

Robert Stoddard

Human; Social; Field Techniques; South AsiaEmeritus

Zhenghong Tang

Environmental Planning and Policy; Local Land Use Planning in Environmental Management; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptations; GIS Applications in PlanningAffiliated Faculty

Brian Wardlow

Land Use and Cover; Drought; Biogeography; Climate-Vegetation Interactions; Remote Sensing; GIS

Donald Wilhite

Drought; Climate Assessment and Impacts; Human Dimensions

David Wishart

Dispossession of Indigenous Peoples; Great Plains; Geographical and Historical Epistemology

Arthur Zygielbaum

Remote Sensing; Geographic Information Science

This summary page is maintained by Graduate Studies.
For additional details check out the dept./program website: Geography.

Departments: Have an update for this summary? Contact Stacy Dam.