Geography

Department Chairperson : Arthur Redman

Graduate Advisor : Daniel R. Block

Graduate Faculty: Mark Bouman, Daniel R. Block, Carrie Breitbach, Janet I. Halpin, Gebeyehu Mulugeta.

The Department of Geography, Sociology, Economics, and Anthropology offers a program leading to the Master of Arts in Geography. In consultation with the graduate advisor, students may design a flexible program in the general field of geography or may choose to concentrate in Geographic Information Systems. The general program fosters inquiry into the way economic and environmental forces interact at the local, regional, national, and global levels. Students may prepare for a variety of career choices in geography and economic development, including business, government, teaching, community development, and advanced research. The MA in Geography with specialization in Geographic Information Systems program prepares students to become advanced GIS/Remote Sensing professionals or prepares them to continue on for a Ph.D. in these rapidly growing fields.

The department reaches out to surrounding communities through the Neighborhood Assistance Center. It provides technical assistance to neighborhood-based community and economic development organizations and includes the Calumet Environmental Resource Center. Students assist in research and may have the opportunity to intern with local organizations. (Refer to the Neighborhood Assistance Center announcement at the end of this section.)

Master of Arts in Geography (30 Hours)

Admission Requirements

Fulfillment of the general requirements for admission to the graduate program.

Completion of a minimum of 15 semester credit hours of undergraduate geography courses including one course in physical geography or equivalent, one course in human geography or equivalent, and one course in research methods or statistics. The department may prescribe additional pre-requisites on a case-by-case basis. Students must also satisfy prerequisite requirements for specific graduate courses.

General Requirements

Completion of 30 credit hours of graduate courses including a comprehensive examination to be taken prior to graduation.

Either successful completion of Master’s papers in two required courses, or a research thesis written under the direction of a departmental specialist in the thesis area. If the student elects to do the thesis option, six credit hours will be given for the thesis in lieu of six credit hours of course work. The student must register for six credit hours and may receive an incomplete grade until the completion of the thesis and its acceptance by the thesis committee.

Specific Requirements

Students must take Geographic Inquiry (GEOG 5860), Geographic Measurement Techniques (GEOG 5880), and electives to be selected with the advisor’s approval.

MA in Geography with concentration in geographic information systems (33 hours)

Admission Requirements

  • Fulfillment of general requirements for admission into graduate programs at Chicago State University, which includes attainment of a 3.0 GPA at the undergraduate level.
  • Students who lack at least 3 hours of computer programming and 3 hours of introductory GIS may be required to make up these deficiencies. The requirements to complete the program are as follows:

Course requirements:

Graduate Geography Core (6 hours)

  • GEOG 5860: Geographic Inquiry
  • GEOG 5880: Geographic Measurement Techniques

Required Geographic Information Systems Courses (15 hours)

  • GEOG 5820: Environmental Remote Sensing
  • GEOG 5830: Advanced GIS
  • GEOG 5810: Cartographic Design and Visualization
  • GEOG 5840: Digital Image Processing and Analysis
  • GEOG 5850: GIS Applications

Electives from the following chosen in consultation with the graduate advisor (6 hours)

GEOG 5500: Urban Geography

GEOG 5530: Neighborhood Development

GEOG 5540: Community Analysis

GEOG 5520: Principles and Practices of Urban and Regional Planning

GEOG 5841: GIS Database Development and Management

GEOG 5842: GIS Programming and Customization

GEOG 5851: GIS Internship

Master’s Thesis (6 hours)

GEOG 5991: Thesis I

GEOG 5992: Thesis II

Students with previous degrees/certificates in GIS seeking admission into the MAG-GIS program should consult with the graduate advisor about their program of study.

Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)*

Certificate program for those with a bachelor’s degree. Certificate awarded upon completion. Courses may be applied to the Master of Arts degree in Geography.

Required Courses (15 credit hours)

GEOG 4820/343, 4830/344, 4180/345, 5840/443, 5850/444.

Note: Students who lack at least 3 hours of computer programming and 3 hours introductory GIS may be required to make up the deficiency.

Graduate Certificate in Community Development*

Certificate program for those with a bachelor’s degree. Certificate awarded upon completion. Courses may be applied to the Master of Arts degree in Geography.

Required Courses (15 credit hours)

GEOG 5520, 5530, 5540, 5550; SOC 5450. Prerequisite: GEOG 4500 ( Urban Geography) or equivalent.

*Students seeking admission to the certificate program must possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and must fulfill the general requirements for admission to graduate programs at Chicago State University. Courses must be completed with an average GPA of 3.0 or better.

Course Offerings

Geography (GEOG)

5010/317 GEOGRAPHY OF THE CHICAGO METROPOLITAN AREA (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 2500/111 or equivalent, or consent of the department.

Development, functions, and problems. Land use, population patterns, industry and transportation.

5219/321 POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY (3)

Prerequisite: HIST 1210/121, equivalent, or consent of the department.

Landforms, population, and economic factors influencing territorial control; emphasis on areas of current friction between nations.

5220/301 HISTORY OF GEOGRAPHY (3)

Prerequisite: Admission to the master’s degree program or consent of the department.

Survey of the major schools of thought; works of leading geographers and related selected writings.

5250/361 GEOGRAPHY OF FOOD AND HUNGER (3)

Geography, culture, and economics of food from production to consumption. Differences and disparities in access to food worldwide and locally.

5270/365 GEOGRAPHY OF POPULATION (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

World population patterns, characteristics, and trends. Problems of migration and over population.

5280 GENDER, DEVELOPMENT, AND GLOBALIZATION (3)

Gendered implications of the history of uneven development and development policy. Analysis of gendered impact of planning and policy intended to develop the less-developed world. Emergence and significance of cultural and economic globalization and implications for gender and development.

5290 ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE (3)

Environmental justice as an activist movement and a set of ideas. Case studies of uneven distribution of environmental resources and pollution from the US and international locations. Assessment of policy, activism, and theoretical understandings of environmental justice issues.

5300/360 SEMINAR IN GEOGRAPHY (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Special topics and problems. May be repeated for a maximum of nine credit hours under different topics.

5310/441 SEMINAR IN HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Problems in human geography, including: historical, political or population geography. (May be repeated for a maximum of nine credit hours under different topics.)

5320/448 SEMINAR IN ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 2230/204, or ECON 1010/101, or consent of the department.

Analysis of selected topics in economic geography, including industrial, transportation, location processes, and community economic development. (Same as ECON 5040/448. May be repeated for a maximum of nine credit hours under different topics.)

5330/449 SEMINAR IN REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department .

Contemporary issues on social and economic development for a selected area of the world. (May be repeated for a maximum of nine credit hours.)

5340/450 SEMINAR IN URBAN GEOGRAPHY (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 5500/316 or equivalent .

Selected topics in the functions and development of cities. (May be repeated for a maximum of nine credit hours under different topics.)

5420/328 LANDFORMS OF THE AMERICAS (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1400/131 & 2430/213, equivalent, or consent of the department.

Development and classification of landforms in physiographic provinces of North and South America.

5430/327 GEOMORPHOLOGY (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1400/131 & 2430/213, equivalent, or consent of the department.

World landforms: diastrophism, volcanism, weathering, and erosion.

5460/362 HAZARDS OF GLOBALIZATION (3)

Interconnection of local, regional and global systems of environment, economy and transportation. Consequences of globalization, focusing on bioinvasion by exotic species and diseases, and culture conflicts resulting from mass communication and transportation. Additional course fee.

5500/316 URBAN GEOGRAPHY (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 2500/111 or equivalent, or consent of the department.

The study of the city and its problems including those dealing with housing, neighborhoods, transportation, industry, environment, and city planning. Writing emphasis course. Additional course fee.

5510/331 GEOGRAPHY OF URBANIZATION (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 5500/316 or consent of the department. 

The origins and spread of cities across the globe. The dynamics of urban growth in preindustrial, industrial, and postindustrial contexts.

5520/350 PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 5500/316 or consent of the instructor.

Theory and techniques. Analysis of established planning practices.

5530/352 NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Problems associated with declining neighborhoods and development efforts are analyzed. Case study approach incorporating field work.

5540/353 COMMUNITY ANALYSIS (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 4500/316 or equivalent

Techniques for analyzing a community’s social and economic makeup, natural and built environment, and local assets and challenges. Additional course fee.

5550/453 SEMINAR IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (3)

Prerequisites: GEOG 5520/350, 5530/352, 5540/353; and SOC 2400/202 or higher, or consent of department.

Creation, design, and implementation of a community development study project involving working closely with a community development organization. Lectures, fieldwork, and discussions include topics of fundraising, staffing, budgeting, and strategic planning. Additional course fee.

5560/356 GEOGRAPHY OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

The geographic framework of cities, states, and nations to develop tourist industries is analyzed. Introduction to methods for identifying sites as tourist attractions. Tourism strategies and their economic development implications are explored.

5580/351 URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING SEMINAR (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 5520/350 or consent of the instructor.

Individual and cooperative experience in problem analysis and plan making.

5590/391 URBAN FIELD EXPERIENCE (3-12)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Supervised experience in internship as a volunteer worker in a social, private, or governmental agency program.

5800/342 INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (3)

Prerequisites: Geography 2840 or consent of department

Fundamentals of cartography; data development and acquisition; introduction to data structures and database management; spatial analysis and modeling; GIS applications areas. GIS and Society. Additional course fee.

5810/345 CARTOGRAPHIC DESIGN AND VISUALIZATION (3)

Map projections and the concept of distortion, symbolization, and generalization; Principles of cartographic design for effective communication and visualization of geospatial information, and design of presentation-quality maps. Additional course fee.

5820/343 ENVIRONMENTAL REMOTE SENSING (3)

Prerequisites: Geography 2840 or consent of department.

Photographic and non-photographic techniques of acquiring environmental data, image interpretation and analysis, and fundamentals of digital image processing. Additional course fee.

5830/344 ADVANCED GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 5800/342

Advanced concepts in spatial data structures, database development and management, data standards, data errors and quality control, and spatial analysis and modeling. Additional course fee.

5840/443 DIGITAL IMAGE PROCESSING (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 5820/343

Digital image processing and analysis of remotely sensed data for earth resource management applications and imagery in GIS. Additional course fee.

5841 GIS DATABASE DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT (3)

Prerequisites:GEOG 5830 or Consent of Department

Geodatabase formats, geodatabase design and development, metadata design and development, and GIS data acquisition and integration. Additional course fee.

5842 GIS PROGRAMMING AND CUSTOMIZATION (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 5830 or consent of department.

Visual Basic programming and customization of ArcGIS to extend its built-in functionalities and to automate repetitive tasks. Additional course fee.

5850/444 GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS APPLICATION (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 5830/344

Development and implementation of a major GIS project and seminars on GIS project planning and implementation, decision making in the GIS context, and system planning and implementation. Additional course fee.

5851 GIS INTERNSHIP (3)

Prerequisites GEOG 5830

Minimum of 80 hours in internship working in a public or private agency that utilizes the GIS technology in any GIS position deemed appropriate for an intern. Students will document their day-to-day activities and their experiences as interns and write a final report to be submitted to the CSU intern supervisor. Final grade will be based on the final report and a survey on intern performance completed by the intern employer.

5860 GEOGRAPHIC INQUIRY (3)

Introduction to research and writing in geography at the graduate level. Explores fundamental debates and literatures in the discipline. Emphasizes tasks of critical reading, research question formulation, research design, and writing.

5880/380 GEOGRAPHIC MEASUREMENT TECHNIQUES (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 2899/280, ECON 4000/230, or consent of the department.

Analytical methods for geographic decision making and spatial analysis. Additional course fee.

5890/390 FIELD RESEARCH TECHNIQUES LECTURE AND FIELD /4 (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Detailed and reconnaissance field work. Classification of natural and cultural features, interview procedures, and preparation of maps and reports based on field data.

5900/395 INDEPENDENT RESEARCH IN GEOGRAPHY (1-3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Individually supervised study of selected topics. May be repeated for a maximum of six credit hours under different topics.

5905/399 SPECIAL TOPICS WORKSHOP (1-9)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Workshop in geography on special topics for teachers and professionals. May be repeated for a maximum of nine credit hours under different topics. Not to be included in the master’s program in geography without specific written department consent.

Note: All graduate students are eligible to enroll for 400-level classes, except those designated as restricted to master’s degree students or requiring departmental permission. Prior consultation with the department is recommended.

5910/410 SPECIAL STUDIES IN GEOGRAPHY I (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Advanced study and directed research (May be repeated for a maximum of nine credit hours under different topics.)

5920/411 SPECIAL STUDIES IN GEOGRAPHY II (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Advanced study and directed research. (May be repeated for a maximum of nine credit hours under different topics.)

5991 M.A. THESIS I (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the Department and completion of 12 credit hours in the graduate program.

Directed research resulting in completion of a master’s thesis proposal and acquisition of data necessary to write thesis.

5992 M.A. THESIS II (3)

Prerequisites:GEOG 5991, consent of department and completion of 12 credit hours in the graduate program.

Directed research resulting in data analysis and preparation and successful defense of a written thesis.

5990/499 MASTER’S THESIS (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department and successful completion of 12 credit hours in the graduate program.

Directed Research. The course must be repeated for a total of six credit hours. All six credit hours must be completed within two years of registration for the first three hours.