GRADUATE STUDENT HANDBOOK
 
A PRACTICAL GUIDE
TO GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMS
Department of Geography
University of Washington

 

GRADUATE PROGRAMS

(For full on-line access to graduate program rules and requirements, consult the UW Graduate School Homepage: http://www.grad.washington.edu/)

The Graduate Program Coordinator, who is a faculty member recommended by the department chair and appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School, administers the graduate programs in Geography. Individual faculty advisers and supervisors are appointed to supervise candidates for both MA and Ph.D. degrees. In addition, the Coordinator of Student Services should be contacted for administrative details.

 

Goals and Expectations

The graduate programs in Geography are designed to educate geographers for academic research and teaching at research universities and colleges, and for careers in government agencies, research institutes, consulting firms, and national and international corporations and organizations. Students are prepared for both empirical and theoretical research in geography, with a strong emphasis on the application of that research to contemporary problems and developing trends. The program offers analytical rigor in such areas as statistical analysis, spatial analysis,Geographical Information Systems (GIS), often combined with training in economic, political, cultural and policy analysis as well as social theory.

The graduate programs are designed to assist students to:

1) Acquire and develop general knowledge of geography, and gain a working familiarity with concepts, research tools and methods used in this discipline.

2) Acquire and develop more specialized knowledge in one or more subfields of geography, gaining competence in the use of concepts and research tools in these areas. These concentrations (or "tracks") are organized in accordance with the research and teaching interests of the faculty.

3) Attain competence in selected cognate fields, to be pursued in an atmosphere of flexibility and individuality. Reflecting the University of Washington's depth and diversity of research possibilities, interdisciplinary studies are encouraged in economics, international studies, urban design and planning, public health, civil engineering, sociology, anthropology, and other related fields.

Students are required to meet standards of satisfactory performance by maintaining a minimum 3.0 grade point average and making satisfactory progress toward completing their degree by finishing departmental and Graduate School requirements within stated time periods.

Educational Philosophy

Since the 1950s, graduate education in this department has emphasized specialization related to the studentís major theoretical interests, methodological ability and competence in related fields. Applicants should understand that education here might be less structured--and more inviting of individual initiative and direction--than experienced previously in their education. We expect students to style their own programs and consult with faculty on particular questions, approaches or projects. Faculty members are committed to helping graduate students develop theoretical sophistication and design and complete professional quality research projects.

Programs of Study

The Department of Geography offers several programs of study leading to degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. Programs of study are developed jointly by each student and his or her supervisory committee (or the Graduate Program Coordinator prior to appointment of a committee). These programs are flexible, each taking into account the student's preparation, scholarly interests and professional objectives. Individual graduate programs are fashioned within broad research concentrations, with much overlap between and among these concentrations. For a current list of program concentrations, please consult the most recent Graduate program Bulletin or the Grad program web site.

Coursework (See Graduate School Memorandum 36.)

300-level Courses : Such courses, when acceptable to the Supervisory Committee, may be counted for credit only if they are taken in related fields. They are never counted in the grade point average.

400-level Courses: Approved 400-level courses are acceptable both in Geography and related fields; in fact, the department offers many substantial courses in each track at the 400-level that are recommended for graduate students. All 400-level courses, if approved by the Faculty Supervisor or Supervisory Committee, count both for credit and in the grade point average. Courses numbered 494 through 499 generally are not acceptable, however.

Courses in Other Departments. Geography graduate students pursue many interdisciplinary fields, such as urban geography, medical geography, regional and economic geography, international studies and GIS. While our programs in these areas are extensive, students often take as much as half their work in other departments. As soon as possible, the student should work closely with his or her supervisory committee identifying and making initial contacts with appropriate faculty in related departments.

Graduate courses:

Geog 502 Professional Writing In Geography. Designed to focus on professional development. Alternates annually between a course in grant writing and a course in writing for scholarly publication.

Geog 597--Tutorial for Graduate Students (2). Introduces new Geography graduate students to the main research agendas of the faculty; identifies the range of current discourse communities formed by faculty and graduate students within the department; establishes a process of mentoring and long-term planning for each new graduate student.

Geog 512, History of Geographic Thought (5). Required for all entering Masterís students and entering post-Masterís students who have not taken an equivalent course in their MA studies. Focuses on the historical development of the discipline of modern geography. Particular emphases on the various philosophical and methodological debates in geography, and the contexts from which they emerged. Investigates the disciplineís foundational concepts and founding institutions, and the ways in which these have responded to and influenced the world around them.

Geog 515, Evidence and Explanation in Geography. Explores the genealogies of explanation in geography. Specifically, focus in turn on the following key questions: description, prediction, explanation, investigation, and representation. Taken as a whole, the course prepares all post-Masterís students for the diverse debates of method and social theory that presently shape the disciplineís key conversations.

Graduate Research Seminars: Both within the department and in suggested graduate seminars in related departments, students should pursue a program of highly specialized courses within their sub-field.

Independent Study. Once students have focussed research interests, developed the necessary methodological techniques for professional research, and identified interdisciplinary resources within the UW, they should consider pursuit of a systematic series of independent reading courses with individual faculty members, described officially as:

600--Independent Study or Research: Individual readings or study, including independent study in preparation for doctoral examinations, research, etc. Prerequisite, permission of Supervisory Committee Chairperson. The supervising faculty member should be indicated on Geography 600 Registration Form. Note: students may receive a grade of "N" (Credit) for this course if they are pursuing a research project or course of studies over several quarters. When the project is completed, a numerical grade is assigned, and all previous non-numerical grades for Geog 600 are converted to the number grade. Otherwise, the course may be set up at the beginning of the quarter on either a Credit/No Credit grading basis or as a numerically graded course.

Other variable-credit course rubrics include:

700-- Master's Thesis: Research for the master's thesis, including research preparatory and/or related thereto. Limited to graduate students who have not yet completed the master's degree in their major field at the University of Washington. Prerequisite, permission of Supervisory Committee Chairperson. The supervising faculty member should be indicated on Geography 700 Registration Form. 9 credits minimum are required.

800--Doctoral Dissertation: Research for the doctoral dissertation, including research preparatory and/or related thereto. Limited to those who have completed the Master's degree or the equivalent and have been admitted into a doctoral degree program, or candidate-level graduate students. Pre-master's students initiating doctoral dissertation research should register for 600. Prerequisite, permission of Supervisory Committee Chairperson. The supervising faculty member should be indicated on Geography 800 Registration Form. 27 credits for Ph.D., 9 maximum in any given quarter.

 

MASTER'S PROGRAM

Programs of Study

The Master of Arts degree program is tailored to individual student goals and designed to provide specialized courses in a particular field, in addition to required general courses at the graduate level. Program objectives include:

1) Providing students with a sound education in geographic theory and in the design and execution of geographic research.

2) Preparing students for careers in research, consulting, planning, marketing, and other professional and technical employment in both the private and public sectors.

3) Preparing qualified students for entry into doctoral programs in geography.

Students are expected to complete their Master's work within two years. A foreign language is not required for Master's students.

The Masterís Program is designed either as an intermediate step toward the training and research for a Ph.D. degree, or as a final degree for students wishing to pursue professional objectives. A Master's thesis (optionally a single thesis or two publishable papers) may contribute to a subfield of geographic knowledge by a review, critique, or analysis, or it may represent some other appropriate contribution to geography.

Master of Arts Degree Requirements

1. 36 credits of course work, of which

at least 18 must be graduate credits, i.e., courses numbered 500, 600, or 700. If a thesis is being written, 9 of these credits must be Geog 700 (Thesis Preparation).

AND

at least 18 credits of numerically graded coursework in 400- and 500-level courses.

2. A minimum of three full-time (at least 9 credits) quarters of residence credits. Part-time quarters may be accumulated to meet one quarter's worth of this requirement.

3. All work for the degree must be completed within six years.

4. Courses at the 300-level in a supporting field may be counted toward the total credit requirement if approved by the student's Supervisory Committee. However, 300-level courses are not included in the grade point average.

5. Satisfactory completion of Core-Course Requirements:

a) History of Geographic Thought: Geog 512

b) One 400-level course in analytical methods, from among Geog 426 (Quantitative Methods In Geography), Geog 460 (GIS Analysis) and a course in Qualitative Methods In Geography.

    1. Satisfactory completion of at least three-quarters of Geography 598, the departmental colloquium, usually taken during the first year in the program.
d) Satisfactory completion of Geog 597, Tutorial for Graduate Students. At the conclusion of Geog 597, the student shall write a revised statement of academic objectives. 6. A grade of at least 3.0 in all departmental courses, and a grade of at least 2.7 in all related courses used to satisfy degree requirements. An overall grade point average of 3.0, and what the student's Supervisory Committee deems satisfactory progress towards the degree must be maintained in order to remain in the program.

7. The completion of at least two departmental research seminars, numbered 500 and above, but not including Geography 502, 5l2 or other nonspecialized seminars.

(Note: on occasion, at the discretion of the student's Supervisory Committee, the precise nature of the student's course work will be decided on an individual basis. Students entering from academic fields other than geography will normally need to accumulate more than the minimum number of credits to make up their deficiencies).

8. A thesis (or two papers), accepted by a supervisory committee, and required to follow a specific format set by the Graduate School. Requirements are outlined in the booklet Style and Policy Manual for Theses and Dissertations, available from the Graduate School or the Geography Advising Office. Students are encouraged to consult with the Graduate School before submitting a final copy. The thesis (or a set of two high quality research papers) is judged according to professional standards of organization, presentation of appropriate evidence, thorough use of an appropriate methodology, and a generally readable writing style.

9. A Final Examination, constituting a defense of the thesis (or papers) upon completion of the thesis (or papers). The student's Supervisory Committee may, however, elect to combine an oral examination requiring general competence in geography and the thesis defense in a single Final Examination.
 

Master of Arts Degree Requirements

1. 36 credits of course work, of which

at least 18 must be graduate credits, i.e., courses numbered 500, 600, or 700. If a thesis is being written, 9 of these credits must be Geog 700 (Thesis Preparation).

AND

at least 18 credits of numerically graded coursework in 400- and 500-level courses.

2. A minimum of three full-time (at least 9 credits) quarters of residence credits. Part-time quarters may be accumulated to meet one quarter's worth of this requirement.

3. All work for the degree must be completed within six years.

4. Courses at the 300-level in a supporting field may be counted toward the total credit requirement if approved by the student's Supervisory Committee. However, 300-level courses are not included in the grade point average.

5. Satisfactory completion of Geog 500, Contemporary Geographic Thought, and Geog 511, Contemporary Methodologies and Philosophies in Geography, usually taken during the student's first autumn quarter.

6. Satisfactory completion of at least three quarters of Geography 598, the departmental colloquium, usually taken during the first year in the program.

7. A grade of at least 3.0 in all departmental courses, and a grade of at least 2.7 in all related courses used to satisfy degree requirements. An overall grade point average of 3.0, and what the student's Supervisory Committee deems satisfactory progress towards the degree must be maintained in order to remain in the program.

8. The completion of at least two departmental research seminars, numbered 500 and above, but not including Geography 500, 5ll or other nonspecialized seminars.

(Note: on occasion, at the discretion of the student's Supervisory Committee, the precise nature of the student's course work will be decided on an individual basis. Students entering from academic fields other than geography will normally need to accumulate more than the minimum number of credits to make up their deficiencies).

9. A thesis (or two papers), accepted by a supervisory committee, and required to follow a specific format set by the Graduate School. Requirements are outlined in the booklet Style and Policy Manual for Theses and Dissertations, available from the Graduate School or the Geography Advising Office. Students are encouraged to consult with the Graduate School before submitting a final copy. The thesis (or a set of two high quality research papers) is judged according to professional standards of organization, presentation of appropriate evidence, thorough use of an appropriate methodology, and a generally readable writing style.

10. A Final Examination, constituting a defense of the thesis (or papers) upon completion of the thesis (or papers). The student's Supervisory Committee may, however, elect to combine an oral examination requiring general competence in geography and the thesis defense in a single Final Examination.

 

The Faculty Adviser and the Thesis Advisory Committee

A student entering the program should meet as soon as possible with the Graduate Program Coordinator, to review degree requirements and discuss the choice of first-year coursework. At this meeting, the Graduate Program Coordinator and student should agree on a preliminary faculty adviser to assist the student in matters of scholarship and professional preparation, as well as in planning future coursework. The adviser will serve in this capacity until the Chair for the student's Master's Program is appointed.

The Graduate Program Coordinator, in consultation with the appropriate faculty members and the student, shall recommend to the graduate faculty for its approval, a Thesis Advisory Committee for the student. A member of the graduate faculty shall chair this committee whose research interests match those of the student. Ordinarily, the Committee is appointed by the beginning of the second quarter of coursework, and no later than the third quarter of coursework. The Committee consists of from two to four members, two of whom, including the chairperson, must be members of the graduate faculty. The student's Advisory Committee will be responsible for deciding the nature of the examination(s) to be taken as part of the requirements for the MA degree. The nature of the examination(s) and the expectations of the Advisory Committee will be communicated in writing to the student.

The first year of study is devoted primarily to advanced 400-level courses and research seminars, as well as foundations courses in the history of the discipline (Geog 512), qualitative and quantitative analysis (425, 426) and GIS analysis (460). Students are also required to take a tutorial course (597), both familiarizing them with the graduate faculty and their research interests and allowing first-year students to write an academic plan.

Writing the Master's Thesis

The student should work closely with the Committee at the preliminary stages of the Thesis, particularly in defining the subject and methodology. All proposals, drafts and final versions shall first be approved by the Thesis Adviser (Committee Chairperson), and subsequently distributed to all members of the Committee. Committee members normally offer written comments to the Committee Chairperson indicating approval or disapproval of the Thesis. The student should sign up for 9 credits of Master's Thesis (Geog 700). At least nine credits are required, and they can be spread over several quarters. No more than 9 credits of Geog 700 may be used to satisfy the master's degree credit requirement.

Applying for the Master's Degree

During the final quarter in which the student expects to fulfill all requirements and receive his/her degree, he/she must be registered.

The student applies in person at the Graduate School (201 Administration) during the first two weeks of the quarter in which she/he expects to complete degree requirements. He/she must know the exact title of the degree (Master of Arts), his or her current quarter program, and her or his name as it appears on the official UW transcript. Applications are valid for two consecutive quarters, including Summer. If degree requirements are not met by the last day of final exams of the second quarter, a new application must be filed at the Graduate School.

Transcripts are evaluated for minimum Graduate School requirements (see above). Approved warrants are then returned to the department for departmental approval at the conclusion of the Final Examination.

If the student does not meet the minimum Graduate School requirements, a void letter is sent to her/him with a copy to the Graduate Program Coordinator. Void letters explain why the application can not be approved. Occasionally, an application is approved with a contingency written on the front page. The completion of this contingency will be necessary for the degree and must be done before the degree can be conferred.

By signing the warrant, normally after successful completion of the Final Examination and acceptance of the Thesis, the student's committee certifies that the student has met all departmental requirements for the degree. Occasionally, a department may indicate a contingency which must be met before the degree is to be awarded (for example: satisfactory completion of a required course in the student's current program, or removal of an incomplete.) If so, the Graduate School will verify that it has been met before conferring the degree. If no departmental contingencies are listed on the front of the signed warrant, it will be assumed that all departmental requirements have been met. The signed warrant must be returned to the Graduate School no later than the final day of final examinations for that quarter. If two copies of the thesis and the signed warrant are not returned to the Graduate School by the last day of final examinations, the student must register for the following quarter.

The Final Examination

In consultation with the student and the Committee, the Committee Chairperson will schedule the Final Examination. The Committee shall decide whether to schedule a General Master's Examination prior to the Final Examination (Thesis Defense). On the day of the Final Examination, the Committee Chairperson obtains the Master's warrant from the department office. If the student is successful, the Master's warrant is signed and the student should obtain the Chair's signature on the title page of the Thesis. The results must be reported to the Graduate School by the last day of final examinations for that quarter.

For the thesis degree, the student, in person, must present two copies to the Graduate School no later than the last day of final examinations in the quarter in which the student expects to receive the degree. The Graduate School strongly encourages students to bring copies of their thesis to a thesis adviser for review early enough for any formatting problems to be resolved. Thesis advisers are available to accept and review theses between 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. in the Graduate School, 201 Administration Building.

Students will be given a receipt for the thesis once it has been accepted. The notice of the award of the degree will appear on the University of Washington transcript 3-4 weeks after the end of the quarter in which the degree is conferred. Diplomas will be mailed by the Graduations Office (207 Schmitz Hall, 543-5930) at the end of the following quarter (i.e. approximately three months after the degree is conferred).

DOCTORAL PROGRAM

The Ph.D. program is designed to facilitate students' entry into a community of professional scholars in both academic and nonacademic settings. As such, the program is meant to develop the intellectual interests and analytical abilities necessary for high attainments in the field of geography. Our Ph.D. program seeks to provide good foundations in theory and research methodologies as well as sound, current knowledge of individual fields of specialization. Ph.D. students are expected to learn how to contribute to the development of new conceptualizations in their fields.

In the Ph.D. program the student develops depth in specialized fields, further improves conceptual skills and technical competence in using research methods, and usually broadens her or his background by independent study or course work in one or more related disciplines. The program is intended to lead students into innovative research through participation in research seminars, independent investigation of a research problem, and, ultimately, the writing of a dissertation. The student's performance is expected to demonstrate a high level of competence in the chosen field of specialization, initiative, originality, analytical abilities, and intellectual rigor and integrity.

A doctoral dissertation in this department must set forth a significant contribution to knowledge and an understanding of geographic phenomena or processes, be presented in a scholarly form, and demonstrate competence in the independent pursuit of solutions to important research problems.

Students are expected to complete their doctoral work within four years after entrance to the doctoral program. No student shall exceed ten years, except under extraordinary circumstances, which must be explained in a petition to the Graduate School.

As outlined below, there are several stages through which a doctoral student normally passes: Post-master, leading to the departmental Preliminary Examination; Precandidacy, leading to the Graduate School General Examination; Candidacy (Ph.C.), after successful completion of the Graduate School General Examination, during which the doctoral dissertation is written; and the Doctor of Philosophy degree itself, awarded upon successful completion and defense of the dissertation and Final Examination.

Admissions

Admission into the doctoral program is limited to students who have achieved distinction in previous graduate work in this or other departments. All entering students should have demonstrated a firm grasp of: 1) the main areas of relevance in their area of intended specialization (or those of a closely-allied area or discipline), and, 2) the research methodologies and expository techniques essential to professional work in geography. Admission requires a Master's degree in geography, or equivalent competence in the field of geography. For students lacking an MA in geography, yet having demonstrated competence in geographic scholarly methodology, a departmental faculty committee will determine the requirements for entry into the post-Master's program.

Those students receiving a Master's degree from this department and wishing to continue their graduate program may request admittance to the doctoral program. A letter should be addressed to the Graduate Program Coordinator consisting of a concise statement of qualifications and objectives. The request must be supported by the majority of the student's MA Supervisory Committee, in a short endorsing letter from the Committee chairperson. The departmental admissions committee will review the application and a recommendation forwarded to the faculty for decision. Admitted students then have Post-master's status.

Doctoral Degree Requirements (See U.W. Catalog, or Graduate School Web Site)

1) Three academic years of resident graduate study, at least two at the U.W., and at least one year in continuous full-time residence (3 out of 4 consecutive quarters).

2) Completion of a program of study outlined by the student's Supervisory Committee. Half of the credits (including dissertation, Geog 800) must be in courses numbered 500 and above. 18 credits of coursework at the 500 level and above must be completed prior to scheduling the General Examination. In addition, numerical grades must be received for 18 quarter credits of course work at the University of Washington prior to the scheduling of the General Examination. This includes approved 400-level courses and all 500-level courses. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required.

As part of these credit requirements, Ph.D. students must complete the following Core Requirements:

    1. Evidence and Explanation in Contemporary Geography (Geog 515).
    1. Post-Masterís students who have not previously completed a course on the History of Geographic Thought (Geog 512) must complete such a course before taking Geog 515.
    2. Satisfactory completion of at least three quarters of Geography 598, the departmental colloquium, usually taken during the first year in the program.
    3. Satisfactory completion of Geog 597, Tutorial for Graduate Students. At the conclusion of 597, the student shall write a revised statement of objectives.
    4. Two 400-level course in analytical methods, from among Geog 426 (Quantitative Methods), Geog 460 (GIS Analysis), and a course in Qualitative Analysis.
    5. (Entering Post-Master's students who have already completed one of these courses or their equivalents are required to complete only one additional analytical methods courses, subject to the approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator)

    6. Research Design and Proposal Writing Course. Currently Geog 502.
    7. Submission of a scholarly article to a professionally-reviewed academic journal; or successful application for research support from external agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, The Ford Foundation, the Fulbright Commission, etc. Additional writing credits may be earned by registering for Geog 699. The publication may be jointly authored with a faculty member or other graduate student.
3) A minimum grade of 3.0 must be earned in all Geography courses, and a grade of 2.7 or higher must be obtained in all courses in related fields used to satisfy the doctoral degree credit requirement.

4) Evidence of reading competence in one foreign language, or a sound level of competence in one cognate field of concentration as determined by the student's Supervisory Committee. (See below, "Foreign Language Requirements and Cognate Fields").

5) A departmental written and oral Preliminary Examination is required, normally by the end of the third quarter in residence. Post-Master's students seeking entry into the Ph.D. program must take the Departmental Preliminary Examination during their first year of enrollment. The Preliminary Examination, or designated parts, may be retaken once.

Especially for students with Master's degrees from fields other than geography, the examination is intended to test the student's general competence in geography. The written portion is intended to evaluate mastery of the student's declared areas of competence within geography and related fields. The Preliminary Examination serves as an indicator of further training that may be required.

6) Successful completion of a Graduate School General Examination, normally held at the end of two years (six quarters) of study. The Supervisory Committee will examine the student's qualifications and competency to undertake dissertation research, and will evaluate the student's general training in geography and in the field of specialization. Normally, the oral examination will be preceded by a written examination.

7) Preparation and acceptance by the Dean of the Graduate School of a dissertation. The candidate is expected to register for a minimum of 27 credits of dissertation over a period of at least three quarters. Students can register for Dissertation credit (Geog 800) for the quarter in which the General Examination is scheduled. Normally, two of these three quarters must come after the student passes the General Examination and before a warrant is authorized for the Final Examination.

8) A Final Examination, which is usually devoted to a defense of the dissertation and a demonstration of knowledge of its immediate field.

The doctoral degree is conferred in recognition of a significant research and scholarly contribution.

All work for the doctoral degree must be completed successfully within ten years.

 

Post-master's Status

Entering the doctoral program entails first entering the post-Master's program. While in this program, the successful completion of the Preliminary Examination results in the recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School for the appointment of a Supervisory Committee. The establishment of the Committee denotes formal entry by the successful student into the Ph.D. program.

The Initial Advisory Committee

The Graduate Program Coordinator, in consultation with members of the Departmental Graduate Faculty and the student in the post-Master's program, will appoint an Advisory Committee for the student. Advisory committees will be appointed within two quarters after the student initially enters the post-Master's program.

The Preliminary Examination

The Preliminary Examination is intended for assessment and advising purposes. It gives both the student and faculty an opportunity to ascertain the student's strengths and weaknesses, given the aspirations of the student in the field in which she/he wishes to demonstrate competence. It also helps the Committee (1) articulate the most effective curriculum relative to preparation for the student's General Examinations and dissertation writing, and, (2) determine the appropriate cognate field or Foreign Language preparation.

The Preliminary Examination has two parts; although the exact nature of the examination is left to the Committee's discretion, it will typically include:

1) a written examination, the format of which is determined by the Supervisory Committee; and, 2) an oral examination, usually 2 hours. Those students who do not pass their first Preliminary Examination will be given a written assessment of their performance and the Committee's expectations if the student is asked to retake the examination. When relevant, the Advisory Committee will make an assessment of the student's qualifications to continue to hold a graduate student service appointment in the Department of Geography. Students who fail the Retake Examination will normally be terminated from the program.

The Doctoral Supervisory Committee

Upon successful completion of the Preliminary Examination, the student must prepare a memorandum spelling out a proposed Ph.D. program of study and research, and the Advisory Committee will recommend that the Dean of the Graduate School appoint a Ph.D. Supervisory Committee for the student.

The Supervisory Committee consists of a minimum of four members, including a Supervisory Committee Chair, a Graduate Faculty representative from another department, and at least two additional members of the Geography Department Graduate Faculty. Three members of the Supervisory Committee must be members of the Graduate Faculty, including the Chair and the Graduate Faculty Representative.

The Supervisory Committee should be established as soon as possible after the Preliminary Examination, but no less than four months prior to the General Examinations.

Foreign Language and Cognate Field Requirements

Competence in one or more foreign languages is expected in doctoral students in Geography when deemed necessary by the student's Post-Master's Advisory Committee. Such competence serves two functions: 1) An immediate research function, to enable the student to work with current relevant scholarly literature; and, 2) a general education function, serving both to provide the student more breadth and to improve the overall language competency of the geography field, making it more international in scope.

A student's Post-Master's Advisory Committee often decides that it is more appropriate for the student to develop a sound level of competence in an additional cognate field of concentration rather than becoming fluent in a foreign language. Attaining a sound level of competence in cognate fields of concentration will require that the student take part or all the work in his or her selected cognate field of concentration in another department or departments.

The student's Post-Master's Advisory Committee, after the successful passing of the Preliminary Examination, will determine the required level of competence in the selected foreign language(s) requirements or in the cognate field(s).

Written copies of these requirements will be given to the student and the Graduate Program Coordinator, who will then place a copy in the student's file and inform the Departmental Graduate Faculty.

When the requirements have been satisfied, the Chair of the Supervisory Committee will provide a written report to this effect to the student, place a copy of the report in the student's file, and inform the departmental Graduate Faculty.

General Examinations and Candidacy

The student becomes a doctoral candidate (Ph.C.) after successful completion of the General Examination. Students are normally expected to complete the General Examination within two years of full-time study after admission to the post-Master's and doctoral program. They must complete 18 numerically graded credits in residence at the UW before scheduling the examination.

The General Examination is intended to measure both breadth (the student's theoretical understanding of the main fields of geography) and depth (the student's in-depth knowledge of a particular field or set of fields).

The General Examination may be scheduled four months after the official establishment of the Supervisory Committee. The Graduate Program Coordinator or Supervisory Committee Chair submits an Application for Admission to the General Examination (applications available in department office) at least three weeks prior to the examination date. The student's Supervisory Committee Chair must sign the first and second pages of the application; the student must sign the second page.

Prior to the oral portion of the General Examination, the student takes a written examination in fields designated by the Supervisory Committee. The length, specificity and type of written examination is generally left to the discretion of the Committee, though all Committees aim to balance questions probing for both breadth and depth. The answers to these questions are circulated to the Supervisory Committee prior to the oral portion of the exam.

All members of the Supervisory Committee are to be notified by the Supervisory Committee Chair of the examination date, time and place. The oral portion of the General Examination may require the student to amplify upon, clarify or defend answers given on the written part, and may also include more general questions about the student's field of study.

If the student passes the General Examination, the signed application must be returned to the Graduate School by the last day of Final Examinations for that quarter in order for the student to receive candidacy for that quarter. Otherwise, candidacy is awarded the following quarter, requiring student registration.

If the student fails completely or partially the General Examination, the student's Supervisory Committee will recommend to the Dean of the Graduate School that the student be allowed to retake the General Examination once more within a reasonable period of time and within clearly specified conditions. The student shall be notified of these conditions in a timely fashion. If the student fails the retake examination, the Departmental members of the Supervisory Committee will then recommend that the student be terminated from the Department's Ph.D. degree program by the Dean of the Graduate School.

 

Dissertation Proposal

A Doctoral student who has passed the General Examination will prepare a Ph.D. dissertation proposal and must obtain written approval of the proposal by the members of the Supervisory Committee within three consecutive quarters of achieving candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. This proposal should indicate: a) the topic to be investigated, b) the sources and methods to be used, and, c) the tentative organization. A bibliography should be appended.

Failure of the student to obtain approval for the Ph.D. dissertation proposal within the specified time limit will normally result in a recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School that the student be terminated from the Ph.D. program in Geography.

Writing the Dissertation

After gaining the Supervisory Committee's approval of the dissertation proposal, the student writes a dissertation in consultation with the dissertation supervisor and all other members of the Committee. Before actual work begins on the dissertation, the Committee and the student should agree on the manner of submitting the dissertation to the Committee for reading. Normally, readers decide whether they wish the dissertation chapters in draft form, one by one, or whether they prefer to wait for the completed dissertation.

Student should expect--and ask for--frequent criticism and advice from the Supervisory Committee. Avoid the two extremes--on the one hand, asking each member go through five drafts of each chapter, or, on the other, not consulting with your Committee members for years on end. Consult frequently with your Supervisory Committee Chair, who is also responsible for guiding you through the process and working with your Committee throughout.

While writing the dissertation, the student must register each quarter for Geog 800. At the time of registration, the student shall inform the supervisor of progress on the dissertation and plans for completion.

Submitting the Dissertation and Forming the Reading Committee

At least five weeks before the expected date of the Final Examination (dissertation defense), the student submits copies of the dissertation to the Committee Chairperson. The Supervisory Committee Chair may ask for revisions at this time.

As the student nears completion of the dissertation and before scheduling the Final Examination, a Reading Committee is selected to read and report on the dissertation. The Graduate Program Coordinator or Supervisory Committee Chair sends a form (available in the main department office, 408 Smith) suggesting to the Dean of the Graduate School a minimum of three readers, chosen from members of the Supervisory Committee. When the Committee has been appointed, an appointment letter will be sent to the Graduate Program Coordinator, the student, and all members of the Committee.

Committee members shall read the dissertation in a timely fashion, and convey their approval or disapproval to the Supervisory Committee Chair. In case of disapproval, the Supervisory Committee will convey to the student necessary corrections, clarifications or editorial modifications.

Once the Reading Committee has approved the dissertation, the Supervisory Committee Chair and student should consult with the Geography Department Office to set a time for the Final Examination so that the Graduate School can be notified the required three weeks in advance of the date.

Thus students should plan on submitting a dissertation at least five weeks prior to the expected time of their Final Examination.

 

The Final Examination

The Final Examination is the defense of the dissertation, and is attended by members of the Supervisory Committee, including the Graduate Faculty Representative. The Reading Committee prepares a Reading Committee Report, one copy of which, with original signatures of the Committee, must be submitted to the Graduate School with two copies of the dissertation.

 

Submission of Dissertation

After the Final Examination, the student submits two complete, official copies of the dissertation--complete with the signed copies of the Reading Committee Report--to the Graduate School. These must be submitted within 60 days of the Final Examination, and the student must be registered during the quarter the dissertation is submitted to the Graduate School. Students who do not submit the dissertation by the last day of final exams of the quarter, will be required to register for the following quarter even if the 60-day time period has not yet expired.

One copy will be placed in Suzzallo Library. A copy will be made and sent to University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Graduate School's Style and Policy Manual for Dissertations is available from the Geography Advising Office or at the Graduate School, 201 Administration Building. In addition to the dissertation, the student submits to the Graduate School one signed copy of the Readers' Report, a completed Survey of Earned Doctorates (available from the Departmental Office), and a receipt for fees paid through the Graduate School.

 

ACADEMIC PROGRESS

Students may assume they are making satisfactory progress if they are meeting departmental requirements, taking research seminars and progressing on their theses or dissertations. In order to help students articulate their sense of their progress and analyze the direction they see themselves heading in, the department requires that students complete the following forms:

1. The New Student Academic Plan. Students new to the program should fill this out by the ninth week of their first quarter in the program. It is designed to help in the selection of an adviser and committee for the student.

2. The Academic Progress Form. To be completed annually. Asks student to succinctly indicate how the work she or he is planning (either in courses or independently) fits in with her or his overall academic plan. Must be commented on and signed by the student's faculty supervisor.

 

Low Scholarship and Unsatisfactory Progress (See Graduate School Memorandum 16, Continuation or Termination of Students in the Graduate School, for a full explanation of policies, guidelines and procedures for "low scholarship" and "unsatisfactory progress" cases.)

Failure to maintain satisfactory performance and progress may lead to probation or loss of standing in the program, and will jeopardize renewal of graduate student service appointments (including Teaching Assistantships). Students not performing or progressing satisfactorily will be so informed by the Graduate Program Coordinator or their faculty adviser or Supervisory Committee Chair, with whom they must meet to discuss their plans of study.

The general expectations for coursework and length of time required for the completion of each phase of the graduate programs are described above, under "Requirements" for both the Master's and Ph.D. programs.

Evaluation of satisfactory progress may, under varying circumstances, be determined by the faculty adviser, Supervisory Committee Chair, other member(s) of the departmental graduate faculty, or by the Department Chair. It is up to the student's adviser (or Supervisory Committee Chair) or the Department Chair to inform the student, in as timely a manner as possible, when it has been determined that satisfactory progress is not being made. Students are also advised to check with the Student Service Coordinator, in the Geography Advising Office, to make sure all requirements and Graduate School rules and timetables are being followed.

Performance and progress are to be evaluated by criteria set down by faculty members teaching particular courses, or, in the case of the student's adviser (or Supervisory Committee Chair), or the Department Chair, by generally accepted criteria appropriate for that student's chosen field of specialization as well as expectations obtaining for professional geographers in general.

Students designated as "low scholarship" cases (those whose cumulative or quarterly grade point average falls below a 3.0) must be reviewed quarterly and provided with an explanation of performance expectations and a timetable for correction of deficiencies. Doctoral program students are to be reviewed by their Doctoral Supervisory Committee, or by a committee of Departmental Graduate Faculty appointed or elected for this purpose in consultation with the student's Supervisory Committee. Pre- and post-Master students are to be reviewed by supervisory committees, if such committees have been appointed, or by the Graduate Faculty members who have been designated to oversee the student's program.

"Satisfactory Progress" shall be determined by the student's adviser, supervisor, or Supervisory Committee according to a set of criteria based upon a combination of grade point average; performance in the fulfillment of degree program requirements; performance during informal coursework, colloquia and seminars; research capability, performance and progress; and any other information relevant to departmental academic requirements. A determination of "satisfactory progress" may be made upon consideration of the student's progress relative to other students in the program or to an individually negotiated schedule.

Academic Grievance Procedure

(For a full description of Graduate School grievance policies and procedures, consult Graduate School Memorandum No. 33.)

Graduate students who encounter academic problems related to their academic abilities, but not including evaluation thereof, may seek resolution of their complaints through informal conciliation or formal complaint. These policies apply to such issues as faculty, departmental, college or Graduate School policies affecting individual student prerogatives; deviations from stated grading practices (but not individual grade challenges), unfair treatment, and related issues.

Student who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran should refer to the Human Rights Grievance Procedure contained in the University of Washington Operations Manual, D 45.5

Appeals may be made directly to the department Chair. Appeals beyond this point should follow the process outlined in Graduate School Memorandum No. 33, Academic Grievance Procedure, available in the Geography Department Office or from the Graduate School.

"Full-Time", "Part-Time" and Residence Credit Requirements

Full-time registration is required for all TA, RA and Graduate Staff appointments. Students must be registered for a minimum of 9 credits to be considered full-time (except 6 credits in the summer). Any students holding teaching or research assistantships who register full-time and subsequently drop a course may be considered to be making unsatisfactory academic progress.

Students seeking an MA must complete one year (three full-time quarters) of residence. Students seeking a Ph.D. degree must complete three years of full-time residence credit (nine full-time quarters), two of them at the University of Washington. One of these two years must be spent in continuous full-time residence (three out of four consecutive quarters). The residence requirement for the doctoral degree cannot be met solely with summer or part-time residence credits.

With the exception of the three out of four consecutive full-time quarter requirement for the doctoral degree, students registered for fewer than 9 credits per quarter may add part-time quarters together to achieve the equivalent of one full-time quarter (9 or more credits) to be applied toward fulfilling residence requirements. However, full-time students completing more than 9 credits in any one quarter may not use the credits beyond 9 to meet the one year residency rule.

Only 300-level courses outside the field of geography may count toward satisfying credit requirements if the student petitions the Graduate Program Coordinator. Petitions will only be granted if the student can demonstrate that the courses count as graduate minor or as supporting courses. No 100- or 200-level courses may be counted for graduate credit.

On-Leave Status

See University of Washington General Catalog, 1994-96, pg. 43, and Graduate School Memorandum 9 for explanations of on-leave status. Basically, students must:

1) fill out a "Petition For On-Leave Status" form (available in the department office) requesting leave for a designated period not to exceed four consecutive quarters; 2) bring the form to the Graduate Program Coordinator or alternate; 3) after the form has been approved, bring it to the Withdrawal Office, 264 Schmitz Hall, pay a fee and receive an On-Leave identification card. To be eligible for On-Leave status, students must have been registered full-time for at least one quarter at the UW, and must have been either On-Leave or registered the previous quarter.

Once the quarter begins, registered students cannot go On-Leave for that quarter; unregistered students must petition for On-Leave status by the fifth calendar day of the quarter. A student withdrawing prior to the beginning of a quarter must petition for On-Leave status for that quarter. A student withdrawing after the quarter has begun must petition for On-Leave status for the following quarter or quarters, if continuous enrollment is planned.

Students must fill out a Former Student Enrollment Application form upon returning to the program. This can usually be done up until classes begin, but students should call the Registrar's Office (543-5920) for confirmation. Students may use the library while on leave, but have no other campus privileges.

 

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

The department is able to offer financial support to selected qualified applicants, including teaching and research assistantships. Foreign Languages and Area Studies Fellowships are available for area studies. All tuition fees will be waived for such appointments except for student activity fees charged directly to you.

Teaching assistantships are usually allocated in March for the academic year beginning in Autumn Quarter. In order to be considered, the application for assistantship, complete with all other materials necessary for admission, must be on file in the department by January 15. Applications for assistantships are obtained from the department.

Positions are allocated according to merit (academic achievement and quality of service) and teaching requirements of the department. The department endeavors to provide teaching experience for as many well-qualified students as possible. Reappointment is contingent on maintaining high standards of performance and satisfactory progress toward a degree. However, a student should not expect to be supported for more than two years at the M.A. level and another two or three years at the Ph.D. level. At any one time, about 30% of the full-time graduate students hold teaching assistantships and 20% have fellowships or research assistantships.

Research Support and Opportunities. Most graduate students pursue their research both inside and outside the department through a variety of means: Research Assistantships and other forms of institutional support from outside the department; internships for applied research in both the public and private sectors; and participation in faculty research projects.

Support for Job Searches: The department attempts to help students find employment in both academic and non-academic settings through the following formal means. (Of course, informal contact with faculty members is probably the most effective way to get reliable, up-to-date information about present and future jobs!):

** A notebook of current college teaching job descriptions, available in the departmental office, Smith 408

** A list of alumni jobs and interested employers, available from the Geography Advising Office.

** Updated internship and employment opportunity bulletin boards, on the fourth floor of Smith Hall and outside the advising office, 303-A Smith.

** Work-study positions, available by applying to the UW Office of Financial Aid by March 1 of the year prior to the one in which you wish to be employed. Such jobs commonly pay around $14 an hour.

FACILITIES AND STUDENT SERVICES

Students wanting information or advice about any aspects of the graduate program should contact the following:

New Students should secure a copy of two publications: The Guide To Graduate and Professional Student Life, published by the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (543-8576) and the Student Guide To Computing, published by Academic Computer Services (543-8519). Both offer thorough orientations to various programs and services offered to graduate students by the University of Washington.

Departmental Services

New graduate students are assigned desks and mailboxes by the GGSA, the Geography Graduate Student association. Since office space is limited, new students may have to share a desk for a few quarters. The department will provide free phones, postage and xeroxing/mimeographing for the preparation and/or submission of materials for activities directly related to the duties of being a teaching assistant or research assistant, and for preparing conference papers or scholarly articles. In other circumstances, please secure permission of the department office before making long-distance calls or using departmental xeroxing or postage. The department will not pay for the production and distribution of resumes.

Student Computing Services and Facilities

The UW offers uniform access to its computing facilities, meaning that all graduate students are entitled to a free account on the mainframe of their choice. Students have full access to e-mail, BITNET and many other networks and systems.

In addition to departmental facilities (described in the departmental publication on computer facilities and policies), the Center For Social Science Computation and Research (CSSCR--141A Savery Hall) offers general consulting help on program use, as well a large archive of data sets, including the complete inventory of the ICSPR data set service from the University of Michigan. The CSSCR also offers short courses on microcomputer use and on various software uses.

For further information, phone either the ACS at 543-8519 or the CSSCR at 543-8110.

There are also several public computer labs on campus, such as at Suzzallo Library and CSSCR.

The On-line Catalog provides access to the holdings of all UW libraries, and a reference notebooks contains current information on collections in Seattle of interest to geographers. Other library units with large subject collections frequently used by geography students and faculty include: the Business Administration Library in Balmer Hall; the Map Collection and Government Publications divisions, both in Suzzallo Library; and the Engineering Library, in Loew Hall.

Geography students should especially familiarize themselves with the Government Documents Room in Suzzallo Library, which offers several electronic data bases, including U.S. Census material, on CD-ROM; the Map Library, in the basement of Suzzallo, which offers sophisticated mapping software and offers one of the largest map collections in the United States.

Confidentiality of Files

To insure confidentiality and candor, all student academic files are closed to all persons except the student, departmental faculty and designated departmental staff. Students may inspect all material in their files (except letters written confidentially) in the office of the Student Service Coordinator.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION STATEMENT

The University of Washington, as a standing policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, or physical disability, in the employment of faculty and staff, the admission of students or the operation of its educational programs and activities. Such discrimination is prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and other Federal regulation. The Department of Geography encourages applications from minorities and women. Inquiries regarding the application of these Federal regulations to the University may be directed to the University's Equal Employment Officer or to the Director, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

 
Master's Degree Timeline and Checklist

This is a checklist, not a guide. Please read the appropriate section of the Graduate Student Handbook for more complete descriptions of required and recommended policies and procedures.

 

_________ Consult with Graduate Program Coordinator to review degree requirements, discuss first year coursework, and decide on preliminary faculty adviser. _________ Faculty appoints preliminary Advisory Committee

_________ Complete required departmental courses--usually Geography 512 and 597.

__________ By the end of the first quarter, complete a plan of study.

_________ Consult with Graduate Program Coordinator about setting up a Supervisory Committee. _________ In consultation with student, faculty appoints Supervisory Committee

_________ Complete three quarters of full-time (at least 9 credits) residence.

________ Complete 18 credits of numerically graded coursework in 400- and 500-level courses.

________ Complete at least two 500-level research seminars in Geography other than Geography 502, 512 or 515. ________ Complete at least three quarters of Geography 598.

________ Have an overall GPA of at least 3.0

________ Complete 36 credits of overall coursework, at least 18 numerically-graded, and 9 of Geog 700 (Master's Thesis)

________ Submit the drafts of your Master's Thesis to your Supervisor and Supervisory Committee in an agreed-upon fashion

________ Consult the Graduate School's Style and Policy Manual For Theses and Dissertations for proper formatting rules.

________ Register for the quarter in which you expect to earn your MA. _______ Apply for the MA warrant (201 Administration Building) by the end of the second week of the quarter. _______ Committee Chair secures signed warrant and schedules examinations. ________ Committee Chair schedules Final Examination (Thesis Defense) and forwards results to Graduate School no later than the last day of final examinations for that quarter. ________ Submit two copies of Thesis to Graduate School
MASTERíS DEGREE

 

Suggested Timeline For Standard Academic Progress
 

 

DOCTORAL STUDENTS
_________ In consultation with Graduate Program coordinator, request initial Advisory Committee within two quarters of entering post-Master's program.

_________ Within the first year in the post-Master's program, in consultation with Advisory Committee, schedule Preliminary Examination.

_________ Within the first year in the program, complete required Geography courses--e.g., Geog 597 and Geog 512 and/or Geog 515.

_________ Upon successful completion of Preliminary Examination, consult with Advisory Committee Chair to recommend to the Dean of the Graduate School the appointment of a Supervisory Committee.

_________ Have Supervisory Committee appointed no less than four months prior to the General Examination.

_________ Establish Foreign Language and/or Cognate Field Requirement with Supervisory Committee

_________ Satisfy Foreign Language and Cognate Field Requirement

_________ Complete three academic years of resident graduate study, at least two at the UW

_________ Complete 18 credits of numerically-graded coursework at the 500 level and above prior to the General examination, with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

________ In consultation with Supervisory Committee Chair, select a date for General Examination.

________ Ask Graduate Program Coordinator or Supervisory Committee Chair to submit an Application for Admission to the General Examination (forms available from department secretary) at least three weeks prior to the exam date. Both Chair and student must sign form.

________ Make sure department, Committee Chair or you contact all members of your Supervisory Committee as to date and time of General Examination at least three weeks ahead of time.

________ After successfully completing General Examination, make sure signed Application is returned to Graduate School no later than the last day of Final Examinations for that quarter in which you wish to receive Candidacy.

________ Upon achieving Candidacy, in consultation with Committee Chair, schedule a dissertation proposal meeting with your Supervisory Committee when you have completed your proposal. At this meeting, or shortly thereafter, you should also make sure you are clear about the procedures you will follow in submitting chapters or drafts of the dissertation: which parts, when, to whom, etc.

________ Consult the Graduate School's Style and Policy Manual For Theses and Dissertations for proper formatting rules.

_______ As you near completion of your dissertation, have Committee Chair or Graduate Program Coordinator fill out a form requesting the formation of a Reading Committee. These forms are available from the department office.

_______ Submit copies of dissertation to members of Reading Committee. ______ Three weeks before scheduling the Final Examination, make sure Committee Chair and members of Reading Committee have signed, and sent to Graduate School, a Request For Final Examination form, available in the department office. Note: the Reading Committee report does not accompany the final examination request.
_______ Warrant for Final Examination mailed by Graduate School. _______ After the Final Examination, make sure Committee Chair has signed warrant and Reading Committee Report; take reports, graduation forms and two copies of dissertation to Graduate School by last day of final examinations.
Doctoral Students

 

 

Suggested Timelines For Standard Academic Progress

 
Doctoral Students Continuing From University of Washington MA Program in Geography:

Quarter 1: in consultation with Graduate Program Coordinator, select Adviser and appoint at least two other departmental members of Advisory Committee

Quarter 2: complete Preliminary Examination; in consultation with Adviser, appoint GFR and formal Supervisory Committee

Quarter 3: Complete 18 graded credits; complete first year of Foreign Language/Cognate Field requirement (in consultation with Supervisory Committee)

Quarters 4 and 5: complete General Examination, achieve Candidacy

Quarter 6: defend dissertation proposal

Third year: complete dissertation and Final Examination

 

Doctoral Students Entering From Another Master's Program:
 

Quarter 1: complete Geog 511 and other departmental course requirements; consultation with Graduate Program Coordinator on selection of Advisory Committee

Quarter 2: select Adviser and appoint at least two other departmental members of Advisory Committee

Quarter 3: complete Preliminary Examination; in consultation with Adviser, appoint GFR and formal Supervisory Committee; complete 18 graded credits

Quarter 4: continue progress of complete first year of Foreign Language/Cognate Field requirement (in consultation with Supervisory Committee)

Quarter 5: complete General Examination, achieve Candidacy

Quarter 6: defend dissertation proposal

Third year: complete dissertation and Final Examination

 

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