How to Apply to the Geography Graduate Program

Mailing Address and Phone/Fax

Department of Geography
118 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
Tel: 785-532-6727
Fax: 785-532-7310

For Further Information Contact

Dr. Douglas Goodin, dgoodin@k-state.edu, 785-532-3411
-or-
Ms. Kathy Zimmerman, kzimmerm@k-state.edu, 785-532-6727

Geography Graduate Program Committee

The following geography faculty administers the admission process:

Dr. Douglas Goodin (Graduate Program Director)
Dr. Kevin Blake
Dr. Marcellus Caldas
Dr. Bimal Paul

For the MA or PhD Programs

We accept applications for the spring and fall semesters.  Domestic student applicants may submit applications year-round, but applications should be submitted by January 15 for top consideration of fall semester admission and Graduate Teaching Assistantships funding, or November 1 for spring. The application deadline for international student applicants is December 15 for fall or August 1 for spring.  

A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) is required in previous coursework for admission, though in exceptional circumstances an applicant with a lower GPA may qualify for probationary admission.

Applicants will be contacted by the department when a decision on the application has been reached.

Additional admissions information is available in the Kansas State University online Graduate Catalog.

Applications to the graduate program are submitted through the Graduate School website.  Applicants should submit the following materials or provide the following information:

  1. Statement of Interests and Objectives
    • Applicants should submit a one- to two-page statement of your geographical interests and objectives. Examples of what may be included in this statement include how and why your interest in geography has developed; how your academic and/or non-academic experiences have shaped these interests; why you are seeking a graduate degree in geography; why you are interested in the graduate programs at K-State; what areas or fields of geography have the most interest to you; what you plan to do once you have earned your degree; which faculty members are you most interested in working with.
    • The Graduate Program Committee uses this statement in part to identify if there is a suitable advisor on the faculty for the applicant.
  2. Transcripts from All Universities and Colleges Attended
  3. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Scores
    • The applicant should request that the Educational Testing Service send the scores directly to Kansas State University (photocopies of scores will not be accepted).
    • Applicants to the PhD program should attain a combined score of at least 1100 on the verbal and quantitative components of the exam.
    • More information on the GRE.
  4. Three Letters of Recommendation
    • Applicants should arrange for three letters of recommendation.  These may be from current or former professors, advisors, employers, or other people who are best able to judge the applicant's potential for graduate study.
    • Letters of recommendation should be submitted by the writer, not by the applicant (see instructions on the Graduate College application site).
    • All letters of recommendation must be on the letterhead from the writer's institution.  
  5. Application for Graduate Assistantship (optional)
    • If the applicant wants to apply for Graduate Teaching Assistantship or Graduate Research Assistantship funding, this should be indicated in the appropriate place on the application.
  6. For Applicants Whose Primary Language is Not English:  TOEFL Scores
    • Applicants should review the "English Proficiency Requirements" section on this website to determine in TOEFL scores are required.
  7. For International Student Applicants Only:  Affidavit of Financial Support
    • International applicants must complete an Affidavit of Financial Support prior to the application deadline.  This form is not used in admissions decision-making, but must be in our possession to forwardyour file to the Graduate School.  If you are admitted, any delay in receipt of this Affidavit will jeopardize timely processing of visa documents.
  8. Application Fee (Required by the Graduate School)
    • $50 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
    • $75 for international students.
    • The fee may either be paid online if submitting the application online, or a check or money order may accompany the application if it is submitted directly to the Department of Geography.

For Non-degree Graduate Student Status

Some students prefer to apply as a non-degree seeking graduate student, perhaps in order to complete the requirement for the graduate certificate in Geographic Information Science, or to get a first taste of graduate coursework in Geography. For questions about the Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science, please visit with Dr. Shawn Hutchinson (shutch@k-state.edu, 785-532-3414), the coordinator of the certificate program. For other questions about the non-degree graduate program, please visit with Dr. Douglas Goodin (dgoodin@k-state.edu, 785-532-3411).

Additional information is available in the Kansas State University online Graduate Catalog.

Required Application Materials for a Non-degree Program
  1. Graduate School Application Form.
    • Applications to the Graduate School may be submitted online or by mail. To apply by mail, send an email message to grad@ksu.edu and request an application form. Online applications may be accessed by clicking on this link.
  2. Statement of Interests and Objectives
    • A one- to two-page statement of your geographical interests and objectives should be mailed directly to the Department of Geography.  Examples of what may be included in this statement include how and why your interest in geography has developed; how your academic and/or non-academic experiences have shaped these interests; why you are seeking admission as a non-degree student; what job or academic experiences have prepared you to contribute to the learning environment of a graduate course.
  3. Transcripts of Universities and Colleges Attended.
    • One official copy of the transcript from each institution should be mailed directly from the institution to the Department of Geography.
  4. Two Letters of Recommendation.
    • The applicant should arrange for two letters of recommendation to be sent directly to the Department of Geography.  These may be from current or former professors, advisors, employers, or other people who are best able to judge the applicant's potential for graduate study.
  5. For Applicants Whose Primary Language is Not English: TOEFL Scores.
    • Review the "English Proficiency Requirements" section on this website and submit TOEFL scores directly to Kansas State University.
  6. For International Student Applicants Only: Affidavit of Financial Support.
    • If the Department of Geography decides to admit an international applicant, before the application is sent to the Graduate School for final processing, the applicant must complete an Affidavit of Financial Support and mail it directly to the Department of Geography. The affidavit form may be accessed by clicking on this link.