MA Learning Goals & Objectives

MA in Applied Geography and Geospatial Science Program Learning Goals and Associated CLAS Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs)

Program's educational goals or objectives

Students within the MA program will learn to connect key theories and concepts within the subfields of human and physical geography to real-world practical applications, while simultaneously gaining valuable geographic analytical skills.  This will include underscoring the connections between environmental and health policies, environmental communication, outreach and education, community and economic development, natural resource management practices, biophysical processes and changes, geospatial analytic techniques and geographic information science and technologies. Upon completing the MA program, students will understand and appreciate geography for its capacity to provide a useful and robust forum for exploring, analyzing and responding to developments at the human-environment interface. 

In order to meet these substantive learning goals, the Geography MA program will strive to provide students with diverse learning pathways.  The use of formal/informal learning environments, internship opportunities, research experiences, and teaching and undergraduate mentoring positions will generate opportunities for students to gain knowledge about human-environment interactions. The curriculum within the proposed MA program will be rigorous yet flexible in order to prepare students personally and professionally for careers in public, private and academic settings.

Specific Student Learning Objectives and Goals

Program Learning Goal #1:  Knowledge Base of Geography

1.1 Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the theory, methods, and research in the discipline of geography.

1.2 Assess the capacity for the discipline of geography to provide a useful and robust forum for exploring, analyzing and responding to developments at the human-environment interface.

1.3 Connect key theories, concepts, techniques and technologies within the subfields of human and physical geography, as well as geographic information science and technology, through real-world practical applications at the local, regional, and global scales.

Program Learning Goal #2:  Analytic Approaches and Methods

2.1 Apply systems thinking and critical thinking skills to analyze problems and potential solutions in socio-economic-ecological systems at the human-environment interface.

2.2 Practice obtaining, analyzing, and interpreting complex geographic data.

2.3 Demonstrate proficiency in the application of state-of-the-art geo-spatial analytical methods, techniques, and technologies.

2.4 Critically evaluate development and research in the human and physical geographic realms, and at the human environment interface.

Program Learning Goal #3:  Application and Community Engagement

3.1 Understand and demonstrate how scientific, specifically geographical principles, research, and geospatial information science and technologies, influence society and policy.

3.2 Demonstrate ability to work on real-world challenges to combine theory and practice in responding to local to global issues at community, non-profit, corporate or government contexts.

3.3 Practice effective communication of geographic concepts and problems to both scientific and public audiences.

Program Learning Goal #4: Integrative and Inclusive Approaches

4.1 Understand and synthesize complex relationships among components of natural and human systems.

4.2 Apply acquired skills to work as an individual and as a team in to address real-world challenges.

4.3 Draw on diverse perspectives to examine complex social and environmental issues and practice global citizenship.