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Programs at the PhD and Master's Levels
The Department of Geography and Urban Studies at Temple University offers both a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Geography and Urban Studies. Both degrees emphasize geographic approaches to the study of urban conditions and dynamics in U.S. and international settings. The challenges and opportunities that face cities and metropolitan regions are central to the well being of billions of people around the globe. Our program focuses on the themes of globalization, sustainability, and social justice, three areas that increasingly are central to understanding such challenges and opportunities.
The complexity and pace of economic, environmental, and social change require that students are trained in interdisciplinary and spatially integrative analytical frameworks and specialized skills to apply to real-world conditions. As an integrative graduate program, the curriculum connects these processes, giving students strong analytical foundation that stresses spatical relations, scale transitions, place and context, and nature societal relations.
The PhD program is a 57-credit program that admits students holding the bachelor's degree or master's degree in a related social science. To fulfill the degree requirements, students must complete coursework, pass a comprehensive examination, submit a thesis proposal, and then write and defend that thesis.
The program draws upon the interdisciplinary expertise of faculty in the Department of Geography and Urban Studies. Students will engage in research and scholarly activity with scholars who are active in helping to build multiple social science disciplines. In recent years, members of the department have published a half dozen books with leading publishers in the field including Oxford University Press, Wiley and Routledge; contributed articles to leading journals like the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Environment and Planning A, and the Journal of Urban Affairs, etc., and won competitive grants from the World Bank, the United Nations, the United States Information Agency, The National Science Foundation, the Overseas Development Institute, the Inter-American Foundation, the American Institute of Indian Studies, and the Economic Development Agency.
Graduates of the program with doctorates in Urban Studies will be able to compete for faculty positions in a range of departments –from geography to interdisciplinary urban departments (such as those in urban studies, urban planning, urban development, and a host of mixed departments). They will also be equipped to seek employment outside of academe. Non-governmental organizations, think tanks, research institutes, service delivery institutions, international development and economic development organizations, increasingly conduct independent research and employ graduate degree holders in interdisciplinary areas like urban studies and environmental studies.
The 36-credit MA degree is designed to prepare students for further graduate study as well as professional positions related to urban and economic development, environmental sustainability and social justice, including local and governmental agencies, non-governmental organiations at the local and internationa scale, community-based and public interest organizations, and business.
The complexity of human-environment interactions, as well as the interconnectedness of the global economy, culture, and politics, have fueled a resurgence of geographic theory and methods as a framework for analyzing metropolitan and urban conditions. The MA program encourages (although it does not absolutely require) students to develop familiarity with GIS as a research tool. BY bringing together a wide range of geaographic data at varying spatial scales for representation and analysis, GIS permits a simultaneous view of the human and environmental dimensions of urbanizations.
Our faculty excels at theoretical and applied analysis of metropolitan areas within their broader regional, national, and global contexts, often using the complex Philadelphia metropolitan region as a laboratory. We draw upon our Philadelphia location to provide students with opportunities to engage in public policy and applied urban research. Students can use our faculty's linkages with public agencies, educational institutions, community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, and social movements in our region to deepen their knowledge of urban dynamics.
Culminating exercise in the M.A program:
Masters Research Paper that students produce under the supervision of both a faculty member with expertise in the content area of the paper, and an instructor guiding a class in which the individual students are producing these papers. This is a supervised but independent research experience that enhances the student's ability to contribute to professional conferences and journals upon graduation.