Accelerated BA/BS and MA Geography program

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The School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning’s fast track approach allows highly qualified students who are finishing their Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Geography degree, or Bachelor of Science in Geography (Meteorology-Climatology) to be enrolled simultaneously in the Master of Arts Geography degree program. These students are permitted to take up to 12 credits of graduate courses as undergraduates after admission to the fast track. The graduate coursework can be applied toward the undergraduate degree and toward the MA Geography plan of study.  In order to share coursework, students must be formally admitted to the MA Geography program in the fall semester of their senior year.

Eligibility

This accelerated degree is intended for high performing undergraduate students. All candidates must have:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses taken at ASU; minimum of 3.5 GPA in all geography and GIS courses
  • Minimum 75 credit hours toward BA or BS degree at the time of application
  • Completed 90 credits of undergraduate study before enrolling in any accelerated course that will be included in BA or BS program of study
  • Completed GPH 111 Introduction to Physical Geography, GPH 112 Introduction to Physical Geography lab, and GIS 205 Geographic Information Science I

Plan of Study Worksheets

These worksheets outline courses to be taken during each year of the accelerated degree program:

BA/MA plan of study  
BS/MA plan of study  
BS(Meteorology-Climatology)/MA plan of study

Two-Step Application Process 

Step 1:  Preliminary Application to the BA/BS/MA (Preliminary Application period is January 1-March 15. Applications are due March 15 of Junior Year.)

The preliminary online application must be completed by March 15 (spring semester of junior year) for admission to the program the following fall semester.
The application requirements include:

  • Complete the preliminary online application.
  • Personal statement including career and/or educational goals, accomplishments and other pertinent information that will help the admissions committee evaluate the applicant.  
  • Two letters of recommendation (LOR) from geography faculty. Letters must be sent to sgsup.gradadvising@asu.edu directly from the faculty member. Letters will not be accepted from the student.
  • Academic writing sample. The MA Geography program is a research-based degree that requires a thesis. Writing sample can be an excerpt from a paper written for a class, a submitted or published article, or any other scholarly writing. Writing sample should be no longer than two pages.
  • Unofficial transcript from ASU as of the day the application is submitted.

The admissions committee will review the preliminary online application and instruct you regarding Step 2.

Step 2:  Application for Graduate Admission (deadline: June 1 before Senior Year)

The Graduate Admissions Application must be completed by June 1 (summer before senior year) for admission to the program the following fall semester.

You must have already completed the preliminary online application (Step 1) and received approval from the admissions committee to submit the Graduate Admissions Application.

You must have completed 90 credit hours of coursework before fall of senior year. The GRE requirement is waived for 4+1 applicants.

After Step 2 is completed, the admissions committee will review the Graduate Admissions Application and the final grades earned in the Spring of the junior year. The Spring term GPA must be 3.0 or higher to be considered for admission. Applicants with an Incomplete on the transcript will not be admitted to the 4+1 program. Incomplete work must be resolved no later than the grad posting deadline for Summer B session prior to the start of the senior year.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Student progress toward completing both degrees will be monitored at the end of each academic year by both the undergraduate and graduate program coordinators. Written progress reports on work for the two degrees must be added to the student’s file at the end of each academic year.

Students in the Accelerated Program must maintain an overall ASU cumulative 3.0 GPA at both the graduate and undergraduate level.  Students will officially be considered undergraduates until all work for the BA or BS degree is completed and the student’s bachelor’s degree has been awarded and posted to the student’s transcripts. They will NOT be eligible for teaching and research assistantships and related health insurance, financial aid, or graduate award programs until the undergraduate degree is completed.

Students must complete the bachelors’ degree within one academic year of the initiation of the joint degree program. A student will be removed from participation in the accelerated program if he or she does not complete the undergraduate program within one academic year after starting the joint program, or if their cumulative undergraduate GPA drops below 3.0, or if the student fails to register for classes in all successive spring-fall semesters. If removed from the accelerated program the student would be removed from the MA degree program, but would be permitted to continue in the BA or BS program. Such a student could later apply for regular admission to the MA program, but he or she would NOT be able to count any shared courses toward their MA program.