Graduate Programs with the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

The world’s most pressing challenges have met their match. At Arizona State University's School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, we are tackling significant environmental and societal issues, including climate, water resource management, disaster relief, housing and community development, renewable energy and sustainable growth. Join us and you will be joining one of the leading institutions, recognized nationally and internationally for our graduate programs and esteemed faculty.

Graduate Student Opportunities

Degree and Certificate Options

We have a program to fit not only your needs but also your goals. Whether you are looking to continue your research in a doctoral program or if you are looking to gain important skills to enter the booming job market, we have degrees and certificates to help. The GRE is not required for admission to any of our graduate programs.

Research-based graduate degree programs

Professional graduate degree programs


Enhance your education with a graduate certificate in transdisciplinary transportation studies, geographic information science, or social science research methods. Flexible plans of study allow you to craft an experience that fits your professional and academic goals.

Financial support

Finding the funds to pay for your education is important. Our school offers a variety of funding options for select students. Arizona State University also offers a variety of scholarships. See below for some of the funding options available:

State-of-the-art Research Centers

Our school is home to three research centers that are making impacts in research and the community. Graduate students have the opportunity to work alongside our esteemed faculty researchers as they make discoveries and create solutions.

Points of pride

Job placement for professional programs

73% for Master of Urban and Environmental Program graduates

95% for Master of Advanced Study in Geographic Information Systems graduates

Small class sizes

Receive one-on-one attention with our 6:1 student-to-faculty classroom ratio

Scholarly impact

During the 2017-2018 and 2018-19 academic years, our doctoral students produced 69 publications as 1st or 2nd authors and participated in 111 conference presentations


Our doctoral students earned over $1.3 million in fellowships, awards and grants during the 2017-2018 and 2018-19 academic years

Our research

Our faculty and students are making a difference. They are researching the complex issues facing our society with the goal of making the world a more resilient and sustainable place. While our research interests are broad, many of them fall within these research areas:

  • Physical geographers study earth surface processes, the interactions between Earth’s main ‘spheres’: lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. Students have the opportunity to conduct hands-on fieldwork in remote landscapes and ecosystems, at the intersection of physical geography, engineering, sustainability, and GIScience.
  • Researchers in human-environmental science take an interdisciplinary approach by integrating subfields such as land system science, environmental remote sensing, transportation, energy, and sustainability. Graduates frequently go on to research posts in academia, government, and NGOs. 
  • Our climatology faculty emphasize the growing importance of the field within modern society. For example, the development of resilient cities requires collaboration among climatologists, urban planners, architects, engineers, computer scientists, etc., and provides unique deep learning opportunities and drives solutions to global challenges through interdisciplinary engagement.
  • Our faculty and students are thought leaders in spatial analysis and are developing new analytical methods for geospatial data. If data have a geolocation (think GPS data, Google Maps data, data from satellites, geotagged social media), spatial analysists can use it to identify patterns and predict future trends.
  • Urban and environmental planners learn the effects of the built environment (buildings, infrastructure systems, and open spaces) on people, the changes people and cultures make to the built environment, and how to devise solutions that lead to more equitable, efficient, and sustainable kinds of communities.
  • Our school prepares transportation scholars to solve the problems of poorly functioning transport systems, and to create transport systems that equitably provide access for all. Practitioners may implement physical changes - like redesigning a street - or policy changes - like implementing smarter parking charges.

Important dates

September 2 - Applications open (all programs)
December 15 - Geographic Information Science PhD, Geography PhD and Urban Planning PhD application deadline
January 15 - Geography MA (in-person) and MUEP application deadline
April 15 - Acceptance deadline for PhD and MUEP students with funding offers
June 1 - Recommended acceptance deadline for international students (to allow time for visa processing)
August 9 (projected) - Registration without late fees deadline
August 17 - First day of classes

Take the next step

This is just a quick glimpse into the amazing work happening at the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and the opportunities available to help you navigate the world and plan the future. We would love the opportunity to connect with you to learn more about you and your interests. Please feel free to email us at any time at, our dedicated graduate programs staff are happy to answer any questions you may have about our available programs, the application process, and what you can expect when joining our school.

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