FAQ: Master of Arts in Geography

October 28, 2020 - COVID exception for GRE

 We acknowledge the unique challenges that prospective domestic and international students are facing this year, including:

  • Effects of economic downturn (e.g., job loss, currency devaluation)
  • Lack of access to testing center locations (e.g., testing center closures, unsafe travel conditions)
  • Lack of access to online testing (e.g., unavailable in certain countries, inability to receive approval to take at home)

The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning will waive the GRE requirement for all applicants to its graduate programs for Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 admission. Applicants may supply GRE scores if they feel it will strengthen their application. Failure to submit a GRE score will not prevent an application from being reviewed and fully considered for admission.

Is there a minimum GRE score for admission to the MA program?

No, but competitive applicants have achieved the following scores or higher:

Fall 2019 Verbal & Quantitative combined 314, Writing 3.9

Fall 2020 Verbal & Quantitative combined 314, Writing 4.0

What is your GRE exam institutional code number?


I am taking the GRE exam after the January 15 application deadline. Will my application be reviewed?

Only complete applications will be reviewed by the admissions committee. Applications will be reviewed when the GRE scores are received.

What additional exams are required for non-English speaking students for admission to the MA program?

Competitive applicants have achieved an average of 102 on the TOEFL. Please visit Graduate Admission English Proficiency for university requirements and more detailed information on demonstrating English proficiency, including waiver eligibility.

Should I contact a faculty member before I apply?

Professors welcome e-mail from prospective students. They often take note of the prospective applicant's name and research interest and watch for the full application to be submitted for a full evaluation. A judiciously placed, carefully worded email can pave the way for your admission even if you don't get an immediate personal reply.

Is there a deadline to apply?

January 15 is the final deadline to submit your complete application. Applications received or completed after this date may be reviewed only if space is available in the program.

What do you mean by a “Complete Application”?

A complete application includes all of the following items:

    • Graduate Admissions application form
    • Official transcripts
    • Official GRE scores 
    • Official English proficiency scores (if required)
    • Resume or CV
    • Personal statement
    • Three letters of recommendation

All items must be received by ASU Graduate Admissions in order for the application to be considered complete.

Is there a program fee?

No, the Master of Arts in Geography program does not have a program fee.

What types of financial aid do you provide?

Master of Arts in Geography students are eligible to apply for need-based financial aid. Information on need-based financial aid (grants and loans) is available from Financial Aid.

Can I start the degree in the Spring semester?

Our graduate programs are designed to start in the Fall semester.

Do I need to earn a degree in geography to be admitted?

No. We often admit students who have undergraduate degrees in disciplines other than geography.

Whom should I ask to send letters of recommendation?

The primary purpose of the letters of recommendation is to help us to determine your ability to successfully complete the graduate program and your potential to make significant academic contributions. At least two of your letters should be from academic sources. Applicants with extensive professional experience are likely to have their remaining letter from supervisors; applicants with less experience may have all three of their letters from academic sources. Most importantly, your letters should be from references who know you well enough to say specific things about your abilities, accomplishments, and professional potential.