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LSU Department of Geography & Anthropology

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Geography

Master's Program
The Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.S.), and Master of Natural Science (M.N.S.) degrees are offered in geography. Students concentrating in cultural, economic, urban, or historical geography enroll in the M.A. program, while those in physical geography and mapping sciences usually enroll in the M.S. program. The basic requirements are the same for the two programs, and a thesis is required in both programs. The M.N.S. is a special program designed for individuals seeking a degree with a broader, interdisciplinary focus. It is a non-thesis program of 36 hours, half of which is in geography and the other half in related sciences. For further information on the M.N.S., please contact the chair of the department or the graduate director.

The master's degree provides students with a broad knowledge of the history, theory, content, and techniques of geography. Such knowledge may be obtained by enrollment in specific courses or through independent study, either at LSU or some other institution. It will be evaluated by a comprehensive, written exam administered near the end of the master's program of study.

A minimum of 30 semester hours are requires for the master's degree, of which six are thesis hours (GEOG 8000). Students may enroll for thesis credit beyond the six hours needed, but only six hours will count toward the 30 hours needed for the degree. The remaining 24 hours must include at least nine hours (three courses) at the 7000 level (exclusive of the core course GEOG 7901). GEOG 7902 (core course) and either one 7000-level reading course or GEOG 7935 - Quantitative Methods may be applied to this nine-hour requirement. Of those nine hours, at least six hours (two courses) must be earned under two different faculty members in the department and include at least one other seminar other than GEOG 7902. Upon entering the graduate program, all master's students will enroll in GEOG 7901 (one credit) and GEOG 7902 (three credits) the first semester they are offered. These two courses and GEOG 4048 - Methods of Spatial Analysis (three credits) are required of all master's students. Previous course work in quantitative methods at another university may be substituted for GEOG 4048 with written permission of the instructor of the course and the graduate director.

In addition to these courses, students are required to complete the language/statistics option. Students have two options: (1) statistics, or (2) language. The statistics option requires a two-course statistics sequence (GEOG 4048 and GEOG 7935). The language option requires reading competence in one language. Ordinarily, the most useful foreign languages are German, French, Spanish, or Russian. Reading competence is measured in one of three ways: (1) achieving a grade of 500 on the Educational Testing Service (ETS) examination administered by the University Testing Service, (2) passing course 1020 in the above languages, or (3) for languages other than those included in the ETS offerings, passing a test administered by a faculty member at LSU in the language in question. Students whose native language is not English may use English to satisfy this requirement.

 

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Doctoral Program
The Doctor of Philosophy is the highest degree offered at LSU. It recognizes and demands mastery of one or more subfields of the discipline. Doctoral students go far beyond the level required for lesser degrees, and their work is expected to be of such a quality that it could grace the pages of scholarly books and journals. Although doctoral students are expected to exhibit the intellectual breadth required for an academic position, the Ph.D. is primarily a research degree, and doctoral students should expect to spend little time sitting in undergraduate lecture courses in geography, save that needed to remedy deficiencies.

Summary of Doctoral Course Requirements:

(1) Thirty hours beyond the master's degree (half at 7000 level+)
(2) GEOG 7901 - Introduction to Geography
(3) GEOG 7902 - Research Methods in Geography
(4) GEOG 4048 - Methods of Spatial Analysis
(5) Language/Statistics
(6) Nine hours of 7000-level courses (exclusive of 7901)
(7) External minor or nine hours in approved cognate fields (including one seminar)
(8) Nine hours dissertation research (GEOG 9000)

Students entering the doctoral program are expected to have earned the master's degree, either at LSU or elsewhere. Those entering the graduate school at LSU from the bachelor's level will enter either the M.A. or the M.S. program and complete the requirements for a master's degree before being permitted to go into the doctoral program. In rare instances, especially promising students with thorough backgrounds in geography have been permitted to go directly from undergraduate work into the doctoral program, but permission to bypass the master's is not granted lightly. Also, this is done only when the student has demonstrated clearly the ability to do work at the doctoral level and when the relevant faculty, the graduate director, and the department chair have given their approval.

The doctorate requires a minimum of 30 semester hours beyond the master's degree or a total of 60 hours beyond the bachelor's degree. At least half of the hours beyond the master's must be at the 7000 level or above. Included in the 7000+ level requirements are at least nine hours of dissertation credit (GEOG 9000) and at least nine hours (three offerings) at the 7000 level, exclusive of the core course GEOG 7901. GEOG 7902 (core course) may be applied to this nine-hour requirement. Of these nine hours, at least six hours (two courses) must be seminars. Work at the 7000+ level must be earned in courses and/or seminars under two different faculty members of the department. It is strongly recommended, however, that doctoral students enroll in as many seminars as possible. Upon entering the graduate program, all doctoral students will enroll in GEOG 7901 (one credit) and GEOG 7902 (three credits) the first semester they are offered. These two courses and GEOG 4048 - Methods of Spatial Analysis (three credits) are required of all doctoral students. Previous course work in quantitative methods at another university may be substituted for GEOG 4048 with permission of the instructor of the course and the graduate director. A minor or work in cognate fields is required (see below).

In addition to these courses, students are required to complete the language/statistics option. The requirement of a reading knowledge in at least one foreign language reflects the department's conviction that knowledge is not limited to those who know English. Likewise, the statistical requirement assures that students have mastery of this important tool. Ordinarily, the foreign languages most useful to students are German, French, Spanish, or Russian. Other languages, however are permissible, provided a language is related to students' research.

Doctoral students have three options for the language/statistics requirement:
Option A: Reading competence in two foreign languages, reflected in: (1) scores of 500 or higher for both languages on Educational Testing Service (ETS) examinations administered by the University Testing Service; (2) passing the 1020 language courses with at least a "B"; or (3) for languages other than those covered by ETS exams, passing a language test administered by a faculty member at LSU in the languages in question. Students satisfying the language requirement for the master's degree at another institution must demonstrate that the evaluation was comparable to LSU's; the decision to be rendered by the graduate director.

Option B: Reading competence in one language as outlined in Option A, and competence in statistics as indicated by the successful completion of GEOG 4048 and GEOG 7935 (both three credits).

Option C: An in-depth concentration in one language, the competence of which is measured by a score of 650 on the ETS exam; or a score of 500 on the ETS plus two courses in the literature of the language, one course of which must be numbered no lower than 2000 and the second not lower than 4000. Both courses must be passed with at least a "B".

Students whose native language is not English may use English to satisfy one language requirement within the context of these three options.

Students satisfying the language requirement for the master's degree at another institution must demonstrate that the evaluation was comparable to LSU's; the decision to be rendered by the graduate director.

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Anthropology

The Master of Arts (M.A.) is offered in anthropology and a minimum of 30 hours is required for this degree. Of those 30, at least six are thesis hours (ANTH 8000). The 24 hours of course work include nine hours (three courses) at the 7000 level. Of those nine hours, at least six hours (two courses) must be earned in seminars. These seminars are generally taken within the department, but seminars can be taken in other departments in consultation with students' major professors. Students must take each seminar from different faculty members.

The program in anthropology emphasizes the four-field approach. Students must gain a familiarity with the basics in physical anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, and linguistics. Required courses in the four areas are ANTH 4020 - Method and Theory in Archaeology; ANTH 4040 - Physical Anthropology; ANTH 4060 - Language and Culture; and ANTH 4082 - Social and Cultural Anthropology or an area course approved in writing by the graduate director in consultation with the anthropology faculty. In addition, ANTH 4085 - History of Anthropological Thought, and ANTH 7901 - Introduction to Graduate Study, are required of all students.

In addition to these courses, students are required to complete the language/statistics option. Students have two options: (1) statistics or (2) language. The statistics option requires one graduate course, to be determined in consultation with the students' major professors. The language option requires a reading competence in one language. Reading competence is measured in one of four ways: (1) achieving a grade of 500 on the Educational Testing Service (ETS) examination administered by the University Testing Service, (2) passing course 1020 in one of the foreign languages, (3) for languages other than those included in the ETS offerings, passing a test administered by a faculty member at LSU in the language in question, or (4) passing with a grade of A or B and upper-division foreign literature course in that language approved by the graduate director. Students whose native language is not English may use English to satisfy this requirement (that is, by receiving a score of at least 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language) or having attended an English-speaking undergraduate university.

A thesis is required of all students in the master's program. Normally, students identify a thesis project by the end of the second semester. Often, ANTH 7999 - Independent Research is taken during the second semester to prepare a thesis proposal and carry out background reading under the guidance of the major professor.


Graduate Office

Graduate Director: Patrick Hesp
(225) 578-5942 / pahesp@lsu.edu

Graduate Secretary: Dana Sanders
(225) 578-6246 / gradsec@lsu.edu

For further information on the graduate programs in both geography and anthropology - including the master's and doctoral examinations, steps toward master's and doctoral degrees, and other information not given here - please contact the Department of Geography and Anthropology's Graduate Office or download this packet for prospective graduate students. Students are also encouraged to visit the LSU Graduate School for general graduate regulations and information.

In addition, students are invited to speak to any faculty member involving classes and specialties.

 

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Department of Geography & Anthropology
Louisiana State University
227 Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4105
Phone: (225) 578-5942
Fax: (225) 578-4420

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