Apply to the MA Program

For Fall 2020 admission, all required materials must be received by January 15, 2020 for full consideration (including assistantship support). Applications received after January 15 will not be considered for assistantships. The final application deadline for all Fall 2020 applicants is April 1, 2020.

In rare circumstances new students may be accepted for a spring semester start date, but this is typically strongly discourage due to the fact that the sequence of first-year required courses (Geography 8750 and 8760) begins in the fall semester.

Admission requirements

The Geography Department bases admission decisions in large part on the applicant's

Minimum 3.0 GPA;

  • record of scholarship as an undergraduate
  • letters of recommendation
  • statement of purpose
  • compatibility of scholarly interests with those of the faculty.

International students must submit TOEFFL scores that demonstrate a strong command of the English language (e.,g. 80 internet-based).

GRE Scores: GRE scores are no longer required, as the faculty recognize the biases inherent in the GRE and the ongoing debate about their effectiveness in predicting success in graduate school. However, because many applicants will have GRE scores available due to the application requirements at other institutions, applicants may upload scores if they want the faculty to review them as part of the admission process.  Note that GRE scores would be considered as supplemental information only.  Applicants who do not submit GRE scores will not experience any disadvantage in the admission process


Applying to the M.A. program in Geography is a two-step process. Applicants must apply to the University of Missouri Graduate School online and also complete a statement of purpose that is uploaded to the online Graduate School application.

  1. Graduate School Application (online) Your application is submitted online through the Graduate School. The Department of Geography has access to this information after you have completed this submission. Elements of the Graduate School application include:
    • An Application Fee is submitted with the Graduate School application. The amount is $65 for domestic and $90 for international students. The application fee is non-refundable and is not applicable to any future fees.
    • Official Transcripts of all Previous College or University Work: Please request that each college or university you attended send official transcripts (either paper-based or electronic) to or MU Graduate Admission Office, 210 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. To count as “official transcripts,” electronic transcripts must be emailed to the Graduate School by the institution and paper-based transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope directly from the institution. If you are unable to send official transcripts by the application deadline, unofficial transcripts must be uploaded to your online MU Graduate School application. (Note: The unofficial transcripts will be considered by the Geography department in the admission process, but for official admission to MU, official transcripts will need to be sent.) All transcripts become the property of MU and will be destroyed after one year if the applicant does not enroll. If you attended MU, we will obtain your transcripts and you do not need to do so, although you do need to provide transcripts of any coursework taken after your earlier MU enrollment. 
    • International Students: An official TOEFL or IELTS score is required for every applicant whose native language is not English. The minimum TOEFL score requirement for the Department of Geography is 550 (paper) and 80 (internet). MU's code is 6875.
    • Letters of recommendation: Three people familiar with your academic qualifications should submit reference letters on your behalf through the online MU Graduate School Application system.  After you submit the names and email addresses of your references, the Graduate School will solicit letters from your references and include a link to upload an electronic version of their letter.  If your reference sends a physical copy of their letter in a sealed envelope to the Graduate School, the Graduate School will upload a scanned copy of the letter to your online application.
    • Supplemental Information: In addition, you may also upload copies of papers you have written, descriptions of projects you have taken part in, or other materials you think will strengthen your application in the “Supplemental Information” section.
  2. Statement of Purpose: Compose an essay of 1-3 pages that describes your interest in the discipline of Geography, and your motivation for enrolling in the Geography MA program at the University of Missouri. Examples of what this statement may discuss include:
    • experiences that stimulated your interests in particular aspects of Geography,
    • why you think this area (or these areas) of Geography is important, and,
    • how you see a Master’s degree in Geography aiding in the achievement of your professional and career goals.

Upload your Statement to the "Supplemental Information" section of your Graduate School application. For more information, refer to instructions included in the department application form.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All required documents are to be uploaded to your MU Graduate School Application before you submit your application. Once you have submitted your application you will not be able to upload any additional documents. (This does not apply to letters of reference. Referees will still be able to submit references for you even if you've already submitted your application. However, you do need to request the references before submitting your application.) 



Questions? Contact Dr. Matt Foulkes, Director of Graduate Studies


Questions? Contact Dr. Matt Foulkes, Director of Graduate Studies