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Geography Department

Geography Graduate Program

Geography coursework at UW extends back to a first course in physical geography taught by Aven Nelson in 1890. From 1910 to 1955, geography was taught in the College of Education which offered the first degrees, while the Geology Department provided some coursework in physical geography through the 1950s. Geography was brought fully into the College of Arts and Sciences in 1960.

The Department of Geography was founded in 1966 and combined with the Department of Recreation and Park Administration (founded 1975) as the Department of Geography and Recreation in 1985. The Planning program was founded in 1975 as a graduate program in the Geography and Recreation Department. In 2000 most recreation programming was closed and in 2005, the department was reconstituted as the Department of Geography.

The Geography department offers the following degrees: 

MA in Geography
MST (Master of Science in Teaching) in Geography
MP (Master in Planning)

Master's programs are based on student interests and faculty expertise. Requirements differ for MA (geography) and MP (planning) degrees that correspond to the differing content of these areas. Content also differs for the MA in geography that depends on student interest in human or physical geography; natural resource management; spatial analysis, information and display. Planning areas include: land use planning, economic development, natural resource planning, community and regional planning, and site development. 

Plans A (with thesis) and B (without thesis/including two research papers) are available in each of the major areas. Coursework in other departments and programs (e.g. Anthropology, Renewable Resources, Botany, Geology/Geophysics, Political Science, and others) is commonly encouraged. Tool courses in all areas are emphasized to ensure the employability of graduates or success in PhD programs.  

Please view the following links for more information regarding the Graduate Program and how to apply.

Ph.D. Program Opportunities

Graduate students in geography can also pursue a Ph.D. degree through interdisciplinary programs including the Program in Ecology (PiE) and Water Resources Environmental Science and Engineering (WRESE).  Interested students should contact faculty and the affiliated programs directly for more information.


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    Department of Geography

    Ross Hall, Room 223

    1000 E. University Ave

    Laramie, WY 82071

    Phone: 307-766-3311


    1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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