Geographic Education (Ph.D.)

Ph.D. Geographic Education

The curriculum provides depth and breadth of knowledge in the theories and research methods of geographic education.

Program Overview

Working closely with a dedicated faculty that is recognized nationally and internationally for its research, mentoring and teaching accomplishments, students embark on a journey of professional development that includes research and teaching opportunities. The department also hosts or plays key roles in several international, national and university-wide research centers.

Course Work

The Ph.D. in Geographic Education is designed to provide depth and breadth of knowledge in the field's theoretical foundations and research methods. The degree is offered 100% online, and requires students to complete 31 credit hours of graduate course work, and 15 credit hours of dissertation research and writing. Course work is required during all three semesters (fall, spring, and summer). Graduate courses include learning about geographic education theories and research methods; geography curriculum, standards, and assessment; and educational aspects of geospatial technologies. Faculty advisors work individually with each student to develop a tailored course plan that meets the student's educational and career goals.

DegreeCourse WorkDissertationTotal Hours
Course Work
31 hours
15 hours
Total Hours
46 hours

Online Availability

This program is offered completely online. If you are not a Texas resident and will not relocate, please visit the Office of Distance and Extended Learning. International applicants will not be eligible to receive a Form I-20 or DS-2019 for an F-1 or J-1 visa from Texas State and may review the eligibility requirements of enrolling in online programs and contact the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) with questions.

What Our Students Say

"The Ph.D. program in Geographic Education offers students direct access to many of the most accomplished scholars in the field, and works as a hub of geographic education communities connecting school teachers, educators, and researchers. This unique access has allowed me to quickly build my own professional network with local, state, national, and international geography educators."

— Sojung Huh, Class of 2023

Program Details

Geography Ph.D. alumni successfully pursue careers in academia, public and private research centers, and the professional sector with private companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

Program Mission

The mission of the Department of Geography is to offer students educational experiences of the highest quality and to conduct meaningful and vital research. The department is committed to outstanding teaching and scholarly activities within the framework of academic freedom and the diversity of ideas and is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and to public service. The department stresses the theoretical and applied realms of geography in all of its curriculum, leads the discipline with innovative applied work, and actively seeks to recruit top students nationally and internationally.

Related Programs: Ph.D. in Geography | Ph.D. in Geographic Information Science

Career Options

Geographic education doctoral students actively participate in professional conferences, meetings and workshops, and publish in top-tier journals in the field, including the Journal of Geography, Research in Geographic Education, Social Studies and the Journal of Geography in Higher Education. Geographic education Ph.D. alumni hold positions in university and community colleges, government agencies and in the private sector.

Program Faculty

Thirty-four full-time faculty members conduct research in physical, human, and environmental geography, geographic education, and geographic information sciences, and publish in top-tier journals, including the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, The Professional Geographer, the Journal of Geography, and the Journal of Geography in Higher Education. Faculty research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, among other funding agencies.

Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more. If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following individuals.

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Ronald Hagelman, III
Evans Liberal Arts (ELA), Room 335

Advisor Support
Allison Glass
Evans Liberal Arts (ELA), Room 127


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Application Deadlines

DeadlinesU.S. CitizenInternational
Fall - Priority
U.S. Citizen
January 15
January 15
Fall - Standard
U.S. Citizen
May 1
April 15

This program's deadline is firm. This type of deadline means the application and other application requirements must be submitted by the program's specified deadline day.

Funding Information
Applications must be complete by the priority deadline to be considered for certain types of funding.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.

Admission Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.

  • Review important information about the online application.

    • $55 nonrefundable application fee
    • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

    Review important information about application fees.

    • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university (Non-U.S. degrees must be equivalent to a four-year U.S. Bachelor’s degree. In most cases, three-year degrees are not considered. Visit our International FAQs for more information.)
    • master's degree in geography or a related field from a regionally accredited university (Non-U.S. degrees must be equivalent to a U.S. Master’s degree. Master’s degrees following a three-year Bachelor’s degrees may not be equivalent; please contact if you are unsure.)
    • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
    • minimum 3.5 GPA in all completed graduate course work
    • completion of a master's thesis or demonstrated evidence of scholarly research and writing

    Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

  • GRE

    • GRE not required

    Approved English Proficiency Exam Scores

    Applicants are required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score that meets the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

    • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
    • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
    • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
      • minimum individual module scores of 6.0
    • official Duolingo Scores required with a 110 overall
    • official TOEFL Essentials scores required with an 8.5 overall

    This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

    Review important information about official test scores.

    • resume/CV
    • statement of purpose explaining your reasons for pursuing doctoral study and your academic professional interests and goals
    • three letters of recommendation demonstrating adequate subject preparation in content and quality as reflected in your transcripts

    Review important information about documents.

What Our Alumni Say

“I always knew I would enter a doctoral program but had been struggling to find the perfect fit.  I chose Texas State as I have been looking for a Ph.D. program that would not only fit into my lifestyle and be offered online but also was credible and well respected; this program came highly recommended especially from other teachers within the field.”

— Licia Paulus, current student

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