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Geographic Education

woman smiling in group discussion

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, such as the Gilbert M. Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education, Texas Alliance for Geographic Education, and the National Center for Research in Geography Education.

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

 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:

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

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

“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

“I selected the Ph.D. program in geographic education at Texas State because of the program's outstanding reputation and because I wanted to further my understanding of geography and geographic education.”

— Michael Makowsky, current student

Course Work

The Ph.D. in geographic education degree is offered 100% online. The degree plan 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.

Degree Course Work Dissertation Total Hours
Ph.D. 31 hours 15 hours 46 hours
Evans Liberal Arts building

  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.

Geography Ph.D. alumni successfully pursue careers in academia, in public and private research centers, and in 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 curricula, leads the discipline with innovative applied work, and actively seeks to recruit top students nationally and internationally.

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Related Programs

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.

Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

Geographic education doctoral students actively participate in professional conferences, meetings, and workshops and publish in top-tier journals in the field. Geographic education Ph.D. alumni hold positions in universities and community colleges, government agencies, and the private sector. Graduates are well qualified to become educational research associates and scientists, school district administrators, and social studies coordinators and consultants.

Application Process

Step 1

Review Requirements

Application Deadlines

Deadlines U.S. Citizen International
Fall - Priority January 15 January 15
Fall - Standard May 1 April 15
Spring No Admission No Admission
Summer I No Admission No Admission
Summer II No Admission No Admission

Application Deadline
This program has a firm deadline.

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.

Application 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.

Application Fee

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

  Review important information about application fees.

Transcripts & GPA

  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • master's degree in geography or a related field from a regionally accredited university
  • 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.

GRE Scores

  • official GRE (general test only) required with competitive scores in the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning sections

  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.


Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet 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

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

  Review important information about official test scores.