Students entering the Ph.D. program with master’s degrees from other universities are expected to have or acquire qualifications equivalent to those normally achieved by a Syracuse M.A. in geography. The student must maintain a 3.0 grade average.
Coursework The Ph.D. degree requires a total of 72 credits of approved graduate work in geography and related fields. The 72 credits include credits accepted for the master’s degree, and as many as 12 credits in dissertation research. At least 24 credits of coursework must be taken in residence at Syracuse. At least two-thirds of the coursework (not including the dissertation) must be at the 600 level or above. All doctoral programs in geography are research-oriented.
Areas of Competence Toward the end of the program, a Ph.D. student must demonstrate, through a written and oral qualifying examination, special competence in three topical fields. Each doctoral student must provide evidence of competence in those research skills to be used in the dissertation as outlined in the formal proposal.
Dissertation A formal dissertation proposal must be submitted and approved before the Ph.D. qualifying examination is taken. The dissertation itself should be an original scholarly contribution to the field and may be highly varied in methodology, topic, and style of presentation. It must be defended orally.
Qualifying Examination Before taking the qualifying exam a student must have completed all requirements except the dissertation itself. The exam has both written and oral parts covering the specific subfields identified by the student in consultation with the advisor.