For detailed program information including curriculum and requirements, please view the academic bulletin, the university's official document of record concerning graduate-level academic programs and regulations.
The Department of Geography offers the opportunity for advanced study and research in a variety of fields within the discipline. The department awards the M.A., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Graduate students take specialized courses and seminars in environmental change, urban and political geography, spatial data analysis, remote sensing, physical systems, and environmental science. Graduate students also learn disciplinary history and receive training in geographic research methods and research design.
Graduate students enjoy access to a variety of departmental resources and facilities, including computer labs and faculty-led labs, including the Climate Research Lab, the Earth Surface Patterns and Processes Lab, the Geoinformation and Big Data Research Lab, and the WIND Lab. The department is also home to multiple research institutes and centers: Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA), the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute (HVRI), the Center for GIScience and Remote Sensing, and the Center for Excellence in Geographic Education / South Carolina Geographic Alliance. The department is licensed to run ESRI software and owns a wide array of equipment used for environmental-science, GIScience, and remote sensing research. Graduate students also have access to USC’s world-class Thomas Cooper Library, including its extensive e-journal, aerial photography, and map collections. Specialized programs in the Center for Teaching Excellence provide valuable training to students in instructional techniques. The Geography Graduate Student Association provides a forum for graduate students and organizes numerous service activities in the department, the university and the community at large.
The department has a strong record of success in placing graduates in private-sector, public-sector and academic careers. Recent graduates from the doctoral program can be found in academic positions at the University of Iowa, Penn State, George Mason University, and the University of West Florida. Former graduate students have secured employment in large private-sector consultancies and data-analysis firms, non-governmental and environmental organizations, emergency- and resource-management agencies and in the secondary education field.