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for M.A. program in G&ES

This form letter is sent to potential graduate students who inquire into the master's program.  It includes a short summary of information available in more detail in the web pages here, and attempts to answer questions which are frequently asked.  Please call (773) 442-5641 for more information after reading through the materials available here. 

Dear Prospective Graduate Student:

      Thank you for your interest in the graduate program in Geography and Environmental Studies at Northeastern Illinois University.  I am the graduate coordinator for the department.  You will find departmental documents and other information at the web site:  http://www.neiu.edu/~deptges .  Other documents such as the course catalogue and semester schedules can be received from Admissions & Records.  Applications for any graduate program, including ours in G&ES, should be sent directly to the Graduate College, which will provide you with all the necessary forms.

      Northeastern Illinois University has a regular enrollment of approximately 11,000 commuting students and the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Most of our students work; many work full time.  For that reason we attempt to provide a full variety of graduate level courses during evening hours and on some weekends.  Many housing opportunities exist within a short distance from campus, and public transportation is available from almost anywhere within the city.  Although there may be useful information posted on bulletin boards on campus, the University cannot assist students with finding housing.  Apartments for rent are often listed in the Chicago Tribune or Chicago Reader.

      The graduate degree is Geography & Environmental Studies, although students often concentrate in one area or the other.  The program is flexible enough that students with a clear focus are able to put together, with their advisor, a curriculum suited to their interest within these general areas.  Our graduates have found employment in a wide variety of organizations, and some have gone on for doctorates elsewhere.  Faculty research interests include natural area management, environmental policy and resource management, urban/population/cultural geography, and computer techniques including GIS, cartography, aerial photo interpretation, and remote sensing.

      Applicants without an undergraduate major or minor in Geography or Environmental Studies or the equivalent (5 foundation courses) will be required to do additional coursework, usually at the undergraduate level, before full admission. Students without the equivalent of both G&ES 104 (World Geography) and G&ES 150 (Introduction to Environmental Studies) would do well to take those courses before applying.  Research Methods (G&ES 374) or its equivalent is also required. Those with an undergraduate GPA under 2.75 /4 may be required to establish good academic standing with 300-level courses in their area of study prior to admission.  Up to 9 hours of graduate credits from other institutions may apply, as may up to 6 hours of graduate credit taken at NEIU in the undergraduate senior year, and up to 9 hours of approved graduate credits from other NEIU departments.  All graduate students must maintain a running average GPA of 3.0 (B) or better.

      At full time the 33-hour program typically takes two years, but most students attend part time.  All work must be completed within a six year period. During their graduate career students pass through several stages: (1) satisfy any course or admission deficiencies, (2) complete graduate level coursework, including scope and philosophy, statistics, and a geographic technique; (3) at the end of the program take an oral or written comprehensive examination (for those opting for the research paper only),(4) complete either a thesis or research paper, and (5) apply for graduation.  Steps 3 and 4 are done under the supervision of a committee mainly made up of faculty members.

      The department supports two paid positions: (1) graduate teaching assistantship, mainly for the undergraduate course World Geography and (2) technical assistantship to assist with the technical courses and help maintain the two computer labs.  Each position also waives tuition. Similar jobs are available in the library.  The department also has competitive  merit-based tuition waivers each term for students who are making good progress through the program. Applications for those are now handled by the Graduate College..

      I hope I have answered many of your questions about the Master's of Arts program in Geography and Environmental Studies at Northeastern Illinois University.  For additional information, please call the department's Graduate Coordinator Dr. Dennis Grammenos (773) 442-5641at (773) 442-5647.  If you wish to apply to the Graduate College, please direct your request for forms to the Graduate College (773) 442-6000.  The University switchboard operator is at (773) 583-4050.


Erick Howenstine, PhD
Chairman, G&ES

This page has been reformatted for printing. See http:/www.neiu.edu/~deptges for the entire site.