Graduate – Master of Arts (MA)

MA in Geography@Beach

Our MA degree supports a breadth of research interests, focusing on environmental and physical geography, geospatial science, human geography, housing and social justice, global and urban studies. We can offer competitive funding opportunities, including research and teaching assistantships as well as lab technician positions. The culminating activity for the MA program is a traditional research-based thesis.


Why CSULB Geography

Geography at the Beach supports a breadth of research interests, focusing on environmental and physical geography, geospatial science, human geography, social justice and urban studies. Our students have been recognized by the College of Liberal Arts with award-winning research! Since 2018 four of our graduate students have earned the most prestigious honor in the College of Liberal Arts – the Best Masters Thesis Award, with three winners for three years in a row!

2023: Cameron MayerNew West Tension and Threatened Species Protection: The Western Joshua Tree Conservation Debate in the Morongo Basin, California 

2022: Julia Rose DowellTaking the Temperature of Climate Change in Long Beach: Concerns and Responses of Long Beach Residents Regarding Extreme Heat and Health Impacts

2021: Andrew SiwabessyGeologic mapping of Terra Cimmeria, Mars, and resultant implications for the Martian plate tectonics hypotheses

2018: Rebecca JacobsDeterminants of Fire Intensity in a Mesic West Africa Savanna: A Statistical Analysis of Fire Characteristics 

MA theses: See a list of completed MA Theses (1956-2022)

Career Outcomes

Education in Geography at the graduate level at CSULB provides an opportunity to broaden one’s intellectual life and to acquire or upgrade knowledge and skills for many careers. The degree is particularly suitable for those graduates with one of the following professional goals:

  • Advanced graduate work at the doctoral level
  • Public sector work (e.g., urban planning, environmental management, geospatial analyst)
  • Private sector work (e.g., market area analysis, environmental and geospatial consulting)
  • Non-governmental work (e.g., international agencies, local community organizing)
  • Housing and labor research
  • Community college and K-12 teaching

What our MA students say about us…

Alana Salas Yoshi, MA 2023

Alana’s thesis studies the environmental justice concerns of a marginalized community in Huntington Beach, California. Through her work, she hopes to amplify the community’s voice and contribute to environmental justice research in Southern California. In Spring 2022, Alana was awarded the Frank Gossette Scholarship to aid in her thesis work. Alana currently works for the Municipal Water District of Orange County.

Dylan Charnon, MA 2023

“My name is Dylan Charnon, I am a second-year Geography graduate student from Girdwood, Alaska. My thesis involves working with a species and habitat management. I have been working with the U.S. Forest Service to analyze data on one of their species of interest, the dusky Canada goose, and plan to continue working with the agency after graduation.”

Scott Winslow, MA 2014

“CSULB Geography boasts a faculty that actively coordinates to make sure that each graduate student is put in a position to succeed. This can’t be stressed enough, especially considering that geography is inherently broad and finding a faculty member who shares similar interests is imperative to the thesis process.”

Application Information

Review of applications for fall admission begins April 1st for priority consideration and will continue until the University’s June 1st deadline. The International student applicant deadline is March 15th. Applications for spring admission to the MA are accepted until November 1st. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in Geography or a related discipline is recommended. Please contact our MA Graduate Advisor, Dr. Gary Hytrek at

Admissions Requirements  

  • Satisfy the university requirements for graduate admission.
  • Have a GPA of 3.0 or above from your baccalaureate degree, or alternative evidence of ability to succeed at the graduate level.  
  • A bachelor’s degree in Geography or a related discipline.  
  • Submit CalStateApply application and Supporting Documents by Deadline: June 1 for fall admission, November 1 for spring admission.  See also: Apply to CSULB
  • International applicants should also consult with the Center for International Education  

Required documents:  

  • Personal Statement (approx. 2 pages), in which you address: your research interests in Geography; your professional or personal goals in seeking a graduate degree; how your research interests relate to our core strengths and faculty expertise; and any special skills you have which you hope to build on in graduate studies.  
  • Writing sample: please submit a paper, report, or project that you feel best showcases your research and writing abilities and potential. Links to other material, if any, may be embedded in your document.  
  • 2 letters of recommendation.