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Programs : Master's : Admissions

NOTE: There will be no spring admissions in 2014.

Application Process

The application process consists of three (3) steps:

  1. University on-line application through CSU Mentor. Deadline: December 15.
  2. Official transcripts, GRE (and if applicable, TOEFL) test scores received by Graduate Admissions. Deadline: January 12.
  3. Copies of transcripts and test scores received by the Department of Geography. Deadline: January 12.

All applicants must submit admissions materials separately to SDSU Enrollment Services and to the Geography Department.

IMPORTANT: The Department of Geography Application will be moving to an on-line system that will replace the current, paper-based one. We expect the on-line system to go live on October 1st, 2014. The instructions below (#3) correspond to the current paper system, but the same materials will be required for the online application. Applicants will upload materials rather than snail-mail them to the department. We will provide the link by October 1st, 2014.

Application Requirements

  1. University On-line Application

    All applicants to the program must first fill out an on-line application on CSU Mentor and pay the required fee by December 15. A SDSU RED ID Number will then be assigned which allows tracking of application status on-line.

  2. Office of Graduate Admissions Requirements

    These items must be received by January 12.

    1. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
    2. GRE (and if applicable, TOEFL) test scores sent directly from ETS.
      (Institution Code: 4682)

    Send to:
    Enrollment Services
    Graduate Admissions Document Processing Unit
    San Diego State University
    San Diego, CA 92182-7416

  3. Geography Department Requirements

    These items must be received by the Department of Geography by January 12.

    1. Geography Department application
    2. Copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (these do not need to be sent directly from the colleges - photocopies are acceptable)
    3. Copies of GRE (and if applicable, TOEFL) test scores. Photocopies are acceptable
    4. A statement of your research interests and professional goals. You should indicate links between your research interests and those of faculty members within the department as well as with other research in the field, where appropriate. You should also provide the name(s) of at least one (and up to three) SDSU Geography faculty members who would be suitable program advisors. You are encouraged to contact potential faculty advisors in advance of application to discuss your research interests and potential fit with their areas of expertise.
    5. Three letters of recommendation and a recommendation form (in .pdf, or .doc) by regular mail or e-mail.

    Send to:
    Master's Program Administrative Assistant
    Department of Geography
    San Diego State University
    San Diego, CA 92182-4493
    or email to:

Additional Information

Satisfaction of the minimum requirements of the San Diego State University Department of Geography does not guarantee admission to the master’s program. Department requirements are normally a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and a GRE score of generally 300 (1000 on the old test) on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE. The minimum TOEFL score is 550 (213 or above for the Computer Based Test of English). No student will be admitted into the department unless a faculty member agrees to serve as an interim advisor for the applicant. Some students with strong records may be denied admission if no faculty member with similar interests is willing to sponsor him or her.

Students admitted to the program who do not have a strong course background in geography may be required to make up course deficiencies as determined by their thesis advisor. These courses would be in addition to the minimum 30 units required for the official program.

Students can view the progress of their application on the SDSU WebPortal after the on-line application is complete.

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The statements found on this page/site are for informational purposes only. While every effort is made to ensure that this information is up to date and accurate, official information can be found in the university publications.