Master’s Financial Support FAQ

The following is a list of commonly asked questions and answers about financial support available for the Geography Master’s program at SDSU:

Financial Support

We have new openings each year for about 12 Graduate Assistants who receive funding for assisting faculty members in their teaching and research.
For help and more information on residency. Become familiar with the list of acceptable evidence to establish residency. Some useful tips: print all documents and keep them in a safe place together. Before mid-September of your first semester, obtain a California driver’s license or ID card, register to vote (online) and change your address with the post office (online). A copy of your lease is very useful, and be sure you are no longer claimed by your parents on their tax documents. You will need to file and provide a California tax return, form 540. Make photocopies of everything, and toward the end of the spring semester bring them to the Office of the Registrar along with their application.
Master’s level students are eligible to apply for four Geography Scholarships that reward excellent academic progress and/or achievements:
  • Alvena Storm Memorial Scholarship (for all Master’s students)
  • McFarland Scholarship (demonstrated financial need is an additional requirement of this scholarship)
  • Ned H. Greenwood Award Scholarship (for Master’s students specializing in physical geography)
  • William & Vivian Finch Scholarship (for Master’s students with interests in remote sensing)

These scholarships are competitive and are administered through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (OFAS). The scholarships have different requirements and students are required to submit a separate application for each scholarship they wish to be considered. Scholarships’ applications are typically due early in the spring semester and the winners are announced towards the end of the academic year. Awards are often disbursed to students by OFAS at the beginning of the next academic year (fall semester). Technically this means that Master’s level students should apply for these scholarships during their first year in the program, so that they can benefit from the scholarship during their second year. Explanations of the requirements and application instructions for these four scholarships.

In addition, the department offers a number of scholarships-awards, including awards for students with interests in GIS, Cartography, Children and Social Geography, and Human Geography. The department also offers one or more scholarship-awards that recognize students’ service and citizenship to the department. These scholarships-awards are administered internally, and do not require an application to OFAS or to the department. Deserving students are selected by deliberation and a vote of all the faculty in the department. These scholarships-awards are made possible by generous yearly contributions and gifts from donors; availability may vary from year to year.

We will start to make awards around mid-February. Awards are competitive, based on the undergraduate record, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and compatibility between an applicants academic strengths and assistance needs of the department.
We don’t accept late applications. Some hourly work is sometimes available linked to faculty grants and contracts.