Master’s Admissions FAQ

The following is a list of commonly asked questions and answers about being admitted to the Geography Master’s program at SDSU:

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the requirements that applicants for graduate study at SDSU submit scores for the GRE or GMAT are suspended for the Fall 2021 admissions cycle.


Students without extensive geography coursework in their undergraduate programs may have to satisfy deficiencies in geography. Such determinations are made upon the student’s acceptance into the program and will be communicated with them prior to enrollment.
You can apply through the CAL State Apply system by the December deadline without your GRE scores, however, GRE scores must be submitted by the January deadline before a candidate can be considered for admission.
There is no protocol for postponing admission. If you don’t enroll for at least one course in the semester for which you are admitted, you will have to reapply for admission to the Graduate Division.
Exceptions are sometimes (but rarely) approved by the Master’s Advising Committee. An exception might be made, for example, for an applicant who has a qualifying GPA minimally below 3.0, has no program deficiencies, and has superior GRE scores and letters of recommendation. However, students with GPA below 3.0 will not be eligible for funding via a Graduate Assistantship or Teaching Assistantship.
This is critical: Identify a faculty member who will sponsor your admission. No candidate will be admitted without a faculty member sponsoring them. Look at the list of faculty on the website and identify who you might like to work with on your thesis. Contact that person(s) and discuss your interest in the program with them.
A limited number of graduate assistantships (GA) and teaching assistantships (TA) are available each year. GAships are normally for one year, include a stipend and sometimes fees, and involve working for one or more professors on tasks that could include research or grading. GAships are sometimes renewed for a second year pending funding. TAships are normally for two years, include a stipend and fees, and are for teaching 2 sections of Geography 101 labs. The TAships normally require a background in physical geography, geology, or other environmental science. Both GA and TAships are for 20 hours per week for 16 weeks. You may not have other outside employment in the same semester(s) as your GA or TAship.