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Doctoral program frequently asked questions regarding graduation requirements

Q. What are the course requirements for the Joint Doctoral program in Geography?

A. There are no formal course requirements other than two core courses at SDSU, Geography 700 and 701, and a colloquium course each quarter, while at residence at UCSB. Coursework necessary for successful completion of dissertation research, or for career preparation, are determined through consultation with students and their advising committee members.

Q. Are there any particular classes I should take during my first year in the graduate program?

A. Yes. We strongly recommend taking Geography 701 and 700 during the first two semesters, in that order and NOT concurrently. All students must take these two classes, unless they had them as a master's student at SDSU.

Q. Can I transfer credits for courses taken elsewhere to my SDSU program?

A. This is not necessary, given that there are no course requirements.

Q. Do undergraduate courses count towards degree requirements?

A. Doctoral students may take courses numbered 500 and above at SDSU as long as it is deemed appropriate for research or career preparation.

Q. How long do most students take to complete their doctoral degree?

A. The program is designed to take four years. Some students complete the program in four years, however, it has been most common for students to take five years to complete degree requirements. The length of the program also varies depending on the dissertation topic and the type of research conducted. Normally, students conducting extensive fieldwork take longer completing the program. A competitive fifth year of funding is normally available to students who have made excellent progress in the program but who still need additional time to finish the dissertation as a result of demanding research.

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.

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