Dear Prospective Student,

Thank you for your inquiry into the Master of Arts in Applied Geography at UCCS. A good place to start learning about our program is the General Information page. There, you will find a wealth of information about our program. Also, here is a colorful brochure that provides a snapshot of our program. Below are answers to common questions:

Why should I pursue a graduate degree?

Earning a graduate degree has many benefits. Here are seven potential reasons to earn a Master of Arts in Applied Geography at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs:

  1. Personal growth
  2. Greater employment opportunities
  3. Greater career advancement
  4. Possible financial rewards
  5. Sense of accomplishment
  6. Greater recognition and credibility
  7. Preparation for PhD program

How do I know if this is the right program for me?

Explore the topics that UCCS Geography faculty address in their research. Identify a potential advisor and contact them with questions. Explore the American Association of Geographers reference guide to geography graduate programs in the Americas.

What is an area of specialization?

Students planning to do graduate work in the UCCS Applied Geography Master’s Program must choose an area of specialization. You indicate your preferred specialization on your graduate school application under the “Area of Specialization” statement, and the decision about whether to accept you to a program is typically made by faculty members in that particular area. The assignment of your initial advisor will also be based on your statement. The recommended format for the “Area of Specialization” statement is to 1) begin with a paragraph stating your broad areas of interest and then identifying potential issues and research foci; 2) include a second paragraph that identifies specific graduate faculty and coursework at UCCS that will help you gain expertise in a specific specialization; and 3) conclude with a final paragraph describing how a specific focus will help you achieve future career goals.

Does the program have rolling admissions?

The Master of Arts in Applied Geography at the UCCS has one application deadline: The deadline for receipt of all materials for Fall admittance is February 1. Rare exceptions may be made for applicants who because of extenuating circumstances may need to apply for Spring admittance. The deadline for receipt of all materials for Spring admittance is October 15. Please note that all applications are now handled electronically, and the application can be accessed here: //

Can I take classes as an unclassified student?

Many MA applicants wonder whether they can enroll in classes as unclassified students before being accepted into the MA program. This is an individual choice, and comes with the understanding that admittance to the program is not guaranteed, and that tuition dollars are not reimbursed. Generally, we encourage students to follow the stated program requirements, which are available on the website.

Can I complete the program while working full-time?

For those students applying to go to grad school while remaining in full-time employment, we must defer to you to make that decision. Many of our classes are only offered during daytime hours, and are often offered only one day a week. Thus, a significant level of flexibility is required, since students are highly discouraged from missing any classes.

How much will the program cost and how do I establish residency?

Students must establish residency to ensure proper tuition fees are charged. Information regarding tuition classification and residency requirements can be found by following this link: //

What kind of financial aid is offered?

The Financial Aid Office will assist with student loans, work study qualifications, and potential student grant money. Information regarding financial aid can be found by following this link: //

Are there fellowships, scholarships, and grants available from the Graduate School?

Students may qualify for a variety of fellowships, scholarships, and grants from the Graduate School. Information regarding funding from the Graduate School can be found here.

Does the Department of Geography offer funding?

Students may qualify for departmental funding on a competitive basis. Below are current options for funding in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies:

  • Teaching Assistantship: One TA is funded each year on a competitive basis. A call for nominations from faculty is sent out in mid-February for both new and returning students.
  • Research Assistantship: A limited number of GES students receive funding from faculty members through research grants in which they are a research assistant (RA). This source of income is variable, depending on grants that individual faculty members have at any given time. Please contact whomever you think might be your advisor for information on possible research funding opportunities. Recognize that the availability of these positions varies greatly and is not guaranteed.
  • “Women in Geography” graduate scholarships: These scholarships are awarded twice a year on a competitive basis. A call for applications will be sent out to both new and returning students.
  • Western State Resident Tuition Classification Program in: Residents from AK, AZ, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, ND, OR, SD, UT, WA, and WY are eligible to pay in-state tuition rates for the MA in Applied Geography Program. The benefit is automatically applied to qualified students' tuition bill based on their legal residency (more information).

How else can I fund my graduate education?

There are many avenues to pursue to supplement or cover educational expenses. There are numerous geography-related firms in Colorado Springs that hire our students. Most will be flexible with work and school schedules, some offer tuition reimbursement, and some have internship programs with our department. Discuss these options with the Graduate Director or other faculty members. Additionally, AmericCorps also provides educational stipends to students (more information).

Thank you for your interest in the Master of Arts in Applied Geography. If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email ( I am happy to speak on the phone as well, or to make an on-campus appointment.

Thank you,

Brandon Vogt, PhD
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in GES
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
phone: 719-255-5146