PhD in Geography

PhD in Geography, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Now accepting applications for both Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 

  GRE requirement temporarily waived  

PhD in Geography Students Recently Honored with Fellowships, Awards and more!

  • Congratulations to Providence Adu on his receipt of a Joanna R. Baker Memorial Graduate Fellowship.  The Baker fellowship is awarded to the applicant who best demonstrates evidence of creative and rigorous solutions applied to challenging public and social policy problems.
  • Congratulations to incoming student Dylan Turner on his receipt of a Wayand H. Cato Jr. First Year Doctoral Fellowship. The Cato fellowship supports newly admitted graduate students of exceptional talent and demonstrated promise in their chosen fields of study.
  • Sara Tornabene has been awarded with a fellowship from the AAG’s Urban Geography Specialty Group for her research: A Collection of Economic Possibilities: Latinx Diverse Economies in Boston and Charlotte.
  • Elina Shepard was runner-up for the AAG Kauffman Award for Best Student Paper in Geography and Entrepreneurship for her paper, Opportunities and Challenges for Small Businesses in New Transit Neighborhoods.
  • Yu Lan was the winner of the David Woodward Digital Map Award for the 48th annual CaGIS Map Design Competition for her Digital Bivariate Map of Covid: She was also runner-up for this award with another map submission!
  • Hannah Palko was honored by the Graduate School and Center for Graduate Life as a nominee for the 2020-2021 Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award.   

Recent and soon-to-be graduates, Fall 2018

The PhD in Geography is our department’s core doctoral program reflecting the multi-disciplinary research and teaching expertise of our exceptional and award-winning faculty.  Graduate students engage in coursework from within and across three areas of focus: Urban and Regional Analysis, Earth and Environmental Systems, and Geographic Information Science. A broad range of elective courses build upon shared training in the theoretical and methodological foundations of Geography, advanced research approaches (quantitative and/or qualitative) and spatial technologies and analysis. Independent research follows yielding a dissertation that advances knowledge in Geography and its related disciplines.

Doctoral students in Geography at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte are members of a student-centered, well-resourced and collegial department comprised of social, physical and applied scientists.  As many as half of our PhD students are supported through competitive Graduate Assistantships or Fellowships and our students are frequent recipients of the university’s most prestigious scholarships and national awards. Currently, the program’s Graduate Assistantships include a 9-month stipend of $18,500 plus tuition and health care support through a Graduate School GASP Award. In total, our academic year GA package is valued at approximately $25,464 for resident students and $38,898 for non-residents. 

Our commitment to professional development translates into student involvement in faculty-led research and outreach teams; summer field work grants; financial support to present at national and international conferences; and preparation for teaching and research excellence both pre and post-graduation.  Doctoral students in the program have established a tradition of engagement and leadership in the department, across campus, and within national and international professional associations such as the American Association of Geographers and its regional and specialty groups.

The program is structured to be completed within 4 years and our graduates find professional success across the occupational spectrum - as tenure-track professors, international researchers, community planners, analysts with local to national scale governments, post-doctoral fellows, applied scientists, spatial entrepreneurs, private sector consultants and more.

We are now accepting applications for Fall 2021 Admission. Applications received before February 15, 2021 will be given priority consideration for available assistantship and fellowship funding.

Please note that our program will be temporarily waiving the GRE requirement for applicants seeking admission for Spring 2021 and Fall 2021. If applicants wish to submit GRE scores they may still do so and those will be considered in the review process.

Admission and requirements? Please refer to UNC Charlotte Graduate Catalog

Ready to apply? Please refer to UNC Charlotte Graduate Admissions 

Questions? Please contact program director Dr. Heather Smith

Resources for PhD in Geography Program

Alumni Dr. Paul McDaniel and students Tonderai Mushipe and Jaeho Ko connect at Race, Ethnicity and Place (REP) conference in Austin, TX, Fall 2018.