Geography (PHD)


Geography, PhD

On Campus 90 cr

The PhD program in Geography, the oldest doctoral program west of the Mississippi, gives students a professional education with the personal attention that prepares them for diverse careers.


Geography at UNL has long been known for specializations in Historical Geography and the Great Plains, and it maintains strong relationships with the Center for Great Plains Studies and the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities. Faculty specialize in Urban and Political Geography, Human-Environment relations, Cultural Geography, and a wide array of Geospatial Techniques and Analysis.

Typically, the doctorate takes three to four years. Teaching assistantships, paying $15,000 and giving tuition remission, are available on a competitive basis for up to three years. These assistantships generally involve teaching laboratory classes associated with introductory physical geography courses or introductory GIS. The Geography Program is located in the newly formed School of Global Integrative Studies, which also houses Anthropology and Global Studies.

Programs of study are flexible, catered to the students' needs, and interdisciplinary work is readily available and encouraged. A major strength of the Program is that students get individual attention from the faculty in order to enhance their education and prepare them for diverse occupations.

For more information, visit

Career Pathways

  • Geography Lecturer, Assistant Professor
  • GIS Lab Manager

Graduate Admission Requirements

  • Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
  • One set of transcripts.
  • If International: upload copies of all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certificates, diplomas, and degrees plus certified English translations.

    * Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certified records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certified copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.

  • If the student’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required.

    * When sending TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed

  • If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
  • Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.

Major Admission Requirements

  • Three recommendation letters
  • Statement of educational and career goals

Admission Deadlines

15 January for priority and funding consideration; applications received after this time will be reviewed as space and funding permits.



Graduate Chair

Heather Richards-Rissetto

Program Director

Robert Shepard

Support Staff

Kat Krutak-Bickert

Tuition & Fees
See program summaries for details like application deadlines and requirements.
Contact Me
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The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.

UNL Graduate Chairs and staff please complete the program update form to provide edits. Updates to graduate program pages are made on an annual basis in conjunction with the Graduate Application for Admission.