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Graduate Program


Graduate Studies in Geography and Anthropology

LSU offers an M.A. in Anthropology, M.S. in Geography, and a Ph.D. in Geography and Anthropology with a Concentration in Geography or a Concentration in Anthropology.

G&A Graduate Manual

*Deadline for Fall 2018 applications is January 25, 2018

Graduate Program Strengths and Focus Areas


Geography offers programs leading to the B.A., B.S., and M.S.,  degrees in several major divisions of the field as well as the PhD in Geography and Anthropology (Geography concentration) —biogeography, climatology, geomorphology, Quaternary studies, cultural geography, historical geography, economic development, urban geography, mapping sciences, and GIS. Area expertise focuses upon the Mississippi Valley, southern U.S., Latin America, China, central Asia and Afghanistan, the Middle East and North Africa. In each division, there are numerous programs of research directed by outstanding scholars in the discipline.

Physical Geography
Coastal and Aeolian Geomorphology & Management
Fluvial Geomorphology
Quaternary Studies
Global Environmental Change
Tropical Climatology/Meteorology

Human Geography
Agricultural and Economic Geography
Cultural Geography
Feminist Geography
Historical Geography
Environmental Geography & Political Ecology
Urban Geography
Medical Geography
Anthropology and Geography

Regional Geography
United States: Louisiana, US South,
Gulf Coast, Mississippi Valley and the American West
Latin America & Caribbean
South Asia
Central Asia and Afghanistan
Middle East and North Africa

Mapping Sciences & GIS
Geographic History and Thought
Historic Maps & Archival Analysis
Qualitative Methods


Anthropology offers programs leading to the B.A. and M.A. degrees in four major divisions of the field—archaeology, biological, social-cultural, and linguistic anthropology, as well as the PhD in Geography and Anthropology (Anthropology concentration).   Area expertise includes Latin America, the U.S. South and Gulf Coast, the Caribbean, and Africa.

Gender, Place, and Culture
Language, Identity, and Performance
Public Culture, Festivals & Performance
Southeast US & Latin America
Caribbean & African Diaspora
Material Culture Studies
Maya and Andean Prehistory
Coastal and Historical Archaeology
Osteology, Anatomy & Fertility
Biological & Forensic Anthropology


Degree Requirements

Requirements for the M.S. degree in geography and M.A. in anthropology include a minimum of 30 credit hours, including 6 credits for a thesis.  A master’s degree is typically attained within two years if students attend as full time status.

Requirements for the Ph.D. in Geography and Anthropology include a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree or 30 hours beyond the master’s degree. Students select a concentration in either Geography or Anthropology within the concentration studies; at minimum take Intro to Grad Studies,  Research Methods, a 7000 level seminar, a 7000 level course, a 4000 or 7000 level course, and 9 hours of dissertation research; and student must select either an external minor or nine credit hours in approved cognate fields (including 7000 level seminar).   Anthropology concentration students may select Geography as a cognate and vice-versa.  Students must write a dissertation constituting an original contribution to the discipline.


Summary of Geography Master’s Course Requirements

A Master of Science (M.S.) degree is offered in geography. Students in all concentrations of Geography including cultural, economic, urban, historical geography, physical geography and GIS/mapping sciences enroll in the M.S. degree program. A proposal and defended thesis is required for completion of the M.S. program.

The master’s degree provides the student with a broad knowledge of the history, theory, content, and techniques of geography. Such knowledge may be obtained by enrollment in specific courses or through independent study, either at LSU or at some other institution.

  1. GEOG 7901—Introduction to Graduate Study
  2. GEOG 7902—Research Methods in Geography
  3. 15 hours of 4000-level or above courses
  4. 9 hours (three courses) of 7000-level courses  (exclusive of 7901 and 7902)
  5. 6 hours of thesis research (GEOG 8000)


Summary of Anthropology Master’s Course Requirements

A master (MA) is offered in Anthropology. A minimum of 30 hours is required for the master’s degree. Of those 30, at least 6 hours are thesis hours (ANTH 8000). The remaining 24 hours of course work include 9 hours (3 courses) at the 7000 level. Of those 9 hours, at least 6 hours (2 courses) must be earned in seminars. These seminars are generally taken within the department, but seminars can be taken in other departments, in consultation with the student’s major professor. The student must take each seminar from a different faculty member. In addition, students have to take Introduction to Graduate Study (ANTH 7901).

ANTH 7901 Introduction to Graduate Study

ANTH 4085 History of Anthropological Thought (or advanced theory course if equivalent already taken)

3 of 4 required 4000-level courses (4020, 4040, 4060, and 4082)

9 hours of 7000-level courses (two of these must be seminars)

Methods Course (selected in consultation with advisor-see Form 5)

6 hours of thesis research (ANTH 8000)

The program in anthropology emphasizes the four-field approach. Students gain a familiarity with the fundamentals of physical anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, and linguistics. Students are required to take courses in three of the four subfields, as follows: ANTH 4040 Physical Anthropology, ANTH 4020 Method and Theory in Archaeology, ANTH 4060 Language and Culture, and ANTH 4082 Social and Cultural Anthropology. In addition, ANTH 4085 History of Anthropological Thought and ANTH 7901 Introduction to Graduate Study, are required of all students. ANTH 7901 must be taken the first semester it is offered. Most of the other required courses are offered on a two-year rotation and should also be taken at the first opportunity.

In addition to these courses, students are required to complete at least one methods course, selected in consultation with their advisor (see Form 5).  Students should meet with their advisor as soon as possible during the first semester to determine what methods course(s) will be taken.

A language class is highly recommended, although not required for obtaining a MA degree in anthropology. If a student plans to conduct fieldwork and/or research in an area where English is not the native or primary language, they should consult with their major advisor about language study.

Summary of Geography and Anthropology Doctoral Course Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is the highest degree offered at LSU. It recognizes and demands mastery of one or more subfields of the discipline. Doctoral students go far beyond the level required for lesser degrees, and their work is expected to be of such quality that it could grace the pages of scholarly books and journals. Although doctoral students are expected to exhibit the intellectual breadth required of an academic position, the Ph.D. is primarily a research degree, and doctoral students should expect to spend little time sitting in undergraduate lecture courses in geography, save those needed to remedy deficiencies.

Requirements for Doctoral Program in Geography and Anthropology (31 credit hours, unless Geog/Anth 7901 was previously taken at the Master’s level)⁴

  1. Geography/Anthropology 7901, one credit hour (Introduction to Graduate Studies);
  2. Geography 7902 (Research Methods in Geography) or Anthropology 7902 (Research Methods in Anthropology)⁵
  3. Selection of a Concentration in Geography or Anthropology;
  4. Six hours of 7000 level courses (exclusive of 7901 and 7902) including one seminar in the Concentration;

⁴The requirements are the same as for the former Doctoral Program in Geography, except that courses in items 2, 4, and 7 which are to be taken in the Geography or Anthropology Concentration.

External Minor or Cognate Field

Departmental policy requires either an external minor or nine hours in approved cognate courses for the completion of the doctoral degree. The cognate courses or minor must be listed on the student’s program of study.

Requirements for a graduate minor are determined by the department issuing the minor (for example History, French Studies, Geology) and not by Geography & Anthropology. Students pursuing an external minor must have one member from the minor department on their committee. Geography PhD students may pursue a minor in Anthropology.

The cognate field requirement is composed of a suite of courses—nine hours in cognate fields  —of which at least three credit hours should be in an upper-level seminar (usually 7000-level). The courses need not be within a single discipline.   The development of the cognate field may be quite flexible, and the specific suite of courses is developed by the student in consultation with the major professor and advisory committee.  The cognate field may include traditional disciplines and emerging interdisciplinary fields, including, for example Oceanography, Geology, History, Atlantic Studies, Disaster Science Management (DSM), Anthropology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Performance Studies).    Students pursuing the Anthropology concentration may select Geography as their cognate and vice-versa.


Recruitment and Funding of Graduate Students

G&A currently funds 20 students through departmental teaching assistantships. Additional graduate assistantships are funded through research grants by the NSF, NOAA, BOEM EDA, and others. Others are funded by allied units within the university.

We seek highly qualified students who will contribute to expanding the diversity of the disciplines of Geography and Anthropology. Huel Perkins Fellowships support recruitment of highly qualified Ph.D. students from communities underrepresented in their field. The Pruitt Fellowship supports the advancement of women in the Master’s and Ph.D. programs.
The Graduate Student Conference Travel Award provides an additional $100 for travel for graduate students who are presenting papers at a conference and have secured approval and funding from the Graduate School.

The Graduate Student Travel Award provides financial support to qualified graduate students who attend professional conferences to present the results of their research.

The Robert C West and R J Russell Grad Student Awards support graduate students research (travel) on a competitive basis with grant competitions twice a year.


Graduate Placement

Our Ph.D. graduates are now working in top Ph.D. granting departments in the country. Others work in public service, the private sector, and the NGO/non-profit sector, including USGS, EPA, DEQ, FEMA, FBI, NPS, LDFR, Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism, and LA Governor¹s Office.


Graduate Office

Graduate Advisor:  Prof. David Chicoine, (225) 578-8105 /

For more information on the graduate programs in both geography and anthropology – including the master’s and doctoral examinations, steps toward master’s and doctoral degrees, and other information not given here – please contact the Department of Geography and Anthropology’s Graduate Office. Students are also encouraged to visit the LSU Graduate School website for general graduate regulations and information. In addition, students are invited to speak to any faculty member involving classes and specialties.