NAU GPR Graduate Programs

FAQ for 
MS Geospatial Sciences Degree Applications

Also see our General Graduate Application FAQ, which covers questions related to all of our GPR graduate programs.

1) I would like any advice on what I can do to make myself a qualified and competitive applicant.

A. Strength of the Statement of Interest and Intent, including:

B. Evidence of ability to do succeed in graduate level study - as seen in transcripts or other relevant work

C. Strength of Letters of Recommendation - with a focus on the ability to succeed and work in a professional environment

The GPR Graduate Review Committee tends to look more favorably upon applications that are neat and attractive.

2) When do I need to take the GRE and when/how do I give you the results?

3) What is your minimum score for the GRE and TOEFLE?

4) Can I waive the GRE based on evidence of my abilities from my previous courses?

5) Do I need to find a professor to advise me before I apply, do I just call them up?

6) Are there any specific prerequisites to the program? I have not taken any geography classes, will I have to do make up work for that?

7) What is the PSM (Professional Science Masters)?

8) What are the department's financial aid arrangements for MS students? I would like to Graduate Assistantship or internship, but what other aid can I get?

9) I'm wondering what kind of graduate assistantships and research opportunities there would be for someone with my background.

10) I am almost through with the letters of recommendation and essay. I believe this is the last step (correct me if I am wrong). How long does it take to review the application and get back to me?

11) I'm guessing a practicum involves working with either a government entity or private company in whatever the specified field of study that one chooses for their degree?

12) Why is it important to pursue a degree in Applied Geospatial Sciences?

13) What are potential careers for students graduating with this degree?

14) Do graduates need additional training after their degree such as internships, fellowships, shadowing?

15) How do the online courses work?

16) I saw on the site that this program qualifies for an in-state tuition exchange; what is the process to qualify for that?

17) Are there classes in other departments that I could take as a graduate student in the MS Applied Geospatial Sciences degree?

18) I want to do GIS and Physical Geography, but all of the faculty in those areas that I have contacted say that they are not able to advise on any additional students. What should I do?

         Unfortunately, the GIS and physical geography faculty in the department are in very high demand and are not able to meet the requests of all of the applicants who would like to have them as an advisor. We are a small department and we cannot guarantee that all potential applicants will be able to find a suitable advisor. We also do not want to admit applicants who cannot find a suitable advisor.

         Applicants who cannot find a preferred advisor have two options: (1) request an advisor who is not in their area of interest (a GIS or physical geography faculty member in your case), or (2) look at other universities.

For option #1
- it is still possible to have a GIS or physical geographer on the student's committee, just not as the primary advisor (who does most of the work);
- the student should clearly indicate that they will do an internship-based practicum, as this is the easiest to advise, requiring less expertise on the advisor's part -- the internship usually has an on-site supervisor who is an expert in the area of interest;
- and the student might consider tailoring their interest more toward the non-GIS/physical geographer advisor's interests, as this will make it more likely that they will agree -- some other faculty also have higher numbers of advisees than they prefer.

19) I am an international student. Can you help me to apply for your MS degree?

         International applications are more complicated and, for visa purposes, must be processed earlier than applications submitted by US citizens. Please see the NAU Graduate College International Admissions website for full information on NAU policies regarding international student admissions for graduate study.

         Please note that students from non-U.S. (international) universities must submit official transcripts to NAU before their application will be reviewed by the NAU Graduate Collage and the GPR Department. This also applies to US citizens who have studied overseas.

         In general, our department policy is to no award Graduate Assistantships to international students in their first year of study at NAU. This is because of the limited number of assistantships that the department has available each year. There have been some exceptions to this in areas that are difficult to cover (like GIS programming).


20) Where do I find and send the department application forms and letters?


The application form is mostly done online through the NAU Graduate College.



         Students from U.S. universities are required to submit an unofficial digital copy of their undergraduate transcripts with their application. They are only required to submit official transcripts after they have been admitted by the GPR Department. Students will not be able to enroll in classes until their official transcripts are received by NAU.

         Applicants with a Bachelor degree from NAU do not need to submit transcripts.

         Official transcripts must be sent to the NAU Graduate College from your home university. You must request these separate from the NAU Graduate Collage application.

Other Notes