Graduate Catalog

2013 – 2014


2012-2013 Graduate Catalog Archive

Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education
McKelvie Hall, 102 W. Rosedale Avenue
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2943
Fax: 610-436-2763
gradstudy@wcupa.edu


Revised May 2013

Geography and Planning


103 Ruby Jones Hall
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
610-436-2343
Fax: 610-436-2889
Web address: http://www.wcupa.edu/_academics/sch_sba.geo/default.asp
Dr. Ives-Dewey, Chairperson and Coordinator of Graduate Certificate Programs
E-mail: divesdewey@wcupa.edu
Dr. Welch, Graduate Coordinator
E-mail: jwelch@wcupa.edu

Professors [top]

James P. Lewandowski, Ph.D., Ohio State University
Joan Welch, Ph.D., Boston University

Associate Professors

Gary Coutu, Ph.D., Texas A&M University
Joy A. Fritschle, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dorothy Ives-Dewey, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Assistant Professors

Kristen Bakia Crossney, Ph.D., Rutgers University
George W. Fasic, M.S., A.I.C.P., Columbia University
Matin Katirai, Ph.D., University of Louisville

Programs of Study [top]

The Department of Geography and Planning offers a master of arts in geography. The degree is designed to develop skills and expertise in areas such as land planning and management, sustainability and environment, conservation of resources, GIS analysis, and location of commerce and industry. It also prepares students for entrance into Ph.D. programs in geography and in planning. The M.A. degree has thesis and nonthesis options.
The department offers two certificate programs – one in urban and regional planning and the other in geographic information systems (GIS) – for students who desire specific programs of study but not a degree. The GIS certificate is offered in a classroom-based format or online. The certificate in urban and regional planning may be combined with the core courses of the master of public administration (M.P.A.) to complete the M.P.A. degree. The latter is an interdisciplinary degree described under Master of Public Administration (see pages 96-98).

Master of Arts in Geography

Admission to Program

Applicants should submit transcripts of all undergraduate work, two letters of recommendation, a resume that indicates relevant work experience, and a statement of career background and goals. GRE or other standardized scores are useful in the admission process but are not required. The department welcomes qualified applicants who have no previous background in geography, although additional preliminary or concurrent work may be required. Admission is based on department evaluation of course work taken for the baccalaureate degree and additional course work, if any, in combination with the other criteria above.

Curriculum (33 semester hours) [top]

Thesis Option

  1. Required courses (12 semester hours)
    GEO 503, 509, 534, and 585
  2. Thesis (3 hours required) (up to 6 semester hours)
    GEO 610
  3. Elective courses (15 semester hours)
    Selected under advisement from geography, geology, mathematics, statistics, computer science, environmental health, or other appropriate disciplines
  4. Oral examination in defense of thesis (required)

Nonthesis Option

  1. Required courses (18 semester hours)
    GEO 503, 509, 534, 584, 585, and 600
  2. Elective courses (15 semester hours)
    Selected under advisement from geography, geology, mathematics, statistics, computer science, environmental health, or other appropriate disciplines

Certificate Programs in Urban and Regional Planning and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Admission to Certificate Programs

Students who want to enroll in a certificate program must hold a bachelor’s degree (in any subject area) from an accredited institution and have an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.8. Interested students should complete the online graduate studies application available at www.wcupa.edu/grad, and follow the instructions for the self-managed application process.

If a certificate student subsequently or simultaneously applies for and is accepted into the master of arts degree program in geography, the geography courses taken for the certificate programs can be counted towards the degree.

Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning

The certificate in urban and regional planning is designed for professionals and students who seek to enhance their skills and qualifications in the public sector planning process. It is appropriate for people interested in urban and regional planning as a career. It is also appropriate for professionals in related careers who want to enhance their knowledge and skills in a range of planning areas including land use and development, transportation, housing, and the environment.

Curriculum (18 semester hours)

  1. Required (3 semester hours)
    GEO 525
  2. Planning electives (15 semester hours)
    Selected under advisement with the graduate coordinator
    GEO 502, 503, 505, 506, 507, 509, 521, 524, 526, 527, 530, 531, 534, 536, 538, 554, 577, 584, 585, 600, 615; PSC 542; PPA 514, 601

The certificate in urban and regional planning can be used to fulfill the requirements of the general concentration of the master of public administration (M.P.A.) degree (see page 97). Students pursuing an M.P.A. take 18 credits to fulfill the administration core requirements of the degree and simultaneously complete the certificate in urban and regional planning to fulfill the concentration requirements. The capstone course (PPA 600) can serve as a planning elective for students pursuing the M.P.A. degree.

Certificate in Geographic Information Systems

The certificate in GIS is designed for students and professionals who wish to enhance their knowledge and skills in the application of geographic technologies. It is appropriate for professionals in a wide variety of fields, both public and private, who wish to develop their knowledge and skills in the nature and use of geographic information and global positioning systems. It is also appropriate for people who wish to enter fields that use these technologies.

Curriculum (18 semester hours)

  1. Required (6 semester hours)
    GEO 534, 584
  2. Elective courses (12 semester hours)
    Select four of the following: ENV 533, 570; GEO 507, 538, 556, 577, 585, 615, topical application elective (chosen in consultation with the graduate coordinator to combine GIS application with the student’s topical area of interest)

Course Descriptions [top]

Geography
Symbol: GEO

502 Topical Seminar (3) Special topics in geography or planning not offered under existing, regularly offered courses. This course may be taken again for credit, up to a maximum of six credits.

503 Seminar in Modern Geography (3) A survey of modern geographic research, with historical perspective. Attention is given to research methodology, and to the breadth of subfields and perspectives in the discipline.

505 Planning Design (3) Methods and techniques of planning design. Presentation of statistical data in map form. PREREQ: Consent of instructor or department chair.

506 Seminar in Physical Geography (3) This course examines aspects of the physical environment that must be considered when planning any site for urban, industrial, or suburban activity.

507 Internet Applications of Geographic Information Systems (3) This course examines the principles and applications of Web-based and mobile geographic information systems (GIS). Internet map services, navigation/GPS systems, and cell-phone-based applications are examined through the use of ArcGIS Internet Map Server, Google Earth, Google API’s and cell phone applications.

509 Quantitative Methods (3) Fundamental statistics, methods, and techniques applied to geographic research and decision making, such as urban and regional planning.

521 Suburbanization and Land Development (3) Component systems and functional operations of urban/suburban communities, including ecological and demographic aspects. Emphasis on organization, development, change, and problems of communities.

524 Population Processes (3) Characteristics and distribution of world populations are studied. The dynamic processes of population change (mortality, fertility, and migration) are examined.

525 Urban and Regional Planning (3) Application of community-planning theories and methods to designated urban and regional systems.

526 Metropolitan Systems and Problems (3) Urbanization processes and problems; urban systems in the expanding metropolitan and regional setting; present and proposed efforts to solve urban problems.

527 Planning Law and Organization (3) An insight into the role of federal, state, and local governments in instituting, executing, and judicially reviewing laws and regulations pertaining to land uses. Emphasis on the legal organization of the planning process, particularly at the local level. Major land-use court cases are presented and reviewed.

530 Demographic Analysis (3) A course to develop skills in basic demographic research, emphasizing the uses and limitations of data sources, and the understanding and interpretation of specific analytic methods for population analysis.

531 Transportation Planning (3) Transportation issues that face today's planners are studied, and various means of analysis demonstrated. Computer assignments use EMME/2 package.

534 Geographic Information Systems (3) The common principles and concepts of Geographic Information Systems; examination of the theory and tools of spatial data analysis through specific applications.

536 Environmental Planning (3) In-depth instruction on the concepts and tools of environmental planning which include landscape form and function in planning. Applications to local and regional issues are stressed.

538 Environmental Modeling with Geographic Information System (GIS) (3) This course reviews the principles of geodatabase development and use in GIS. Included is a study of how GIS software is used to enhance the decision-making process through advanced database operation, as well as an in-depth exploration of database design and management techniques. The process of creating information models of real-world processes is examined through the development of a geodatabase. These data will then be spatially examined and manipulated to review the process of database development and decision making.

540 Geography of the United States and Canada (3) A regional study of the United States and Canada, emphasizing its physical geography, settlement, agriculture, demography, and industrial activity.

544 Geography of Latin America (3) Regional geography of Latin America: its physical base, settlement, agriculture, demography, and manufacturing.

545 Geography of Europe (excluding the U.S.S.R.) (3) Regional study of Europe. Influences of environmental factors, such as climate, landforms, and soils on the economic, social, and political condition of European nations.

554 Geography and Planning of Housing (3) This course provides an overview of the spatial, economic, social, physical, and political forces that structure and affect current housing conditions and prospects. This course introduces key concepts and institutions that influence the production, distribution, maintenance, and location of housing. The Philadelphia metropolitan area is emphasized as a case study for understanding the implications of present housing geography trends for the future, as well as the development of rational housing policies and plans.

556 Introduction to Business GIS (3) This course makes use of large datasets and GIS in analytical studies and strategic decision making in the commercial sector, involving store location, geodemographics, and marketing information.

572 Seminar in Resource Management (3) Applied research problem solving for resource management and environmental issues designed for an individual student or team-study basis. This course may be taken again for credit, up to a maximum of six credits.

577 Geodatabases (3) This course reviews the principles of geodatabase development and use in GIS. Included is a study of how GIS software is used to enhance the decision-making process through advanced database operations. Using ESRI’s ArcGIS software, students will add demographic, environmental, political, economic, and other types of data to GIS applications. These data will then be spatially examined and manipulated to review the process of database development and decision making.

584 Applications of Geographic Information Systems (3) This course builds on GEO 534, expands upon important technical concepts in greater detail, and explores a range of GIS application areas. PREREQ: GEO 534 or permission of instructor.

585 Geography Field Methods (3) An advanced field course that includes urban and land-use studies. Use of field methods, mapping, and data collection for geographical reports.

600 Independent Research in Geography (3) Research report project, including readings and application of methodology. PREREQ: Approval of discipline graduate coordinator. This course may be taken again for credit, up to a maximum of six credits.

610 Thesis (3-6) A thesis is developed on a research problem for which the student formulates a theory, proposition or hypothesis, and investigates available information on the subject. This course may be taken again for credit, up to a maximum of six credits.

615 Internship (3-6) On-the-job experience in the application of theory, execution of substantive research, and provision of service with professional agencies at selected off-campus locations.

In addition to the above GEO courses, PPA courses are offered in connection with the master of public administration. See course titles and descriptions under "Master of Public Administration".