Professional Portfolio/Non-Thesis | Geography, Environment, and Sustainability

M.A. in Applied Geography

Professional Portfolio/Non-Thesis

The Professional Portfolio.

The professional portfolio is the capstone project for the non-thesis track. This option requires compiling a set of materials that showcase your knowledge, skills, and problem-solving capabilities in the field of geography. The goal of the portfolio is to emphasize your ability to design, manage, operate, and report on projects, as both technical and project management skills are required for professional employment in our discipline. Your portfolio must contain the following:

  • Resume
  • One page summary of interests, professional & academic experiences, & career goals
  • Traditional research paper (minimum of 15 pages) that includes an introduction, literature review, analysis, results, discussions and conclusion,
  • Application study that required the collection of primary or secondary data, the management and storage of that data, statistical or GIS analysis of that data, graphic illustrations, and the necessary verbal explanations to present the study

A good rule is to have an accepted portfolio one semester in advance of when you would like to graduate.

The Non-Thesis Committee.

To graduate with the non-thesis option, you must have a non-thesis committee in place that oversees the development of your professional portfolio. This committee should be comprised of the individuals for whom you wrote the portfolio papers and/or with whom you have had significant amounts of classwork. Once you have identified 3 faculty members who best fit within this constraint, fill out the Non-Thesis Committee form and submit it to the Director of Graduate Studies.


Your degree requirements are not fulfilled until you make all the corrections required by your committee members, your advisor reads and approves the corrections, and you submit the final corrected and formatted product to the Department. One bound copy of the finished portfolio must be filed with the department. It is also customary to provide each committee member with a bound copy for their libraries.