Students See Three Countries, Earn Two Degrees in New Geography Master’s Program

Posted: May 27, 2011 at 1:03 am, Last Updated: May 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm

In a new dual-degree master’s program spearheaded at Mason by Germana Manca, assistant professor in the Department of Geography and GeoInformation Science, students will study in the United States, England and Italy and come away with two degrees in two years.

The program is offered through Geographic Information Science for Environmental and Spatial Planning (GISESP), a consortium of three universities.

The partner universities are Mason, the University of London College of Birkbeck and the University of Cagliari. The degrees granted by the program are a U.S.-recognized master of science in geography and cartography and a European II-level master degree in geographic information and environmental planning support.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, the program aims to equip graduates with the knowledge and training to work internationally. The intercultural “life experience,” says Manca, is also a big part of the program. Students studying outside of their home country have the opportunity to adapt to and learn from different ways of life. Language learning is a part of the program, and for U.S. students, a certificate of Italian language proficiency is provided following the completion of a language course in Italy.

Eight American participants are eligible to receive a $12,000 fellowship through GISESP, and eight European participants receive a similar fellowship worth €12,000.

For more information, see the website or contact Manca at

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