Our Specialized Master’s programs

Our Specialized Master's programs in Geography allow you to focus on the specific research field in Geography you care about most. We support you in identifying an attractive research topic for your Master’s thesis. We are here to help you acquire respective research skills and techniques you need to successfully complete your Specialized Master’s degree.

Our Specialized Master's programs at the Geography Department of the University of Zurich

We offer a broad range of Specialized Master's programs for highly motivated students who wish to conduct a significant independent research project in a specific research field within Geography. Our Specialized Master's programs prepare for a broad range of exciting future jobs in academia, the private sector, the government, or with NGOs, and international organizations.

All our Specialized Masters' programs are based on a competitive selection process and feature:


  • Specialization and qualification in a particular field of interest within Geography:
    • Geographic Information Science (GIScience)
    • Geographies of Global Change: Resources, Markets and Development
    • Glaciology & Geomorphodynamics
    • Soil Science & Biogeochemistry
    • Hydrology & Climate
    • Geochronology
    • Remote Sensing
  • Close mentoring and supervision
  • Personalized courses of study (min. 30 ECTS)
  • Selective courses offerings
  • Emphasis on individual research (i.e., Master’s theses for 60 and/or 45 ECTS, depending on the program)

How about the study expenses in Zurich?


Switzerland is commonly considered as an expensive place to live – but compared to other leading universities studying at the University of Zurich is relatively favorable due to the low tuition fees. More details

We have done the math – have a look at our comparison.

What is special about the Specialized Master's programs in Geography?


We pay particular attention to your personal research needs. This is the reason we offer personalized mentoring, and emphasize your Master’s thesis research with up to 60 ECTS. This means: You can further deepen your knowledge and skills in the topic that interests you most.


A Specialized Master’s degree in Geography opens new fields for committed researchers. There are many untouched topics waiting for you to be discovered! With your personal engagement and commitment you can contribute to finding new solutions for the most daunting problems of our planet.


Listen what Maria Burga Hidalgo says about her Master's thesis:


Why Ivor Mardesic decided to join us for a Specialized Master’s at the University of Zurich:



Many students dream of a meaningful career after their Master’s degree. A satisfying job that challenges them, but where they can also demonstrate their newly acquired knowledge, skills and mastery of the subject area. This is exactly why we emphasize the Master’s thesis in our Specialized Master’s programs: It is your unique opportunity to deepen your knowledge and skill base that qualifies you for the job of your dreams.

How important is your Master’s thesis for your future career? 
No problem! In our Spezialized Master’s programs we care about your progress! No one will be left behind. In the Spezialized Master’s degree programs you work side-by-side with world renowned scientists. They provide close mentoring along the way. Our excellent student-teacher-ratio gives us the opportunity to provide you with the direct support you need.

Ok, so is a Specialized Master’s program the right choice for you? Are you looking for a Master’s degree program that provides you with …

  • an in-depth research-oriented education;
  • a broad range of marketable skills to carry out independent scientific work;
  • close mentoring throughout your studies;
  • the opportunity to work with a group of internationally recognized scholars;
  • a group of student peers who are equally committed, fully engaged in their studies, and ambitious;
  • the opportunity to further develop your own research ideas, and to implement them in a comprehensive Master’s thesis;
  • an internationally recognized degree from a leading European Research University (LERU)
  • an international program in English

Well, then our Specialized Master’s degree in Geography is the right choice for you!

The Specialized Master’s programs are especially suitable for you if you enjoy academic work, you wish to emphasize scientific research for your Master’s degree. Perhaps you even consider to continue on for a PhD, or you dream to work at a research institution after completion of your studies. A Specialized Master’s also provides an optimal entry point for students with backgrounds outside of Geography who wish to switch from their Bachelor’s degree into a Master’s of Science in Geography.


Please note: A switch from any of the Specialized Master’s programs to the Consecutive Master’s or vice versa is not possible. 

Structure of Specialized Master’s Programm Geography University of Zurich
Zo (JPG, 786 KB)

What about prerequisites or specific training in mathematics, chemistry or biology?

One of the benefits of a Specialized Master’s Degree in Geography is flexibility. Basically any field of interest is worthy to explore using a geographic perspective or respective methodologies. Depending on your topical choices, your mentor will help you to tailor your course program to fit your specific needs. As a student in our Specialized Master’s programs you have privileged access to first class researchers and supportive staff. You will always have enough people you can reach out to for help.
Have a look how Ivor Mardesic experienced this:


A Master’s degree can be challenging. There will be periods where you might get stuck. Your mentors are here to help you get back on track.

How Ivor Mardesic experienced the team spirit at the Department of Geography:
To be successful in your studies, to be motivated, and to be challenged, it is vitally important to be surrounded by a diverse set of peers who share your ambitions and thus will pull you in the same direction you wish to go. Our department is known for its vivid, international spirit, where everyone knows each other, on a first name basis. Our department offers a supportive atmosphere, where you have direct access to your professors, to first class researchers, and helpful staff.
Maria Burga Hidalgo puts it this way: 


Many of our students in the Specialized Master’s degree go abroad during their course of study: some for a student exchange at another university, some for their field research. Field experience, expertise in various languages, or simply experience working and living abroad is a distinguishing factor for landing your dream job after your Master’s degree.



In a nutshell: As a student in any of our Specialized Master’s degrees you can tailor your Master’s thesis according to your interests. You get close mentoring throughout your studies. You get direct access to faculty and staff at the department. You study in small groups of like-minded peers. You get a personalized experience, and you are flexible to combine different research areas and fields across all the faculties of the University of Zurich and beyond.