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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Geography & the Environment

Degree Programs


Geography is an academic discipline that focuses on the spatial distribution of human and physical features around the Earth, and changes over time of those phenomena.  Because geography bridges the boundary between the natural world and human societies, geographers often collaborate with colleagues in related disciplines in the natural and social sciences.  Geographers are taught to think in spatial and chronological terms and to analyze landscapes for indications of physical and cultural features.  Geographers also create maps to illustrate spatial relationships and use geographically based data.  The field is often subdivided into physical geography, human geography, and geographic information science (GISc).  Our undergraduate majors are required to take introductory course work in each of these subdisciplines, followed by more advanced course in each of the main fields.

The goals of the undergraduate program in geography are to provide students with skills and techniques that will allow them to apply what they learn in the classroom, laboratory and field.  Students are provided with skills in problem identification and solution, training in geotechnical tools, including geographic information systems, cartography, remote sensing and spatial analysis, and experience in field and laboratory techniques.  Our overall goal is to provide graduates with the training and preparation for employment as professional geographers for government, private industry, education and non-governmental agencies, and to prepare students for graduate school.

The objective of the undergraduate curriculum in geography is to produce students with a solid foundation in geographic principles and perspectives, and the professional skills to put them into practice.  The discipline of geography is, by nature, integrative and broadly based, so interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving are emphasized.