Geography is an academic discipline that systematically studies the location, variation and interrelations of natural and cultural features of the earth. Its study exemplifies the University’s mission to emphasize interdisciplinary, problem-focused education because Geography examines the world and its problems with a view to comprehensive understanding and critical thinking.

Geography students gain a broad education encompassing the sciences and the liberal arts.

Geography offers technical training for students who wish to work as professional geographers in government or industry, and provides background for advanced work in business, economics, history, planning, political science, the humanities, or in the biological and earth sciences, depending upon a student’s individual needs. Students who want preparation to teach should seek advice early from advisers in Geography and Education to make sure they complete all requirements.

Depending on their career goals, students might effectively combine Geography with programs in Business Administration, Environmental Policy and Planning, Urban Studies, Human Development, Democracy and Justice Studies, or Humanistic Studies.

Students in Geography can expect to become acquainted with current technology in the field through courses introducing them to the concepts and uses of geographic information systems (GIS). In addition, students develop spatial analytical skills that are applied to problem solving projects. In this light, students are encouraged to gain practical experience through internships with local agencies and organizations in the region and through practical course projects.

Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities offered in the two travel courses offered under Urban and Regional Studies that will satisfy the Geography minor. Students apply what they learn in the classroom to the international experience. Geography minors study urban and regional issues in Ecuador, South America and the Galapagos Islands. Students seeking information on teacher certification should contact the Education Office.


Supporting Courses9
World Regions and Concepts: A Geographic Analysis
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Choose one of the following courses:
Environment and Society
Landscapes of North America
Human Geography and Concepts
Natural Hazards
Ocean of Air: Weather and Climate
Upper-Level Courses 112
Courses selected must come from at least two of the following areas:
Physical Geography
Global Climate Change
Coastal Resources Policy and Management
Regional Climatology
Human Geography
Transitioning to Sustainable Communities
Urban Geography
Regional Geography
Geography of South America
Travel Course
Geographic Techniques
GIS in Public and Environmental Policy
Advanced Geographic Information Systems
Total Credits21


Marcelo P Cruz; Professor; Ph.D., University of California - Los Angeles, chair

Melvin Johnson; Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Laurel E Phoenix; Associate Professor; Ph.D., State University of New York - College of Environmental Science and Forestry*

Christopher Houghton; Assistant Teaching Professor; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee