Geography and Urban Studies

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"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."
~ Aristotle

What is geography?

Geography is the study of the interrelationships between earth and its people. It is considered and social and natural science. The discipline focuses on man's interaction with climate, land, water, space, mineral resources, population density, changes in environment, and how man adapts to them. Alternatively, Urban Studies focuses on the study of cities, emphasizing the process of urbanization, urban problems, the socioeconomic aspects of urban life, and past and present efforts at urban planning and development.

At William Paterson University, students may enroll as Geography and Urban Studies majors in a course of study that leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. Geography and Urban Studies majors must complete 34 required credits of course work in various fields of geography including regional geography, systematic geography, geographic techniques, and urban studies.

To learn more about the degree requirements, please visit this link:

WPUNJ Admissions information on Geography is located here:


Interests and Skills

  • Curiosity
  • Desire to help people understand and adapt to their environment
  • Spirit of scientific inquiry
  • Desire to help influence mankind
  • Intellectual growth
  • Independence
  • Keen interest in both the natural and social sciences
  • Resourcefulness


Work Environment

Geography majors can work in a variety of different locations including federal and state services like the EPA or National Park services. In addition, they may work for real estate companies, chemical companies and law firms. Utility companies, construction and construction firms are just some of the private industries that would employ geography majors. Map software companies and publishing firms would also be interested in hiring geography majors. Those who graduate with Geographical information system track are well suited for federal agencies like the department of defense and state government agencies like the Departments of Transportation or Agriculture.

Possible Job Titles

Aerial Photo Interpreter
Site Researcher
Land Economist
Land Developer
Air/Water Quality Control Manager
Geographic Area Specialist
Systems Analyst
Traffic Manager
Transportation Analyst
Forestry Technician
Location Expert
Community Developer

Hazardous Waste Developer
Outdoor Guide
Urban/Regional Planner
Natural Resources Specialist
Cartography Compiler
Map Analyst
Market Research Analyst
Travel Agent
College Professor
Environmental Impact Analyst
Property Manager

Enhance Your Qualifications

Students who major in Geography at William Paterson University have numerous opportunities to enhance their academic experience. Students can obtain internships at museums and non-profit organizations through the Geography department. Finally, many students find that a study abroad experience enhances their curriculum because they are given the opportunity to experience other cultures and customs.


Related Web Sites

National Geographic
Association of American Geographers
US Geological Survey
National Council for Geographic Education

Other Sources of Information

Please drop by the Career Development and Advisement Center to learn more about careers in geography. The career library carries career-specific books and counselors are available to answer any further questions you may have.