Department of Geography & Urban Studies

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The Department of Geography and Urban Studies provides an undergraduate education at the BA level. In the department, we focus on examining a wide range of social, economic, environmental, and political issues from a geographic perspective, including urbanization, population growth, global warming, immigration, the global economy, and poverty. Geography is concerned with understanding, interpreting, and explaining the occurrence, distribution, and interrelationships of the physical and human elements that can be discerned in the earth's landscapes. Urban studies focuses on the study of cities, with emphasis on the process of urbanization, urban problems, the economic, social, and political aspects of urban life, and past and present efforts at urban planning and development. Geography and urban studies are closely related; our programs of study are offered in a highly interdisciplinary learning environment that includes hands-on learning, student research opportunities, and community service. 

Learn more about each of our programs:

  • BA in Geography
    In this program, students will gain an understanding of the distribution of physical and human features of the earth’s surface, the relationships between these features, and the environmental, social, economic, and political factors have shaped and continue to shape these distributions and relationships.
  • Minor in Geography
    This minor combines human and physical geography to provide students with a broad background in geographic thinking with an emphasis on the traditional geographic understanding of the interaction between humans and the environment in an era of rapid global change.
  • Minor in Urban Studies
    This interdisciplinary minor program is designed to provide students with an understanding of the process of urbanization, the economic, social, and political aspects of urban life, urban issues and problems, and urban planning and development.
Majors and minors in geography and urban studies are prepared for a wide range of career opportunities in business, industry, commerce, government, education, community development, and public administration. The major also provides a sound foundation for students who plan to pursue graduate studies in a wide variety of fields including geography, urban studies, business, economics, planning, sociology, social work, law, and political science.