Geography Majors

  • Students biking on an old highway

    THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED — We take you out into the field to understand how factors like transportation, energy use, and environmental conditions impact your world. Professor Kevin Patrick’s Urban Geography course took a field trip to the abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike.

    Prepare Well for Your Journey into Emerging Geographic Careers

    As a geography major, you will investigate the distribution of natural and human-created phenomena over the Earth’s surface. But that’s just for starters. You will gain the knowledge, learn the technical skills, and undertake applied projects designed to be highly marketable in today’s job market.

    Internships Build Your Portfolio

    Our students use geographic databases to document where things are and analyze geographic distributions, and they are challenged to use their spatial reasoning, computer skills, communications capabilities, critical thinking, and powers of investigation. All this is augmented by project-oriented learning and internships that test your skills and require the production of portfolio-ready work.

    Options Let You Specialize Your Degree

    There are many specialties that exist in the geographic profession, and we have created a flexible program that includes a BA in Geography with tracks focusing on key aspects of the discipline. The program is organized into concentrations, or areas of emphasis, that you can pursue. The Geography and Regional Planning Department labs and facilities offer you hands-on experience with the instrumentation used by professionals. Through electives, you can add an internship, independent study, or minor such as geology.

    Geography: Human Geography Concentration, BA

    • Gain a broad framework of economic geography theory and analysis technique.
    • Experience a task-oriented approach to location analysis.
    • Achieve an understanding of economic principles, population characteristics, demand markets, and business location analysis, all in a spatial context.
    • Understand and carry out location and transportation analyses that are used by businesses and employers.

    Geography: Environment/Energy Concentration, BA 

    • Prepare for a career as a spatial/geographic information systems analyst or environmental compliance professional in the energy industries.
    • Learn about energy resources in northern Appalachia (natural gas, coal, and wind), and aspects of the natural environment in the region.
    • Understand regulatory and compliance regimes for the energy industries at federal and state levels.
    • Undertake GIS applications and/or environmental compliance and permitting procedures commonly used in the energy industries.

    Geography: Environmental Geographer Concentration, BA

    • Prepare for a career in the environmental fields or graduate study that leads to a variety of environmental positions.
    • Acquire knowledge of the physical and human processes that shape the environment, strategies for analyzing environmental issues, and concepts that underlie strategies for reducing environmental problems.
    • Gain the skills needed to assess the causes, consequences, and solutions to a wide variety of environmental issues such as soil erosion, sedimentation, water contamination, flooding, deforestation, and habitat conservation/preservation.

    Geography: General Geography Concentration, BA 

    • This concentration allows you to construct your own geography curriculum from different subfields of the discipline in conjunction with your advisor.
    • Explore courses from different subfields of geography to create a program that interests you (for example, population geography, fresh water resources, climatology, geographic information systems, geography of East Asia).
    • Prepare for graduate work in geography and related fields of employment such as report writing, research analysis, and data gathering.
    • Get hands-on experience with the technology used by geographic professionals through the Geography Department’s labs and weather station.

    Geography: Geospatial Information Science and Technology Concentration, BA

    • Prepare for employment as a geographic information system specialist/analyst, cartographer, or remote sensing professional in this high growth industry.
    • Obtain the knowledge base (two- and three-dimensional coordinate systems, map projections, scale, horizontal accuracy, database characteristics) necessary to use geospatial techniques.
    • Discover methods for identifying, modeling, and analyzing the spatial organization of human and environmental systems for a myriad of applications.
    • Gain skills in data collection, spatial information management, and cartographic presentation that are highly sought after in the job market.

    Social Studies Education/Geography Track, BSEd 

    • Gain the foundation and skills needed to prepare you to earn teaching certification for social studies in Pennsylvania junior high and high schools.
    • Acquire practical experience in methods courses and student teaching.
    • Complete the geography track requirements of two courses in environmental geography, two in human geography, and two in regional geography.
    • Fulfill social science requirements as well as the core curriculum for the College of Education.
    • Conduct student teaching, your first true experience as a social science teacher.

    Certificate of Recognition in Geography: Geographic Information Science and Geospatial Techniques

    To earn this certificate, you will be required to complete successfully a total of 18 credits, of which nine credits (three courses) will be core courses. You will need to choose nine credits (three courses) of electives to complete the program.