The Geography Program focuses on our interdependent world and our fragile habitat. The major nourishes a sense of responsibility and provides tools for the solution of environmental, regional and international problems. The teaching and research being undertaken by our faculty critically explores:

  • Biophysical changes (global and local) shaping the planet.
  • The prospects and challenges of fostering sustainability.
  • The nature and implications of geopolitical, economic and cultural shifts in different parts of the world.
  • The nature, use and understanding of maps and geospatial technologies.



The program offers educational pathways for students who are interested in learning about our amazing world and engaging in careers that are dedicated to solving human, physical and environmental problems, and designing solutions for an interdependent world comprised of more than seven billion people, speaking more than 7,000 languages and inhabiting more than 190 countries. Students have the opportunity to focus on one of the major areas of study, or tracks, within the department, and to master methods and techniques which can provide the foundation for a successful career.

The programs within our department are a match for highly motivated and creative students who desire challenging and meaningful careers that contribute to solving complex local, regional, global and environmental problems. With training in physical geography, human geography, human-environment interactions and geographic information science, our programs prepare students for employment in a wide range of domains including public and private, education, commerce, industry, government, transportation and tourism. Geography graduates have excellent transferable skills in problem solving, information-gathering and communication, thinking, planning and organization, teamwork and management, and many IT skills, which attract employers from any array of sectors.

Change your world

  • Examine human interaction with patterns and processes of the earth.
  • Learn the importance of relative location of places and events, the character of regions and relations between culture and environment.
  • Explore physical, human, cultural and technologic issues.
  • Choose among a wide range of careers in business, government, planning and teaching. Private companies need geographers for efficient site selection of stores and factories. Geographers work for federal and state agencies, county and city planning departments, and private planning firms.

Career Possibilities

Studying geography may lead you into exciting careers including:

  • Travel and tourism
  • Environmentalism
  • Planning and development
  • Logistics and distribution
  • Business
  • Teaching
  • Undergraduate Program

    • Develop an awareness of the natural and cultural landscapes of several regions of the world and investigate the processes that form them. Lower-division courses are open to any student at the University, with few prerequisites. For students transferring to the University in their third year, preparation in introductory college geography courses is desirable.
    • Study in a broadly based general degree program or one that emphasizes environmental studies. Both degrees may be fine-tuned toward prospective teachers.
    • Specialize in GIS, physical geography, human geography, regional geography and secondary education. Concentration programs in geotourism, historic preservation, urban planning, environmental studies, cartography and remote sensing.
    • Evolve relationships among people, places and the environment.
    • Investigate worldwide, regional and local sustainable development.
    • Apply knowledge to a variety of settings, including urban planning, historic preservation, land use, crime analysis, public health, environmental management and other specialist areas.
    • Choose among applied minors such as environmental analysis, GIS, historic preservation, geotourism, cartography and remote sensing.
    • Geospatial information science and technology major new program effective Fall 2016. This major emphasizes the integration of geospatial information concepts and technologies with multiple disciplinary programs that are primarily offered in the Department of Geography and Geology or in selected departments in which GIST has well-recognized applications. The GIST program prepares students for positions that utilize geospatial technologies in a broad range of fields that are covered by the afore-mentioned programs.
  • Graduate Program

    The Master of Science program continues further application of knowledge of geography through GIS, historic preservation, urban and regional planning, geo-tourism, heritage interpretation and administration, and other aspects of environmental studies.

Explore Geography

What Do Geographers Do?

Learn about careers in geography and how you could obtain one.

Geographic Information Science

Explore the related geographic information science programs.


Find out how geotourism makes travel more memorable and what programs at EMU could get you into this field.

Institute for Geospatial Research & Education (IGRE)

Check out the website for IGRE, the home of geographic information science at EMU.