The diverse discipline of geography exposes students to the multitude of ways in which geographers study the world. Geographers study human-environment interactions and their spatially varying expression. Numerous tools and techniques are employed in geographic research including cartography (the art and science of map making and use), geographic information systems (GIS), satellite imagery and air photo interpretation, surveys, and mathematical modeling and statistical analysis.
Bachelor of Arts in Geography
KU students can choose to major or minor in the area of Geography. KU offers five diverse, specialized tracks in Geography which a major can follow in order to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Applied - This technically orientated track is designed to prepare students for employment in industry or in government. An internship is required.
Environmental - This track is designed for students seeking careers in environmental analysis, conservation, or in environmental planning. Courses in the track focus on functioning and analysis of the Earth-Atmosphere system and on human stewardship of the planet. An internship is required.
General - This track offers the broadest possible training in geography for students interested in graduate school or who are interested in teaching careers in the social sciences.
Globalization - This track focuses on the spatial aspects of the social, economic, and environmental forces reshaping cultures at the global, regional, and local levels. This track is intended for students seeking employment with international business firms, governmental or non-governmental agencies.
Planning - This technical-oriented track prepares majors for employment in industry and in government as land use and environmental planners. Students are trained to analyze spatial data, usually in concert with geographic information systems technology, to help solve social, economic, environmental, and political problems at multiple scales. The program combines the fields of geography with political science, so students are prepared for the political aspects of planning. An internship is required.
All tracks include classes in the major areas of economic, physical and cultural geography, as well as techniques of geographical analysis.
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science - Geography
Students wishing to specialize in Environmental Science-Geography can pursue this degree program. The program includes courses from the B.A. Geography-Environmental track with additional science courses in areas such as biology, chemistry and geology, physics and mathematics.
Minor in Geography
There are three options for minors within Geography:
- Geography - Learn about the diversity of cultures and their respective economic and political systems, how human-environment relationships vary cross-nationally; and how to apply the geographic perspective and geographic tools to problem solving.
- Geography: Environmental - Learn spatial perspective, so that not only can you answer the question of where are things located, but why are these phenomena located where they are and what is their significance. Environmental geography provides a global perspective of environmental processes and problems that condition and influence international relations.
- Geography: Planning - As in the Environmental track, you'll learn spatial perspective. The planning option builds on your understanding of environmental processes and problems that influence planning issues.
A vital part of the training applied and environmental track geography majors receive is on-the-job as part of the geography department's internship program. A sampling of businesses and agencies that have hosted our interns include:
- Adams County Agricultural Land Preservation Program, Adams County, PA
- Allegheny National Forest;
- Berks County Agricultural Land Preservation Board, Leesport, PA
- Bonn Data, Hummelstown, PA
- Clinton County GIS Department, Lock Haven, PA
- Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Philadelphia, PA
- Lebanon County Conservation District, Lebanon, PA
- Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, Allentown, PA
- Montgomery County Planning Commission
- National Park Service
- Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Bucks County Conservation District
- City of Reading Planning Department, Reading, PA.
Mapping, planning and conservation are only some of the possible job opportunities for Geography majors or minors post-graduation; graduates can also find employment in business, government agencies, research and management fields.
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