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Geography

Bachelor of Arts

Quotation Mark

My time studying Geography at KU has become a compass - for both my heart and my future.

Ken Crichlow - Class of 2016

The diverse field of geography can open many doors to your future. Are you interested in a career in environmental issues, urban and regional planning, cartography, geographic information systems (GIS), satellite imagery and air photo interpretation, modeling and statistical analysis, or teaching? These are just a few examples of the types of occupations geography graduates pursue.

Geography studies both the natural events and human-made factors that explain the world around us, examines what makes each place unique and how different environments interact and are related. Geography majors share an informed stewardship of the natural environment. They study how contemporary planning balances human need with environmental cost.

This degree will prepare you to become a GIS analyst, an environmental consultant, work in industry, join or start a non-profit, start a career in international development, or put your education to work in the US Geological Survey or US Forest Service, among many others. You’ll be able to choose your own path from KU’s three degree tracks.

Geography Tracks

Each of the tracks in the Bachelor of Arts program share a set of required courses.  Two courses relate to the two main sides to geography: Cultural Geography and Physical Geography.  Two other required courses relate to geographical techniques vital to careers in geography: Cartography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  The final two common required courses comprise the capstone experience of the B.A. program in geography: Research Methods and Senior Seminar.  A major component of the capstone experience involves original research and a senior thesis.

Environment and Planning (effective Sp. '24) - This track is designed for students seeking careers in environmental analysis and conservation, or in planning. Courses in this track focus on the functioning and analysis of the Earth-Atmosphere system, on human stewardship of the planet, and on concepts and techniques vital to modern planning. An internship is required.

General - This track offers the broadest possible training in geography for students considering graduate school or who are interested in teaching careers in the social sciences. An internship is highly recommended

Global and Regional Studies (effective Sp. '24) - 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, and in private industry. An internship is highly recommended.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Geography (BA)

    1a. Technical Skills (A) - Cartography: Upon completion of the Geography program, students will demonstrate technical proficiency in producing cartographic work in the computer cartography environment.

    1b. Technical Skills (B) - Geographic Information Systems (GIS):Upon completion of the Geography program, students will demonstrate technical proficiency using geospatial technologies for carrying out geographic analysis.

    2. Synthesis and Integration: Upon completion of the Geography program, students will demonstrate the ability to draw on and synthesize information, concepts, and methods from the natural and social sciences to approach geographical research questions.

    3. Communication Skills: Upon completion of the Geography program, students will demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate to various audiences through oral, written, and graphical means.


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