Bachelor of Arts
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 four distinct Geography degree tracks.
All of the tracks in the Bachelor of Arts program share a set of common core courses. Two core courses relate to the two main sides to Geography: Physical Geography and Cultural Geography. Two other core courses relate to geographical techniques vital to careers in Geography: Cartography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The final two core 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.
Environmental - This track is designed for students seeking careers in environmental analysis, conservation, or in environmental planning. Courses in the track focus on the 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 considering 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 technically 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.
Student Learning Outcomes
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)
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