Geography is more than knowing countries and capitals or making maps; it is a way of understanding how social and environmental processes shape places in the world around us, from our local communities to those that seem remote and far away. Geography is about knowing your way around our challenging world, from the events dominating headlines to longer-term processes shaping social and environmental vulnerability and inequality around the world. Geographers specialize in understanding the dynamics between humans and the environment, and how that information can be used to both understand and enact change in the real world.
Top Five
Reasons to Study
This Major
  1. Develop critical thinking skills to understand issues facing our world.

  2. Understand the interaction between human and biophysical systems.

  3. Learn the value of a spatial approach to understanding contemporary issues.

  4. Understand how processes from the local to the global interact to shape places.

  5. Practice what you learn through hands-on engagement in the field.

College of Arts and Sciences
Where Can I Go?

Students in Geography may choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS), a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS), or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Geography provides students with a foundation for employment in:

City, county, and regional planning agencies, public health, or transportation departments

Federal departments and agencies (i.e. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, United States Geological Survey, National Forest Service)

Environmental consulting firms

United Nations

Scientific and research groups

Local, national, and international nonprofit organizations

Tech firms (Google, Apple, Amazon, etc.)
Alumni Jobs

Land use planner


Geographic information system technician

Drone pilot

Digital producer

Urban forester

Community development coordinator

Project engineer

Executive briefing coordinator

Courses You
May Need

1st Year
GEOG 141, 142, 181

2nd Year
GEOG 2xx, Human Geography 3xx/4xx, Biophysical Geography 3xx/4xx

3rd Year
GEOG 481, 391, 419

4th Year
GEOG 3xx/4xx (12 credits)

Major Credits
Required 34 credits
Electives 12 credits

Total 46 credits

Core Education Requirements

BS or BA Degree Minimum = 180 credits.

Core Education is approximately 71—83 credits depending on transfer credits and placement scores and requires courses in:


Math and/or CS (BS) or Language (BA)

US: Difference, Inequality, Agency

Global Perspectives

Areas of Inquiry in:

Arts and Letters

Social Science / Science
What Will I Learn?

Critical thinking and evaluation

Understanding the natural processes shaping the climate and earth surface

Data collection, analysis, and interpretation

Spatial visualization

Understanding quantitative and qualitative data

Translating science for policy-makers

Leadership skills for a changing global economy
Experiential learning opportunities

Course field trips to rivers, forests, and cities

Geography Club activities, including "mapathons"

Coursework engaging in data collection and analysis

Weekly labs or discussion sections for hands-on activities

Create data graphics and maps for your portfolio

We connect students to internships in the city and country
Specialized Courses

Environment, economy, and sustainability

Geographic education

Water science and policy

Culture, politics, and place

Environmental systems

Geographic information system science
Add A Minor Or Certificate


Earth Sciences

Environmental Studies

Food Studies

Political Science

Contact Us

Tykeson College and Career Advising

An equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This publication will be made available in accessible formats upon request. © 2020 University of Oregon. Revised: 8/13/2020