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Geography Undergraduate Program

Geography is the integrative study of places, environmental processes and human activities across the globe. Think about it -- everything happens somewhere! 

Geography teaches you how the world works. Geographers use spatial concepts and tools to examine problems that face communities around the world, such as protecting vulnerable landscapes and species, the local and global effects of climate and the connections between people across the globe. geography

As part of the geography major, students can work with their adviser to select a specialized area of emphasis in geographic information science, global environmental change or globalization and development. Our faculty are dedicated to preparing our students for careers in geography. Students work closely with our expert professors in classes that feature hands-on research and as research assistants in their laboratories. Some courses take advantage of West Virginia’s unique natural resources through weekend trips, bringing the classroom experience into the field.

Our students study aspects of the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities while developing skills in spatial investigation and problem-solving that are valuable assets in a variety of careers. Geographers are hired as environmental consultants, cartographers, GIS analysts and international and regional development specialists. 

Geography jobs are estimated to increase by 26% between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Our graduates are prepared for careers in both the private and public sectors.

In industry, geographers are hired as:

  • geographic information system analysts
  • business location researchers
  • environmental impact consultants
  • market analysts and cartographers
  • and more... 

In government, geographers can work as: 

  • local urban planners
  • regional and state economic development specialists
  • environmental and resource development analysts
  • land-use planners
  • international development agency advisors
  • teachers and trainers
  • researchers
  • cartographers and geographic information system analysts
  • and more... 

Some graduates may also use their training to pursue careers as environmental or community activists in nonprofit organizations. Finally, many geography students go on to graduate school to obtain further training, most commonly in geography or planning, but also in fields as diverse as law, information science and environmental studies.

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