Geography


The undergraduate geography program has three main objectives: to promote the understanding of the locational dimensions of human behavior in their environmental context; to offer a curriculum in which geographic concepts and methods are applied to understanding economic, environmental, and social problems; and to promote international understanding through area studies. Areas of emphasis include physical geography, human geography, and geotechnologies.


    • Graduating majors of the department have found careers in business and industry, in urban and regional planning agencies, in departments of federal and state governments, and in teaching.
    • Professional roles include city or regional planner, cartographer, demographer, resource analyst, land or economic developer, location analyst, and teacher/professor.
    • Many graduates find that an undergraduate degree in geography is an excellent foundation for advanced graduate work or professional training in planning, business, or law.
    • Courses that challenge students to think about the spatial patterns of environmental, social, economic, and political processes close to home and around the world.
    • A department that emphasizes hands-on learning with popular field schools for academic credit, including a summer field school in the western United States and international field schools in locations like Southeast Asia.
    • Faculty mentorship on research projects with topics such as urban and transportation systems, tree-ring science, Europe’s migration crisis, and water resource management.
    • Internships in local planning and mapping agencies and nonprofits.
    • Facilities including fully equipped laboratories in computer cartography, geographic information systems, and remote sensing with a variety of other specialized locational analysis programs for both instruction and research.
    • Learning in labs that support teaching and research studies in dendrochronology (tree-ring studies), soils and regolith analysis, and geographic information systems.
    • A student-run Geography Club that organizes speakers, hikes, and service projects and departmental activities such as the “GeoBowl,” pitting UNC schools against each other.
    • Our faculty and students have received numerous awards for teaching, research, and community engagement from local, regional, and national organizations.
    • Departmental chapter of the national geography honor society Gamma Theta Upsilon.

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