The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a BA, BS, and a BGS, as well as a graduate certificate, a MA, a MS, and a PhD in Geography. Geography and weather are some of humankind's oldest curiosities and long established branches of modern science. The scientific discipline of Geography strives to explore and to understand the variety that exists in the world's landscapes and cultures.
Sample of Related Skills
- Describe human-environment, and nature-society interactions as well as global human and environmental issues
- Identify the planet’s human and physical characteristics and processes, from global to local scales
- Demonstrate proficiency in using geographical research tools including spatial statistics, cartography, remote sensing, GIS and GPS
- Evaluate the impacts of human activities on natural environments
- Demonstrate the ability to evaluate and solve geographic problems effectively in collaborative settings working with other students
Popular Career Paths
Geopolitics and Political Geography: focuses on the establishment and challenge of territory, different forms of spatial borders, and contributing factors of conflict including cultural and economic factors.
Geo-informatics: Specializes in the collection, management, visualization, analysis, and distribution of spatial data using computers that have applications in business, engineering, and public health.
Climate and People: Prepares you to deal with the human and physical components of climate change, which includes opportunities in research, mitigation, adaptation, and sustainability.
Soils and Ecohydrology: Will give students the tools to address the soil-organism-water interactions necessary to pursue a career in natural resource management, ecohydrology, soil science, or agriculture.
Urban/Economic Geography: Examines how economic processes play out spatially, particularly within and among urban areas. Specific topics include how capital investment and disinvestment shapes uneven development, including labor markets, national economies, international trade, and urban landscapes.
People, Migration, and Globalization: Focuses on the cultural and social systems that impact the landscape and how these systems and processes impact the flow of people and ideas between regions.
Explore More Career Paths
- American Association of Geographers (AAG) - information on career paths for geography majors, including what geographers do and where they work. Sample of profiles of geographers and has a fantastic "ask a geographer" page.
- Development Jobs: What You Need to Know - offers practical advice on exploring a career in international development. Includes information on the commonly pursued career paths.
- Jobs in Geography - Excellent overview of common career paths for geographers.
- National Society of Professional Surveyors - describes common career paths in surveying, including salary info, employment outlook and further training
Jobs to Consider
- Emergency Services Manager
- Environmental Manager
- Soil/Environmental Scientist
- Flood Manager
- GIS Specialist
- Librarian/Information Specialist
- National Park Service Ranger
- Natural Resource Manager
- Environmental Consultant
- Real Estate Appraisal
- Transportation Manager
- Urban Planner/Community Developer
- Soil/Hydrology Field or Laboratory Technician
Places to Seek Employment
- City/Regional Planning Offices
- Community Development Agencies
- Conservation Agencies in State, County & Federal Agencies
- Emergency Management for Government & Non-Profit
- Insurance Agencies
- Environmental Regulation Agencies
- Historic Preservation Associations
- Housing/Development Agencies
- Environmental Consulting
- Weather and Climate Agencies
- Waste Management Agencies, both private industry & government
- Outdoor Recreation Management Companies
Job and Internship Search Resources
- Cyber-Sierra Natural Resource jobs - postings of jobs within various natural resource jobs
- My GIS jobs - job and internship listings focusing on GIS, in which you can search by category or state
- Earthworks Careers - large database of jobs in earth science fields ranging from environmental protection to oil and gas industry
- Geography Jobs - job search engine with listings in economic development, emergency planning, transportation planning, housing, urban planning, remote sensing and the environment
- Government & Non-Profit Resources - more resources from career.ku.edu
- KU Department of Geography List of Internships - links to career sites, internships, etc. for atmospheric science and geography majors
- National Science Foundation - Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) in atmospheric science, earth science and social science
- US Agency for International Development - research career options, internship and job listings with this agency
- US Environmental Protection Agency - career opportunities for students as well as full-time job openings.
- US Geological Survey - research job listings within the US Geological Survey, a bureau of the Department of the Interior
Career Exploration Hub
- Identify areas of interest related to your major so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields.
- Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent studies, internships, part-time jobsstudent organization involvement, or volunteering
- Register for Hire Jayhawks and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
- Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
- Practice interviewing on your own or by conducting a mock interview at the University Career Center.
- Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest.
- Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant to your career goals.
- Complete an independent study to gain advanced research skills.
- Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school.
- Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest.