School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA)

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Geography

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Why Choose the Geography Program?

Amanda Phillips, Geography Major

Geography studies the interaction between human and physical environments. If you are interested in connections between people and places and entering one of the fastest growing areas of applied technologies, Geography may be the major for you.

Over the last several decades, the global economy has transformed communities across America. Geopolitics has affected gasoline prices and the food we buy. Satellite and other spatial information became tools for local police and firefighters to keep us safe, for farmers to increase production, and for intelligence agencies to reduce terrorism. The climate changed and produced extreme weather events around the world and in our own neighborhoods. Geographers study these types of events.

Geography covers a broad base from the design and art of mapping to the analysis of spatial data. Computers and new software have expanded the role of geospatial information from traditional fields like planning and exploration to fields like politics, agriculture, law enforcement, and economic development. The nation's defense depends on geospatial information and the military invests heavily in developing new geospatial tools and the analysis of geospatial data.


Academics and Curriculum

Students should meet with a faculty advisor before enrolling and each semester thereafter. The faculty advisor can help you decide whether to pursue a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. They can also help you plan your courses and recommend how you can use your electives to enhance your degree by earning a minor, certificate, or honors.

View Bachelor of Arts in Geography or Bachelor of Science in Geography program information and degree requirements in the University Catalog. The links below identify required courses and potential electives for the BA and the BS in Geography.


Admission

Complete the Admission application and list Geography as your intended major.

If you are a current student and wish to change majors, go to the Wings Express Major/Minor change request form and change your major.  If you are a University College student, talk to your advisor about switching your major to Geography.


Careers

Geographers answer everyday questions, such as what is the best route around a highway detour to questions of survival. For example, How will we feed the world's growing population given changes in earth’s climate? Where are pockets of disease in the world and where have they spread? How does satellite data help us be safe? How does where people live affect their access to healthy food, adequate housing, and sufficient healthcare?

Our graduates work for:

  • city, township, county, state and federal agencies
  • engineering and architectural firms
  • economic development
  • intelligence gathering and interpretation organizations
  • construction and mining companies
  • forestry and natural resources conservation
  • tourism
  • climate adaption industry

Our graduates work as:

  • spatial and GIS analysts
  • real estate appraisers
  • planners
  • economic developers
  • market analysts
  • environmental educators
  • map makers
  • workforce consultants
  • energy efficiency program managers
  • security experts

Advising

Our advisors are here to help you.

Whether you’re already one of our majors or interested in finding out more about our programs, call the office at (937) 775-4451 or stop by 325 Millett.


Internships

An internship is required for all Geography majors without sufficient professional experience in the field. The internship is waived for students who are already working full-time in their career field and on a case-by-case basis.

The internship provides students three basic benefits:

  1. Students connect theory and principles they learned in classroom to practice in their career field;
  2. Students gain professional experience that is often required by employers; and
  3. Students learn about the social network within their career and employment opportunities.

Internship Requirements

  • Students must define their career goals and begin pursuing them by meeting with Career Services and the College of Liberal Arts Student Success center (CLASS), preparing a resume, and identifying with some degree of specificity organizations they believe might offer them both opportunity and satisfaction.
  • Students research their profession and organizations and then seek an internship position. Students apply for an internship as if they were seeking employment; and if all works well, their internship could result in a job offer.
  • Students inform potential internship providers about our department’s internship requirements:
    • The scope of work, projects, and/or tasks the intern will perform (this information is developed between the person who will supervise the internship for the organization and the intern) is identified and approved by the program Internship Coordinator.
    • Students work a total of 125 hours during the semester of the internship.
    • Student keeps a journal describing the daily activities performed during the internship experience. The journal is submitted halfway through the internship and again at the end of the 125 hours.
    • Students submit a reflection paper at the end of 125 hours that summarizes the internship experience, what they learned, how coursework was applied, and how the experience might be improved.