Geography integrates social and natural sciences through research and teaching which addresses key sustainability issues by integrating equity, the environment, and economics. Our students learn to think critically about themes such as globalization, migration, climate change, urban development, indigenous peoples, and watershed management while acquiring practical, career-enhancing skills.
UMass Geography is an active and supportive community of students and scholars. Our geography club is a three-time winner of the world geography bowl, and takes regular field trips throughout New England. Many geography majors join our local chapter of the Geography international honor society (Gamma Theta Upsilon). Faculty offer research and civic engagement opportunities through field and community-oriented coursework. Many geography majors take advantage of opportunities to study abroad, spend a semester on a domestic exchange program, or carry out a summer research internship, and share their experiences upon their return.
UMass Amherst is the only University in the UMass system offering undergraduate degrees in Geography. Undergraduate geographers can choose from ten academic options: a BA in Human Geography with six different concentration options (see below), a BS in Physical Geography, an undergraduate Minor in Geography, a Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technologies (GIST), and an accelerated Bachelors-to-Masters (“Fifth Year”) program in GIST.
The BA Concentrations in Geography include: Human Geography, Environmental Geography and Sustainability, Climate Change and Society, Globalization and International Studies, Urban Geography, and Geographic Information Science and Technologies.
What You'll Learn
Geography majors develop critical thinking abilities and background knowledge about:
- Geographic literacy - spatial patterns and processes involved with worldwide diversity, globalization, and sustainability.
- Processes and interactions - historically and geographically contingent political, economic, social, cultural, socio-ecological, and physical processes and interactions.
- Diversity and spatial variation - of peoples, cultures, identities, and political, economic, social, socio-ecological, and ecological systems and conditions.
- People and environment - historically and geographically complex and dynamic interactions, including socio-ecological systems, current environmental issues and policy debates, and key conservation, development, and sustainability concepts and approaches.
- Concrete applied skills - fieldwork, cartography, remote sensing, GIS, statistical analysis, qualitative data analysis, professional writing, policy-oriented problem solving
- Cartographer or Map Analyst
- Disaster Management and Mitigation
- Urban and community planning