The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a BA, BS, and a BGS 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
Urban Planning/Community Development: Geography is a natural tie-in with urban or city planning. City planners work on zoning, land use, and new developments, from a gas station renovation to the development of whole new sections of urban area. You'll work with individual property owners, developers, and other officials.
Geographic Information Systems: City governments, county agencies, and other government agencies and private groups are often in need of experienced GIS professionals. Coursework and internships in GIS are especially important. Computer programming or engineering skills are essential skills in this area.
Climatology: Agencies like the National Weather Service, news media, the Weather Channel, and other government entities occasionally need climatologist. Admittedly, these jobs usually go to those with meteorology degrees, a geographer with experience and vast coursework in meteorology and climatology would definitely be an asset.
Environmental: Geographers bring excellent skills for project management and the development of reports like environmental impact reports in their work for environmental assessment, cleanup, and management companies. Many geographers have experience in outdoor recreation and are often employed by the growing area of the eco-tourism.
International: Geographers bring knowledge of specific regions and cultures to their work in international development agencies, international relations, disaster relief, government, non-profit/non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations.
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
Places to Seek Employment
City/Regional Planning Offices
Community Development Agencies
Conservation Agencies in State, County & Federal Agencies
Emergency Management for Government & Non-Profit
Environmental Regulation Agencies
Historic Preservation Associations
Weather and Climate Agencies
Waste Management Agencies, both private industry & government
Outdoor Recreation Management Companies
View specific employers by state.
- Geography is a multidisciplinary field with a wide array of concentration areas - explore your fit early on and commit to developing specific technical skills in your chosen area.
- Research labor market trends for your chosen area.
- Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
- Register for KU Career Connections and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
- Network with professionals working in the field by joining as a student member and attending annual conferences and regional meetings. Ask you faculty which organizations to join.
- If considering an international career, develop skills in another language.
- Develop skills and experience in computer programming if considering a career in GIS.
- Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant to your career goals
- Pursue research experiences if you are considering going to graduate school or pursuing a career in the scientific research.
- Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest, such as: Geography Club and Geography Graduate Student Organization.
Job and Internship Search Resources
- Cyber-Sierra Natural Resource jobs - postings of jobs within various natural resource jobs
- MyGISjobs.com - 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