Geography

Geography isn’t just about knowing your way around a map.
It’s about knowing your way around our ever-changing world.


The Department of Geography at the University of Oregon is one of the top ten geography programs in the country. We feature faculty and students researching and teaching on the cutting edge of important societal issues, such as racism, climate change, water resources, economic development, land use, conflict, migration, spatial data science, cartography, and more. We offer two majors, Geography and Spatial Data Science and Technology, and minors in Climate Studies and Geography.

60+
Years of high-impact research, teaching, and service
6
faculty research labs
40%
of undergraduates participating in research

What you can do with a degree in Geography

The career possibilities are endless with a Geography degree. Are you looking to work with people, the environment, or data? There are many careers that can fulfill your interests, as well as utilize the skills you develop in your undergraduate career. Examples of recent alumni placements include:

  • Cartographer at National Geographic
  • Head of development and fundraising at a nonprofit
  • Independent drone operator
  • Data analyst for the U.S. Census
  • GIS analyst for utility company
Geography undergraduate director Leslie McLees

How the Department of Geography Launches Your Career

“Students are told they need to go to college to get a degree, but rarely told how to translate their experiences into a career. I’ve spent several years working to bring career readiness to geography students, providing career advising and developing a course to help students translate their experiences into something that sets them up well for both a career and to be an effective global citizen. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing a student who thinks they have no skills transform into someone confidently speaking about what they can do.”

—Leslie McLees, undergraduate director

Our Degree Programs

Undergraduate and graduate programs in the Department of Geography feature courses that span the range of the discipline, but allow students to develop a depth of knowledge in their interest areas. Courses offer topics that range from political economy and cultural analysis to climate change and water systems that help examine the depth and breadth of human-environment relationships in the past, present, and potential futures. We have a range of courses that focus on the concepts and technology involved in geographic analysis, including GIS, remote sensing, and cartography.

M Jackson in the field

Learn from Experts in the Field

Our world-class faculty regularly publish in high-quality journals and bring funding to support their research, including student assistants. Geography faculty are passionate about the subjects they teach because, like any geographer, when they look out at the world, they want to understand the change, inequality, and injustice that shapes our experiences. Our connections to our alumni and local organizations help students visualize the many pathways open to them.

Drone taking off with student in background

Get Real-world Experience

We offer a variety of ways for students to understand and apply the ideas they develop in their coursework to the world. We strongly support internships and study abroad; we offer positions in labs; and we offer ways of interacting with recent alumni through Geography Club. Many of our courses have a fieldwork component, and in others you will get experience asking and answering questions like a geographer through independent course projects.

Scholarships & Funding

The Department of Geography offers several scholarship and funding opportunities for students. Some involve an application and others are based on nominations from faculty. Opportunities include:

  • A variety of graduate employee (GE) positions as teaching assistants, graders, and researchers
  • The Trussell Family Scholarship for undergraduates
  • The Bill Loy Award for Cartographic Excellence
Undergraduate Scholarships

Graduate Funding

Academic Support

The Department of Geography offers support for students who face many challenges while attending university. Advising for undergraduates is more than just choosing classes, but also checking in, exploring issues facing the student, and finding resources on and off campus that can help support them. We also focus on career readiness in advising and coursework, with the first permanent class in the College of Arts and Sciences to be focused solely on translating college experiences to a potential career.

Undergraduate Advising
Support for Graduate Students

Geography News and Events

February 6, 2024
GEOGRAPHY, PHILOSOPHY, ROMANCE LANGUAGES - Three CAS faculty members—Mark Carey, Diana Garvin, and Colin Koopman—were awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
November 16, 2023
GEOGRAPHY, GLOBAL STUDIES - The UO is one of the top 25 higher ed institutions in the US for producing Peace Corps volunteers. For these two CAS students, the Peace Corps is about joining a global community and using their liberal arts degree in a meaningful, life-changing way.
November 8, 2023
GEOGRAPHY, HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY, NEUROSCIENCE - Three current UO students have been selected as finalists for the prestigious Rhodes scholarship, the oldest international fellowship award in the world.

All news »


Hapi Hair Day
Feb23
Hapi Hair Day Feb 23 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Kuponya: Centering Black Healing
Feb23
Kuponya: Centering Black Healing Feb 23 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Let's Talk Drop-In - Fridays 1-3PM @ CMAE/Zoom
Feb23
Let's Talk Drop-In - Fridays 1-3PM @ CMAE/Zoom Feb 23
Organic/Inorganic/Materials Chemistry Seminar Series
Feb23
Organic/Inorganic/Materials Chemistry Seminar Series Feb 23 Willamette Hall
Connections Happy Hour
Feb23
Connections Happy Hour Feb 23 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Physical Chemistry Seminar
Feb26
Physical Chemistry Seminar Feb 26 Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall
Tony Chambers Seminar: "Toward a Culture of Student Flourishing and Belonging"
Feb26
Tony Chambers Seminar: "Toward a Culture of Student Flourishing and Belonging" Feb 26 Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact
A Cinematic Exploration Black Community and Poverty
Feb27
A Cinematic Exploration Black Community and Poverty Feb 27 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Pierson Lecture: "God's Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion in American History"
Feb27
Pierson Lecture: "God's Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion in American History" Feb 27 McKenzie Hall
Propaganda: Fascism and Neo-Fascism Lecture Series: "Where Monsters are Born"
Feb27
Propaganda: Fascism and Neo-Fascism Lecture Series: "Where Monsters are Born" Feb 27 Knight Library

All events »