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.

Years of high-impact research, teaching, and service
faculty research labs
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

June 2, 2023
GEOGRAPHY - A two-day conference June 3-4 will honor the work of University of Oregon Department of Geography Professor Alec Murphy and will discuss the changing significance of territory and the rise of right-wing populism in response to the changing state of borders.
May 11, 2023
GEOGRAPHY - 'The Ice Sings Back,' by alumna M Jackson (Geography, 2017), tells the stories of four women and their struggles, against the backdrop of the Oregon Cascades. “We—glacier scientists broadly—have done a really good job at studying ice,” Jackson said. “What we don’t have is the business of you and me connecting to a glacier.”
April 7, 2023
GLOBAL STUDIES, ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES - Scholars from the two universities have spanned that global gap, most recently when six faculty members from KIU spent two months this winter at the UO with a shared goal of confronting climate change through research and enhancing teaching.

All news »

Let's Talk - Wednesday 2-4PM
Let's Talk - Wednesday 2-4PM Jun 7 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Human Physiology Seminar Series with Dr. Amanda LeBlanc
Human Physiology Seminar Series with Dr. Amanda LeBlanc Jun 9 Lawrence Hall
"Who Knew?"
"Who Knew?" Jun 10 Miller Theatre Complex
"Who Knew?"
"Who Knew?" Jun 11 Miller Theatre Complex
Let's Talk - Wednesday 2-4PM
Let's Talk - Wednesday 2-4PM Jun 14 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Natural Sciences
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Natural Sciences Jun 20 Autzen Stadium
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Humanities
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Humanities Jun 20 East Campus Green- Located West of Global Scholars Hall
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Social Sciences
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Social Sciences Jun 20 Autzen Stadium
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Global Studies and Languages
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Global Studies and Languages Jun 20 Memorial Quad Lawn
CAS Commencement Ceremony - MA and PHD Students
CAS Commencement Ceremony - MA and PHD Students Jun 20 East Campus Green

All events »