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

September 1, 2023
GEOGRAPHY, GLOBAL STUDIES, HISTORY - Read the stories of six alumni whose work in international affairs is making a global impact.
August 11, 2023
The UO’s Environment Initiative has awarded seed funding to five new teaching projects to support faculty members who have proposed innovative courses and dynamic classroom experiences. The funding supports both research and curricular projects and focuses the intellectual energy and work of faculty, students and community partners on a just and livable future through transdisciplinary research, teaching and experiential learning.
June 30, 2023
ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES, GEOGRAPHY - The University of Oregon's Environment Initiative has named six faculty fellows for the 2023-24 academic year, two of whom belong to the College of Arts and Sciences: Lauren Hallett, associate professor of environmental studies and biology, and Peter Walker, professor of geography and environmental studies.

All news »

Psychology Department Colloquium: "Neuroscience and Psychology in Context"
Psychology Department Colloquium: "Neuroscience and Psychology in Context" Sep 29 Erb Memorial Union (EMU)
Phantom Tollbooth Auditions
Phantom Tollbooth Auditions Sep 30 Miller Theatre Complex
Linguistics Fall Colloquium
Linguistics Fall Colloquium Oct 3 Straub Hall
Pre-Medicine Group Advising
Pre-Medicine Group Advising Oct 3 Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall
Poetry Reading by Matthew Dickman 
Poetry Reading by Matthew Dickman  Oct 4 Knight Library
Pre-Medicine Group Advising
Pre-Medicine Group Advising Oct 5 Erb Memorial Union (EMU)
Department of History Welcome Back Barbecue
Department of History Welcome Back Barbecue Oct 5 McKenzie Hall
Fall 2023 Knight Campus Entrepreneurship Speaker Series with Jorge Cham
Fall 2023 Knight Campus Entrepreneurship Speaker Series with Jorge Cham Oct 9 Erb Memorial Union (EMU)
Linguistics Fall Colloquium
Linguistics Fall Colloquium Oct 10 Straub Hall
Race, Disinvestment, and the Making of the North Philadelphia “Badlands"
Race, Disinvestment, and the Making of the North Philadelphia “Badlands" Oct 10

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