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Undergraduate Studies in Geography

Are you interested in: Cities and Urban Sustainability, Climate Change, Culture, Disasters and Natural Hazards, Ethno-National conflict, Geopolitics, GIS, Human-Environment Interaction, International Food, Migration, Military Strategy, Natural Resources, or Transportation? If your answer to any of these questions (and many related others) is “YES!” – then you need to consider majoring in GEOGRAPHY!


What is Geography?

Geography is a unique discipline through its seamless integration of the social sciences with the physical sciences. This integration is increasingly facilitated through advanced computer based tools to conduct geospatial techniques.

There is always something new to research in geography: new nation-states are created, natural disasters strike populated areas, climate change creates new trade routes and resource conflicts, people migrate and effect rapid urban change, and the Internet brings millions of people closer  together. Identifying places on maps is important but geography takes us far beyond place names – geographic analysis allows us to understand the rapidly changing world in which we live.


Human & Physical Paths in Geography

The work of physical geographers includes research about climates, the formation of landforms, and the evolving impact of plant and animal species change. Migration, religion, languages, and cities are a few of the specialties of human geographers. Their research into the intricacies of human existence is fundamental to our understanding of cultures.


Technical Skills

Geographers use many tools and techniques in their work, and geographic technologies are increasingly among the most important emerging fields for understanding our complex world. They include Geographic Information Systems (GIS) which is a computerized mapping and data analysis, Remote Sensing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), online mapping such as Google Earth, and others. These types of technologies allow Geographers plan new communities, decide where new highways should be placed, and establish evacuation plans.


Careers as a Geographer

Earning your B.A. degree in geography shows prospective employers that you can solve problems, research solutions, and utilize emergent and changing technologies. You will have the ability to understand the spatial and integrative dimensions and the holistic perspective to a wide variety of the world’s most pressing challenges.  At GW, we challenge students to move beyond passive knowledge consumption toward the production and contribution of NEW  knowledge. GW Geography majors apply their skills and perspectives through collaborative work with faculty, fellow students and members of the Washington D.C. metropolitan community and beyond.

The Geography major can provide preparation for a career in business, industry, or government. Geographers with bachelor's degrees are currently being placed in federal, state, and local administrative and planning agencies and in private firms that specialize in planning and development or in environmental and socioeconomic analysis and a wide variety of other positions. Click Here to find out more about what makes Geography one of the most employable majors.


Majors

Bachelor of Arts in Geography
Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies


Minors

Minor in Geography
Minor in Geographic Information Systems


Undergraduate Research Funding

GW funds several fellowships, which are available to current students and which support intensive research experiences under the mentorship of university faculty. 

The following are undergraduate research fellowships:


Geography Credit for a Transfer or Study Abroad Course

Students seeking GW Geography transfer credits from U.S. College/University Geography Departments:
Please contact the appropriate advisor (based on the first letter of your last name – see below). Provide a complete syllabus to the adviser. Provide the semester and year you took the class. Inform the adviser of the GW Geography credit you hope to have assigned to the transfer course. Understand that it is the decision of the Geography Adviser what (if any) GW Geography credit will be assigned to the course. Please allow a minimum of 3 weeks for the Geography Adviser to review and act on your transfer request. In addition to a complete syllabus, provide a GWU Undergraduate Transfer Credit Approval form (available from the Website of the GW Office of the Registrar) with your appropriate sections completed. 

Students seeking GWU Geography Credit for courses TAKEN ABROAD/STUDY ABROAD:
Please contact the appropriate advisor (based on the first letter of your last name see below). Provide a complete syllabus to the adviser. Provide the semester and year in which you took the class, the department in which it was taken, and the country of study. Inform the adviser of the GW Geography credit you hope to have assigned to the transfer course. Understand that it is the decision of the Geography Adviser what (if any) GW Geography credit will be assigned to the course. Please allow a minimum of 3 weeks for the Geography Adviser to review and act on your transfer request. In addition to a complete syllabus, provide a GWU Study Abroad Course Approval Request Form (available from the Website of the GWU Office for Study Abroad) with your appropriate sections completed.  

Environmental Studies students seeing transfer or study abroad credit please contact one fo the EVST Program Advisors below:


Geography Advisors

To register as a geography major or minor, please contact the Geography Department Undergraduate Advisors to discuss your options, and fill out the required paper work.

Students whose last names begin with A-H
Professor Ryan Engstrom at 202-994-7979, rengstro@gwu.edu

Students whose last names begin with I-O
Professor Michael Mann at 202-994-4567, mmann1123@gwu.edu

Students whose last names begin with P-Z
Professor Joseph Dymond at 202-994-8503, jdymond@gwu.edu

 

EVST Program Advisors

Professor David Rain at 202-994-8523, drain@gwu.edu or
Professor Melissa Keeley at 202-994-7156, keeley@gwu.edu

Or, Visit the Geography Department, located in Phillips Hall, Suite 216, 801 22nd Street, N.W.

Students Win Mid-Atlantic Division World Geography Bowl Competition

The Geography Bowl Team from GW won the Mid-Atlantic Division World Geography Bowl Competition in Annapolis, Maryland on November 1, 2013. The seven team members include:

Kean McDermott, Andrew Kerr, Sam Hudis, Michael Phillips, Raynell Cooper (Captain), Ellen Christiansen, and Richard Barad.

Geography Students Bring Arctic Adventure back to the Lab

From fieldwork in Alaska to lab work in Foggy Bottom, Assistant Professor of Geography Nikolay Shiklomanov is keeping his students engaged in the long-term effects of climate change on the active and near-surface permafrost layers of the Arctic Circle thanks to a five-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Read more.

Gelman Library Research Guide

Studying for a final or working on a research paper? The Gelman Library Research Guide can help you find what you need.

Conflicted City: Analyzing East Jerusalem through a Geographic Lens

In East Jerusalem, Palestinian and Israeli residents live very close to each other, but their interactions are often limited. As a Luther Rice Undergraduate Research Fellow, Aurora Echavarria tackled the unique sensitivities of the city by analyzing how past conflicts between the two peoples have affected Jerusalem’s physical environment and exacerbated tension.