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College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Geography

413 McGilvrey Hall
Tel: 330-672-2045


The Bachelor of Arts in Geography consists of three concentrations: Environmental Geography, Geographic Information, Social Geography.

The Environmental Geography concentration provides learning opportunities that exceed the 26-credit-hour geography core requirements. In addition to required upper-division courses (one in geographic information science and one in social geography), students may choose among course offerings in atmospheric science, climatology, environmental change, polar and glacial environments, natural resources and soils geography. Students who choose this concentration can pursue careers in environmental science and planning, disaster management, conservation of natural resources and environmental education, or they may choose to study these and related fields on a graduate level.

The Geographic Information concentration provides students with a comprehensive background in the field of geospatial technology. This involves the study and application of theory, method, technology and data knowledge to processes, relationships and patterns in both human and physical geography. This rapidly growing field can be divided into three areas: geographic information sciences (capturing, checking, integrating, analyzing and displaying spatially referenced data); remote sensing (analyzing and interpreting aerial data and satellite imagery); and global positioning systems. Students in this concentration gain quantitative and technical skills to prepare them for jobs in both the public and private sectors, or for further study in graduate school.

The Social Geography concentration includes courses that involve the social sciences and humanistic aspects of geography. Students choose from a variety of upper-level courses in urban (including planning), economic, political and historical geography. In addition to at least four courses in this concentration, students take two distributional requirements: one course in geographic information sciences and one in environmental geography. Potential careers include urban planning, transportation, government at all scales, business, international relations, mapping and geography education. Students may choose to pursue graduate studies in these or related fields.

Career Opportunities

Geographers can find work in the government or private sector. All levels of government hire geographers as development or planning officers, researchers, mappers, and GIS or satellite image analysts. The private sector hires geographers to apply their ideas, skills and technologies to complex real-world systems. This can include conducting marketing studies, planning transportation routes, understanding international markets, and determining environmental risks associated with landuse change. Currently geospatial technology is the third fastest growing industry in the USA.

Surveyors, cartographers, photogrammetrists, and surveying technicians held about 147,000 jobs in 2008. Employment was distributed by occupational specialty as follows:

Surveying and mapping technicians  77,000
Surveyors  57,600
Cartographers and photogrammetrists  12,300

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Admission Requirements

General Admissions for Freshman Students: Admission Requirements at the Kent Campus: The freshman admission policy at the Kent Campus is selective. Admission decisions are based upon the following: cumulative grade point average, ACT and/or SAT scores, strength of high school college preparatory curriculum and grade trends.

The university affirmatively strives to provide educational opportunities and access to students with varied backgrounds, those with special talents and adult students who graduated from high school three or more years ago. For more information on admissions, visit the admissions website for new freshmen.

For more information about admission criteria for transfer, transitioning and former students, please visit the admissions website.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 120 total credit hours and 42 upper-division credit hours. Minimum 2.000 overall GPA and 2.000 major GPA.