Bachelor of Arts | College of Arts and Science
What is Geography?
Geography is a discipline that trains majors to ask questions and address problems about the world's peoples, cultures, daily lives, and environments. Geographers study a range of human (social, economic, political) and environmental (atmospheric, biologic, geologic) processes that create diverse global patterns in physical and cultural landscapes. Geography especially focuses on understanding linkages among human activities and their relationship with environmental systems. Some geographers focus in the natural sciences while others are principally social scientists, but all geographers recognize the interdependence of these systems in understanding the world today.
While maintaining a global vision, geographers are also practical. Geographers study such topics as race, gender, class, and ethnic relations, urban growth, migration and immigration, tourism, human impact on the environment, international relations, and economic development. They are especially trained to synthesize qualitative and quantitative data from many different disciplines and to apply technical expertise toward the comparative analysis of geographic (spatial) patterns and processes. For example, geographers were among the first professionals to promote the need for cultural sensitivity when working for global peace. They are positioned to work for positive development initiatives in local communities and around the world.
What are the features of Miami's program?
A low student to faculty ratio means that faculty are here for students and are accessible to student needs. Many geography majors are involved in independent research with faculty mentors.
Access to technology
Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing classes are taught in the Geography Department's GIS lab, which is equipped with advanced workstations running ArcMap, ArcView, Erdas Imagine, and a full suite of supporting statistical and database software.
Many of our students, especially those interested in applied environmental management or Geographic Information Systems, do internships as part of their degrees. Our students have worked in city planning departments in Oxford, Hamilton, and Cincinnati and the Three Valley Conservation Trust.
Are there special admission requirements?
There are no additional admission requirements for this program.
What courses would I take?
The Bachelor of Arts in Geography degree begins with foundation courses in human and physical geography. These are followed by two courses that are central to all geography students: Global Change and Map Interpretation.
Following these foundation and core courses, students choose one of four specialization paths, two of which emphasize the social sciences: Global Development and Comparative Urban Economics. Each of these paths provides in-depth training that prepares students for future employment or postgraduate training.
Geography is an ideal major to pair with the co-major in Environmental Science. Several courses count for both majors. This is an option that allows a student to significantly strengthen his or her training in natural science, while also studying the many linkages between environmental and human systems.
What can I do with this major?
As global ties continue to increase and as geographic technology continues to develop, geographers find themselves much in demand. The majority of Miami graduates are working in international and domestic businesses or in government agencies like the U.S. Geological Survey, the Census Bureau, and the State Department. A sampling of our graduates includes a guide at a national park in Oregon, a teacher with Teach for America in Tennessee, a transportation planner for a county in Ohio, an environmental scientist with a water management district in Florida, and students attending law school and graduate school in urban planning.
Who can I contact for more information?
Department of Geography
211 Shideler Hall
Oxford, OH 45056