Undergraduate Programs

If you are interested in people, places, global diversity, sustainability, or current world political, economic, and environmental issues, then UMass Geography is the place for you!

It is an exciting time to be an undergrad geography student at UMass!  We have seven different undergraduate degree options, we offer a vibrant set of courses on environmental issues, environmental policy, and sustainability, and the recently-established Geography Club has been very active with field trips and award-winning team competition in the collegiate World Geography Bowl.  Students have great opportunities for international study and study at other universities within the U.S. during their undergraduate years, and many make the most of this.

Click here for a media overview of the BA Concentrations

Student Opportunities

Our majors include coursework designed specifically to aid students in preparing for careers in a wide range of fields through an integration of fundamental knowledge, marketable job skills, and preparation for successful job and /or graduate school applications.

Students studying towards Geography BA and BS degrees benefit from integrating courses from cognate fields into their degree programs, particularly those offered by Geography affiliate faculty in other departments and programs.  For a list of faculty and affiliate faculty and their specialties click here

 For a brief summary of all undergrad geography degree options, click here:
Geography Degrees at UMass

The UMass Geography Program offers two undergraduate degrees (B.A. and B.S.), a minor in Geography, an undergraduate certificate in GIST, a one-year professional M.S. degree in Geographic Information Science and Technology, and an M.S. degree in Geography.  Graduate students can also earn a Ph.D. in Geosciences with a concentration in Geography. All geography majors complete the UMass Geography Undergraduate Core Curriculum, which emphasizes basic courses in both human and physical geography and skills acquisition in writing, field research, statistics, mapping, and geographic information science and technology.

We welcome second majors and minors in Geography, and students working towards the undergraduate certificate in GIST (Geographic Information Science and Technology).

The BA Program in Human Geography:

Click here for a media overview of the BA Concentrations

The BA degree in Human Geography is a broad, disciplinary degree for students interested in:

  • society/nature relations
  • sustainability
  • environmental and conservation policy and practice
  • environmental history
  • climate change
  • water geographies
  • national parks and protected areas
  • urban studies
  • political geography
  • US and world regional studies.

Students in the program gain valuable research and career skills in ethnographic fieldwork, landscape analysis, cartography, statistical analysis, remote sensing, and Geographic Information Science.

Geographers pursue rewarding careers in education, business, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

The B.A. program includes six concentration choices

Human Geography
Environmental Geography and Sustainability
Climate Change and Society
Globalization and International Studies
Urban Geography
Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST)

For detailed degree requirements, see Geography BA Concentration Tables

All six BA concentrations help students to:

  • Establish a Foundation:

    Develop a solid foundation in geographical theory, concepts, and methodology, emphasizing geographic literacy, including spatial patterns and processes involved with worldwide diversity, globalization, and sustainability.

  • Understand Diversity:

    Appreciate the diversity and spatial variation of peoples, cultures, identities, and political, economic, social, socio-ecological, and ecological systems and conditions.

  • Learn about People and Environment:

    Understand the historically and geographically complex and dynamic relationships and interactions of people and environment, including socio-ecological systems, current environmental issues and policy debates, and key conservation, development, and sustainability concepts and approaches.

  • Focus on a Theme: 

    Develop a background in a concentration, with choices for BA concentrations in human geography, environment and sustainability, international studies, climate change and society, urban geography, or Geographic Information Science and Technologies (GIST).

Would you like to learn more?  Click here to make a geography advising appointment.

 The BS Program in Physical Geography:

Geography offers students the opportunity to study the dynamics of global and local environmental change and to place their local experience in a global perspective. Physical geography involves studying the physical processes, both natural and anthropogenic, that affect the earth’s surface, atmosphere, and biosphere. The department has strengths in the study of climate, climate change, landforms and land surface processes, remote sensing of the environment, and GIS analysis and applications.

The BS degree in Physical Geography is a broad, disciplinary degree for students interested in:

  • climatology and climate change
  • geomorphology
  • biogeography

BS students in physical geography build on a foundation of math, chemistry, physics, geology, and computer science.  The degree begins with the UMass geography core curriculum and adds three advanced physical geography courses and four additional electives. Click here for the Geography BS Degree Requirements.

Would you like to learn more?  Click here to make a geography advising appointment.