Undergraduate Program

Geography computer lab

The Department of Geographical and Sustainability Science offers undergraduate degrees in Geography (B.A. or B.S.) and Environmental Policy and Planning (B.A. or B.S.) that provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle the complex environmental problems of today.


Geography (B.A. or B.S.)

Interested in Environmental issues? Geoinformatics and GIS? Public policy?  Health and geography?   If you enjoy connecting the complex global system, geography might be the major for you!

Geography is concerned with place and environment and the ongoing processes of change within and between social and physical systems. Three concepts at the core of the discipline—space, place, and scale—provide theoretical constructs and methodological tools for a science that investigates the complex character of social and environmental phenomena. Geographers examine issues such as distribution and consumption of natural resources, air and water quality, climate changes and ecosystem dynamics, growth and development of urban areas, population dynamics, politics and practice of international development, social justice, and gender relations. They view society and the environment as a physical/social/cultural system. They apply uniquely geographical perspectives and tools, as well as knowledge from other social and scientific disciplines, to analyze the emergent properties of these systems.

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in geography will select one of three tracks:

  1. Environmental Studies
  2. Geographic Information Science (GIS) 
  3. Health & Society 


Environmental Policy and Planning (B.A. or B.S.)

Are you committed to environmental protection and stewardship?  The interdisciplinary EPPL major trains students to tackle environmental problems through action, advocacy, and compliance.  It is excellent preparation for a career in environmental law.  The Planning track provides tools for working in city, county, or regional planning, or in land and resource use assessment.  The Policy track offers training for positions in the public or private sector.

Environmental problems are often difficult to resolve because they are embedded in a complex mesh of economics, politics, culture, and behavior. In order to address environmental problems in the future, we will need citizens who understand the human dimensions of these issues.. The major provides a recognizable, meaningful label to a concentration of courses that are customized by the student, thus making graduates viable as potential employees or candidates for graduate education. Students will take a common core of courses in anthropology, economics, geographical and sustainability sciences, and political science. Then, students choose between the Planning and Policy tracks. The Planning track has courses primarily in geographical and sustainability sciences and in urban and regional planning. The Policy track has courses primarily in political science and geographical and sustainability sciences.

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in Environmental Policy and Planning (EPPL) will select one of two tracks:

  1. Planning
  2. Policy