Department of Geography & Urban Science

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The Department of Geography and Urban Science provides an undergraduate education at the BA level. In the department, we focus on examining a wide range of social, economic, environmental, and political issues from a geographic perspective, including urbanization, population growth, global warming, immigration, the global economy, and poverty. Geography is concerned with understanding, interpreting, and explaining the occurrence, distribution, and interrelationships of the physical and human elements that can be discerned in the earth's landscapes. Urban studies focuses on the study of cities, with emphasis on the process of urbanization, urban problems, the economic, social, and political aspects of urban life, and past and present efforts at urban planning and development. Geography and urban studies are closely related; our programs of study are offered in a highly interdisciplinary learning environment that includes hands-on learning, student research opportunities, and community service. 

Learn more about each of our programs:

  • BA in Geography
  • BA in Urban Science and Society
  • Minor in Geography

Majors and minors in geography and urban studies are prepared for a wide range of career opportunities in business, industry, commerce, government, education, community development, and public administration. The major also provides a sound foundation for students who plan to pursue graduate studies in a wide variety of fields including geography, urban studies, business, economics, planning, sociology, social work, law, and political science.

Department Spotlight

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James E. Baker (Geography BA, 2013) is completing his second semester of doctoral coursework in Geography at University of Nebraska – Lincoln. His present research into Latvian diaspora communities in the Great Plains and their role in the cultural practices and formations of celebrating nationhood after redeclaring independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 will take him to Riga, Latvia to conduct fieldwork this summer. Before earning his Masters of Arts in Geography from University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2018, James was awarded a Critical Language Scholarship to study in Baku, Azerbaijan, which has informed research into commemorative landscapes and national identity in post-Soviet Azerbaijan which he will present at the Nebraska Academy of Sciences annual meeting this Spring. With his wife, Kelly, and two children, Cyrus and Alma, James traveled to Greece, Albania, and Montana last summer, and enjoys camping, cooking, and consuming music from around the world.

Department Spotlight

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John Ponstingel (BA in Geography 2014) completed his M.A in Geography at Binghamton University in 2017. His principal research and teaching interest are Urban development, race and ethnicity, social institutions and Framework issues of analyzing institutions. He was awarded a scholarship for Graduate Student Assistantship (2017-2021), and a Doctoral Merit Fellowship Texas State University, Texas. John is currently a PhD candidate at Texas State University and plans to complete his program in the spring of 2021.