Undergraduate Program Geography
Geography Bachelor's Degree and Minor Overview
The geography major at Portland State University links environmental studies and cultural studies in programs centered on environmental issues, social and cultural landscapes, sustainability in urban and natural areas, and geographic information science.
Coursework emphasizes systematic and regional approaches to understanding the physical environment and human-environment interactions. Techniques classes in GIS, remote sensing, spatial analysis, and cartography) provide the tools to analyze complex local, regional, and global phenomena.
The geography program gives students an appreciation and understanding of the human environment on global, regional, and local scales. It provides background and requisite training for careers in resource, planning, environmental, or education fields. Geography majors find work in urban and natural resource management, spatial and GIS analysis, urban planning, map design and production and statistical analysis. Geography is the lead department on campus for training in GIS, remote sensing, cartography, and spatial analysis.
The Geography minor complements most majors and offers a broad foundational background of knowledge about the world and spatial sciences. Students can either specialize in a particular area of geography such as environmental issues and sustainability or urban and cultural studies, or can further broaden their interests and perspectives by taking upper division geography courses in different areas of geography.
Geography Bachelor's Degree and Minor: Why PSU?
PSU's location in downtown Portland, with easy access to the Pacific Coast, the Cascade Mountains, and the Willamette Valley, provides ample opportunity for field work-based classes and field work opportunities for research in urban, rural, and wilderness sites. Numerous local, state, and federal agencies are within walking or driving distance, providing opportunities for applied research in a wide variety of areas.
Faculty engage in local, regional and international research projects in hydrology, water resources, biogeography, climate science, sustainable resource use, land use analysis, cultural and political ecology, the urban environment, and geographic information science. Faculty incorporate research findings into their courses and their work has been featured in the media.
The geography department’s engaged faculty and students create a close-knit community with active student-led groups like the ASPRS/GIS Club. The ASPRS/GIS Club is a student organization focused on the advancement of knowledge and improved understanding of GIS, remote sensing, photogrammetry and supporting technologies on the PSU campus. The group also facilitates the partnerships between the industry and PSU students and enhances professional development of undergraduate and graduate students in geography and related disciplines.
What can I do with a Bachelor's degree or Minor in Geography?
The geography program gives students an appreciation and understanding of the human environment on global, regional, and local scales. It provides background and requisite training for careers in resource, planning, environmental, public affairs or education fields.
Geography majors find work in a wide variety of fields and positions:
- Urban Planner/Community Development
- GIS Specialist
- Transportation management
- Environmental Management
- Emergency Management
- Foreign Service
- Librarian/Information Scientist
- National Park Service Ranger
- Real Estate Appraisal
- GEOG 210 Physical Geography
- GEOG 380 Maps & Geographic Information
- GEOG 230 Environment & Society: Global Perspectives
- GEOG 346 World Population and Food Supply
- GEOG 322 Apline Environment
- GEOG 314 Severe Weather
- GEOG 348 Cultural and Political Ecology
- GEOG 445 Resource Management Topics
- GEOG 490 GIS Programming
Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).