The discipline of geography contributes to an understanding of society by exploring the earth’s environment and its interactions with human life, by inquiring into cultures and societies from the perspective of area study, and by investigating problems of spatial organization. The B.A. program in Geographical Studies offers a distinctive focus for general education and provides a background both for advanced specialization in the discipline and for study in other fields. Solid grounding in modern geography can lead to careers in government service, environmental consulting, marketing, publishing, planning, and teaching at all levels.
The minor program in Geographic Information Science provides a coherent exposure to rigorous spatial thinking and its expression through the theories and methods of geographic information science. The minor serves as a complement to other majors, such as computer science, statistics, economics, public policy studies, sociology, anthropology, political science, or environmental and urban studies, but would also be of value to majors in the humanities and physical sciences interested in the spatial aspects of their field.
Faculty research interests include cultural geography, historical geography, urban geography, biogeography, and geoarchaeology. Among notable courses are Roots of the Modern American City and Mapping the World: History of Cartography. The latter course incorporates the study of selected examples of original maps in Chicago-area collections, including the Regenstein Library Special Collections Research Center. After introductory work in human geography, environmental geography, and cartographic practices, students go on to advanced work in geography and related ﬁelds such as environmental biology, economics, public policy, and sociology.