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Geography (BA)

About

Geography is a multidisciplinary field as complex and interconnected as the world it studies. Geographers study people, places, the environment and history. Analyzing the world, they try to understand the events that led to present conditions and use that knowledge to shape the world and the future. If you like being outdoors, traveling and using technology to learn about the world and the environment, then the SVSU Geography program is for you. Combining scientific knowledge, critical thinking and the most advanced technology, students will translate classroom learning and applied research into professional practice. Students benefit from small class sizes and the valuable guidance of seven full-time faculty to help them achieve their educational and career goals. They can also take advantage of opportunities to travel and study abroad as well as present their work at conferences or gain valuable experience as an intern with a variety of government agencies and businesses. This diversified major prepares SVSU Geography graduates for successful careers in the multitude of fields and locations open to them.

Cardinal Points

  • SVSU’s Geography program features training and experience with Geographic Information Systems, which encompasses work in land-use planning, educational administration and law enforcement in national, state and community governments.

  • Students have access to high-end drones and other technology for projects and research purposes.

  • The Geographic Information Systems Certificate is available to complement a student’s primary field of study or strengthen the resume of working professionals.

  • Gain experience in community-engaged research encompassing water security, public health, public safety, cultural resources management and environmental conservation.

  • Abundant opportunities for students to study abroad and present their research at conferences.

In SVSU’s Geography program, students will study human geography (social sciences) and physical geography (earth sciences)—including Earth’s varied climates, environments and landforms. Students will develop specific skills like reading and interpreting maps and satellite images, and learn to evaluate global events from a geographical perspective. They will examine contemporary environmental issues addressing human impacts on air, water, land, soil, vegetation, animal species and natural resources. Topics include global climate change, energy types and use, water resources, air pollution, land cover change, landscape identity, hazardous waste, agriculture and food production, human population and sustainability. Additionally, students will discover how to translate classroom learning and applied research into professional practice with valuable hands-on training in Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)—skills expected of entry-level employees in planning, mapping and natural resource agencies—setting SVSU students apart when entering their career. 

Highlighted Courses

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Key Electives

Click here to see a listing of programs

Programs

Majors

Other

Complementary Minors/Majors

Our Students After Graduation...

Employers

U.S. Department of Defense
EROS Data Center
State of Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget
Hubbell, Roth and Clark, Inc.
Saginaw County
City of Saginaw
Bay County
Wade Trim
IHS Marketing
Duo Security

Graduate Programs

Saginaw Valley State University
Eastern Michigan University
Western Michigan University
Chicago State University
Indiana University
University of Michigan
University of Cincinnati

Career Opportunities

GIS Systems Developer
Targeting Analyst
Geo-Spatial Designer
Engineering Specialist
Economic Analyst
Transportation Specialist
Location Analyst
Regional Planning
Environmental Consulting
Computer Mapping
Park Service Ranger

  • 7% projected growth for employment of geographers with a Bachelor’s degree through 2026. (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • $80,300 is the median yearly pay for geographers in the U.S. (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • With a bachelor’s degree from SVSU’s Geography program, career doors are open to a multitude of fields including planning, mapping, and natural resource agencies. Graduates often go on to careers in education, criminal justice, law enforcement, municipal and government planning, conservation and many others. Many students continue their education in graduate schools nationwide. 

Cardinal Successes

These stories offer insight into how students have turned their SVSU education into successful opportunities yielding real-world success.

Erik Breidinger Wins First Place

Read more…

Fully integrated into social networks, SVSU Connect is a valuable networking space dedicated to the community of SVSU students, faculty and alumni which cultivates a culture of helping and giving back. In addition to connecting with each other, students at all points along their journey can reach out to alumni mentors for guidance and insight into making the most of their SVSU experience and successfully transitioning into life after graduation.