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Geography and Environmental Studies (GEO, ESC, ENV)

For information, please contact the chairperson 989-774-3323, 296 B Dow Science Complex Science and Engineering;

Why Study Geography?

Geography (GEO/ENV) offers a systematic education that will help you cope with our rapidly changing world. With an emphasis on the interrelationships and interactions between humans and the environment, Geography provides a comprehensive and analytical approach to contemporary environmental, economic, and social issues. Geography students are equipped with cutting edge computational and information technology to understand patterns of human activities and earth processes to help make decisions on urban and regional planning, resource utilization and preservation, marketing strategies, mitigation of natural hazards, and homeland security.

Geography students possess highly marketable skills and find many career opportunities—Geospatial intelligence analyst, GIS analyst, urban planner, cartographer, resource manager, environmental consultant, climatologist, and educator.

Geography at CMU

CMU offers a prominent Geography program with an emphasis on geospatial technology and environmental studies. The Geography and Environmental Studies Department offers an Environmental Studies major, Geography major with a concentration in Geographic Information Sciences, a Geography major with a concentration in Environmental and Land Use Planning, and a GIS minor. The department also offers a major and minor in Geography. An 15-hour undergraduate certificate in Cartographic Design is also available.

Majors are required to take courses that cover the basic content, concepts, and techniques of the discipline. Elective hours should be selected in consultation with an advisor. Students should also consult with a departmental advisor early in their career at CMU. This may be done by contacting the department office or any of the advisors listed below.


Advising. Majors and minors should begin their program as early as possible because they may be advised to elect another major or minor in a related discipline. Majors should consult with their advisor each semester prior to registration.

Credit/No Credit. Courses taken on a Credit/No Credit basis may not be counted on departmental majors and minors.

Transfer credit. Survey or introductory courses are accepted for not more than three (3) hours per course for the department majors and minors.

Field trips. Expenses for field trips may be prorated among class members.

Student Teaching. Students seeking the Geography and Environmental Studies Department’s recommendation for student teaching must have: (1) a declared major/minor in geography or earth science, (2) a minimum grade point average of 2.7 in the major/minor courses, and (3) completed a Geography and Environmental Studies Department application form.

The Faculty

Brian Becker, Jorge A. Brea, Anthony Feig, Mark Francek, Marcello Graziano, Benjamin Heumann, Stacey Kerr, Bin Li (Chair), Michael J. Libbee, Matthew Liesch, David Patton, Yong Tian, Xiaoguang Wang, Tao Zheng

The Programs

Geography Major

Geography Major: Geographic Information Science (GISci) Concentration

Geography Major: Environmental and Land Use Planning Concentration

Geography Major: Geospatial Analysis of Environment Concentration

Environmental Studies Major

Geography Minor

Geographic Information Sciences (GISci) Minor

Undergraduate Certificate in Cartographic Design

Sustainability and Environmental Policy Minor (Interdisciplinary)

Undergraduate Certificate in Human Geography (Interdisciplinary)

Teaching (Interdisciplinary):

Earth Science Major (Secondary)

Earth Science Minor (Secondary)

Integrated Science Major (Elementary)

Integrated Science Minor (Elementary)

Integrated Science Major (Secondary)