Be engaged

A campus near a lake
Geography 196
Geography 196: Field Trip Spring 2017 Ecuador
Geography 196 Spring 2017 Field Trip to Ecuador
Engaging classroom lectures
students smiling
Kayaking on Lake Champlain
Geography student landscape
Geography Student

The Department of Geography celebrated fifty years of teaching and research at UVM in 2016-2017. For five decades the department has developed a scholarly profile in the College of Arts and Sciences and the University, highlighting spatialized thinking about social and natural environments, from local to global scales of analysis. In keeping with international trends in the field of academic Geography, we also offer a curriculum focusing on geospatial technology skills (webpage) (computer aided cartography, global positioning systems, geographic information systems, and remote sensing techniques) and on the application of qualitative research methods (archival analysis, participant observation, structured and semi-structured interviews, digital visualization) to the study of communities and society.

How does a degree in Geography prepare graduates for the world?

The study of geography at the university level equips students with many of the same analytical
and conceptual skills as other liberal arts disciplines, but our emphasis on understanding the spatial dimensions of both physical and human phenomena is unique. Further, the study of Geography trains students to appreciate the importance of a broad, international, interdisciplinary and comparative perspective. A Geography major provides students with technical skills, a focus on environment and society, and local-regional-global interpretive capacity that is increasingly important for an informed citizenry. A Geography minor provides students with a foundation in human and/or physical geography, geographic techniques, regional studies and important subdisciplinary fields such as urban/rural studies, climate studies, and political ecology. Our graduates go on to graduate programs in Geography or cognate fields at some of the best programs in the country and develop careers in academia, education, law, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, consulting, and the field of international development. Upon completion of the BA degree, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate familiarity with the breadth of the discipline of Geography and deeper comprehension of at least one subfield
2. Identify and articulate the connections between theoretical concepts and empirical data
3. Demonstrate basic competence in the research methods of Geography, as well as the ability to produce and assess representations of geographical data
4. Conduct clear and rigorous communication through written and oral means
5. Critically engage with and contribute to the production of knowledge through the review of existing scholarship and the conduct of original research using Geographic skills

How are courses in Geography structured?

Geography courses are taught at the introductory (00-), intermediate (100-), and advanced (200-) level.  Introductory courses are offered either as lectures or as first-year seminars, giving students an opportunity to learn about the breadth of the discipline and some of the problems and challenges Geographers take on.  Intermediate courses dive into the subfields, building strength in writing and analysis.  Advanced courses are offered in small seminar format, with high-levels of discussion, a research or project experience (often with community partners) and opportunities to get out “into the field.”  Explore the learning outcomes (PDF) addressed at each level of our curriculum.  

The Geography Department recently changed its major requirements. Students entering in AY 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 follow the major requirements posted here.  Students entering in AY 2019-20 and later follow the major requirements posted here.  The Department is implementing some flexibility with the “methods” course requirement as we transition into the new major requirements.  Students should speak with their advisor or the department chair about options for satisfying the “methods” requirement.

Beyond the classroom

Internships

Whether taken for credit or paid, internships provide a unique opportunity to gain career experience and make connections before you graduate. Meet some Geography students who got a leg up on the career competition  while still at UVM.

Independent Research

With approval and guidance from a Geography faculty member, select students can choose to embark on independent research projects for credit, including a Senior Thesis. Reach out to your faculty advisor or email Department Chair Dr. Beverley Wemple for more information.

Learn more about Geography students who made the most out of their time at UVM by conducting independent research.

Study Abroad

Pursue your academic interests in an international setting and gain new insight into your field like never before. Many Geography students study abroad while at UVM, whether on a semester-long external program or a UVM-sponsored Winter or Spring Break Travel Course for credit.

UVM Spring Travel Course in Ecuador: Reading Grass Paramo

UVM Winter Travel Course in Ecuador: The Battle Over Oil and Biodiversity in Yasuni

Careers

  • Cartographer
  • Climatologist
  • Emergency Management
  • Geographical information systems officer
  • Hydrologist
  • Lawyer
  • Professor, higher education
  • Remote sensing analyst
  • Surveyer
  • Teacher
  • Urban/town planner
  • Public policy

Where alumni work

  • Associates in Rural Development
  • Burlington Housing Authority
  • Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • National Geospatial Intelligence Agency
  • National Geographic Society
  • National Imagery and Mapping Agency
  • National Weather Service
  • Senate Internship Program
  • The State of Vermont
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Vermont Public Radio

Graduate Schools

  • Cambridge University
  • Miami University
  • New Mexico
  • Utah University
  • University of Maine
  • Yale University