Geography at JMU is a vibrant community of professors and students who join together to learn, solve problems, and make a difference in the world.

Our program offers a unique, holistic approach: the geographical perspective. Geography emphasizes the examination of why the world is as it is.

  • The environmental and human processes that shape our planet and our lives;
  • How humans interact with their environment; and,
  • How place matters to environmental, economic, and cultural issues.

JMU Geographers…

  • Work in the field focusing on real-world issues;
  • Build real-world expertise and experience working with schools, local farmers, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and governmental agencies.
  • Explore major cities like New York and London and fascinating countries like Malta, Kenya, and Thailand; and
  • Practice essential conservation skills in nearby forests and parks.

Geography is a bridge between the social sciences (human geography) and the natural sciences (physical geography). More than this, geography trains students in the latest geospatial technologies – geographic information systems (GIS), earth observation, and other cutting-edge tools – to analyze global change.

The primary challenges facing our world and humanity in the coming century can be examined and addressed very effectively by the geographical approach.

Students interested in applying spatial thinking to intelligence may be interested in the USGIF Certification.

Curriculum: Our curriculum offers a firm foundation in essential geographical knowledge, covering human geography, physical geography, geospatial techniques, statistics, and human/land relations. In addition to the core courses, complimentary concentrations encourage a deeper understanding of the discipline and the relevant skills to address critical problems faced by humanity.

Environmental Conservation: In our program, you'll have hands-on experience conducting field research using scientific techniques and geospatial technologies. Through this practical approach, you'll gain a comprehensive understanding of resource issues, landscape change, ecological pressure, and develop innovative solutions to address these complex issues.

Globalization and International Development:  As a Geography major, you'll explore the effects of globalization and have the opportunity to travel internationally to explore other lands and societies.

Climate Change: Critical environmental issues lie at the intersection of how humans and the environment interact. In our program, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of how the climate works, how humans are at risk from climate change, and how sustainable cities can reduce environmental impact.

National Security and Emergency Management: You'll gain an understanding about the geospatial technologies needed to obtain critical knowledge and intelligence on natural and security threats facing the United States. Through your coursework, you'll develop the skills needed to understand the human and environmental factors underlying these threats.

Internships and Studying Abroad: Practical experience and global awareness is invaluable. Because we have a long history of integrating internships and study abroad into our curriculum, students can receive credit for professional internships and international learning. 

Are you interested in applying spatial thinking to intelligence? Check out our USGIF Certification.

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