Geography in USA

Geography Courses in the USA

Introduction to studying a geography degree in the USA

Geography is a subject that is relevant to almost every aspect of our lives, helping us to understand the natural environment around us and how human activity impacts it. A highly interdisciplinary domain that draws on knowledge from many other fields, such as geology, biology, sociology, and economics, a geography degree can also lead to career opportunities in environmental management, urban planning, international development, and more. 

The curriculum is designed to provide a well-rounded understanding of physical and human geography, with modules covering topics such as cartography, environmental geography, GIS (Geographic Information Systems), cultural geography, and urban planning. Students may also have the opportunity to engage in fieldwork and research projects, gaining practical skills and a deeper understanding of geographical principles.

The United States offers a rich tapestry of geographical features, from the Appalachian Mountains to the Grand Canyon, providing students with a unique environment for hands-on learning. Graduates of geography programs are well-equipped for various career paths, including urban planning, environmental consulting, and international development.

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Types of Degree

Bachelor's in Geography (B.A. or B.S.)

The Bachelor's Degree in Geography (B.A. or B.S.) is an undergraduate program offering students a basic understanding of the diverse facets of geography. In this program, students engage in coursework that explores the dynamic relationships between the environment and human societies, learning valuable analytical and problem-solving skills. Whether investigating the impact of climate change, studying urban development patterns, or mastering GIS technology, graduates of this program emerge with a versatile skill set ready for diverse career paths in environmental management. The B.A. or B.S. degree is a foundation for professional pursuits and further academic advancement.

Master's in Geography (M.A. or M.S.)

A Master's Degree in Geography (M.A. or M.S.) is a graduate program offering students an in-depth exploration of the diverse facets of geography. Specializations include cultural, economic, and physical geography, allowing individuals to tailor their studies to align with specific interests. Graduates with a Bachelor's Degree in Geography or related fields often pursue a master's degree to deepen their understanding and enhance their expertise. Throughout the program, students delve into advanced geographical concepts, methodologies, and contemporary issues, fostering a nuanced perspective on spatial relationships, human-environment interactions, and global challenges.

Doctoral Degree in Geography (PhD)

A Doctoral Degree in Geography (Ph.D.) is an advanced degree that empowers students to delve deeply into the complexities of geography, fostering a comprehensive understanding of the discipline. A PhD allows students to conduct original, groundbreaking research, contributing valuable insights to the academic community. Students pursuing a PhD in Geography gain advanced analytical and critical thinking skills, honing their ability to address complex spatial issues. It opens doors to academia, research institutions, and leadership roles, making it an ideal choice for those passionate about advancing geographic knowledge.


US universities provide various scholarships for international students pursuing geography degrees, which can help students with tuition and living expenses. Here are some USA scholarships for geography courses for international students:

Scholarship Offered by Awarded value
Education Future International Scholarship  Education Future $2,400.09 to $12,000.47
Higher Education Scholarship Test for Indian Students HEST 2024 Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, India  Up to $3,600.42 
American Association Of University Women International Fellowships in the US American Association Of University Women (AAUW) $25,000 to $50,000
Fulbright Grants by The United States Embassy in Uzbekistan The United States Embassy in Uzbekistan  J-1 visa support, Tuition and fees, Monthly stipend, and other benefits

Jobs and Careers

A geography degree equips students with a diverse skill set that opens doors to various career paths. During a geography degree, students hone a diverse skill set that transforms them into versatile professionals. From mastering spatial analysis, GIS proficiency, and critical thinking to developing vital research and data interpretation skills, geography students have the tools to navigate complex issues. The skills gained during a geography degree program are valuable in the public and private sectors. Here are some jobs and careers after earning a geography degree, along with the skills students typically enhance:

Some geography degree holders choose careers in market research and data analysis; their spatial analytical skills are highly sought after in industries that rely on location-based information, such as retail, real estate, and technology. Graduates can also pursue roles in academia, conducting research and teaching at universities or research institutions.


Geography-related careers offer varying salary ranges based on factors such as job role, level of education, experience, and geographic location. An Urban Planner typically earns around $75,950, utilizing expertise in city development and land use planning. A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst commands an average salary of $91,440, employing specialized mapping and data analysis skills. Meanwhile, a Geospatial Information Scientist and Technologist focusing on advanced technology and data visualization earn approximately $93,680. 

For those inclined toward academia, a Geography Professor at the postsecondary level garners an average of $80,790, sharing knowledge and conducting research in an academic environment.

Top Universities for Geography in the USA

To learn more about the best geography courses in the USA, find details on the top-ranking geography universities in the US News & World Report 2023 below:

  1. University of Chicago
  2. University of California, Los Angeles
  3. Dartmouth College
  4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  5. University of Southern California
  6. University of Texas at Austin
  7. University of California, Santa Barbara
  8. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  9. University of Wisconsin--Madison
  10. Rutgers University--New Brunswick


What types of geography courses are offered in the USA?

Geography courses in the USA cover topics like physical geography, human geography, GIS (Geographic Information Systems), cartography, urban geography, and environmental geography, providing a comprehensive understanding of spatial relationships on Earth.

Can I specialize in a specific area of geography?

Specialisation options in geography include urban planning, environmental sustainability, GIS technology, climatology, and cultural geography, allowing students to focus on specific areas of interest.

What career opportunities are available with a geography degree?

Career opportunities include roles in urban planning, environmental consulting, GIS analysis, cartography, international development, and market research. Graduates work in government agencies, private companies, nonprofits, and research institutions.

What institutions in the USA are known for their geography programs?

Institutions known for their geography programs in the USA include the University of California, Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Texas at Austin, and Dartmouth College, renowned for their strong geography departments and research contributions.

Study a Geography Course in the USA

If you want to begin a career in geography and study in USA, book a free consultation with SI-USA today.

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