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Best Geography Programs: List of Top Schools

Learn about three of the top schools in the country to offer geography degree programs. These programs combine social theory, economic study and political analysis with the study of global topography. Go over school programs, rankings and offerings.

School Overviews

The University of California - Berkeley and Dartmouth College both offer strong geography programs. Both schools have been nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and UC-Berkeley's geography program has additionally been singled out by the National Research Council. While Dartmouth College is an Ivy League school, only UC-Berkeley offers geography programs at the graduate level.

1. University of California - Berkeley

School Highlight: Undergraduate geography students who have a GPA of 3.5 in all department courses may apply for the geography honors program, in which they will receive a Bachelor's Degree 'with honors'.

The University of California - Berkeley was ranked the 20th best university in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in 2015. The geography program at Berkeley offers an undergraduate major and minor, as well as a doctorate degree. The National Research Council ranked the geography doctoral program among the top ten geography doctoral programs in the nation in 2010 (www.nap.edu). Coursework in the program features interdisciplinary study of the environment and economical and political analysis, as well as earth science, cartography and ecology.

2. Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire

School Highlight: Outstanding geography students are eligible for the senior honors thesis program, in which they will work with a faculty advisor to develop and pursue a senior research thesis project.

Dartmouth College, a private Ivy League liberal arts school, was ranked as the eleventh best university in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in 2015 and offers a minor and major degree program in geography. Advanced degrees are not offered in the subject; however, in the liberal arts master's degree program students may integrate the study of physical landscape, human identity studies and international development. Coursework includes study of climate change, conservation, urban geography and geopolitics, as well as the opportunity to write a geography thesis. Students are encouraged to modify and combine geography majors with environmental studies or economics.

Top Geography Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Georgia State University GSU's geoscience students have the opportunity to study abroad in Belize. Atlanta, GA
George Washington University Students can participate in research covering applied geospatial techniques, sustainable development & environmental change, and more. Washington, DC
Northwestern University Northwestern offers a chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the honor society for geography students. Evanston, IL
University of Florida Specialty areas include medical geography, physical geography and economic geography. Gainesville, FL
University of Maryland - College Park The university's geography department was ranked #3 out of 49 in the country by the National Research Council in 2010. College Park, MD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill The school offers joint degree programs in geography with universities such as the National University of Singapore and Kings College University of London. Chapel Hill, NC
University of Southern California USC ranked #25 on U.S. News & World Report's 2015 list of nation universities. Los Angeles, CA
University of Texas at Austin UT-Austin tied for eighth place on U.S. News & World Report's 2014 list of the best graduate schools to offer earth science programs. Austin, TX

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