Best Geography Programs: List of Top Schools

Jul 26, 2018

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.

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School Overviews

Students looking for some of the best geography programs in the country may find them at the University of California - Berkeley, Dartmouth College, and Georgia State University. Programs are commonly found at the undergraduate level, but graduate programs also exist. The University of California - Berkeley, Georgia State University, and Dartmouth College all offer strong geography programs. These schools have been national ranked by U.S. News and World Report and UC Berkley's geography program has additionally been singled out by the National Research Council. While Dartmouth College is an Ivy League school, only UC-Berkeley and Georgia State University offer geography programs at the graduate level.

University of California

University of California - Berkeley: 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 2017. 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. Coursework in the program features interdisciplinary study of the environment and economical and political analysis, as well as earth science, cartography, and ecology.

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire: 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 2017 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.

Georgia State University

Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia: GSU's geoscience students have the opportunity to study abroad in Belize. GSU was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the country's fourth most innovative school in 2016. Students may complete a bachelor of arts or science or a master of science degree in geosciences, with a concentration in geography. Graduate students may choose a thesis or non-thesis option, as well as one of three areas of specialization. Assistantships are available for graduate students.

Top Geography Programs

Other top geography programs include the following:

School Name Distinction Location
George Washington University Students can participate in research covering applied geospatial techniques, sustainable development & environmental change Washington, DC
Northwestern University Offers a chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the honor society for geography students Evanston, IL
University of Florida Has specialty areas that include medical geography, physical geography, and economic geography. Gainesville, FL
University of Maryland The 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 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 Ranked #23 on U.S. News & World Report's 2017 list of nation universities. Los Angeles, CA
University of Texas 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

The many options students may consider when choosing a geography program include areas of specialization, dual degree options, and study abroad opportunities.

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