Geography: Environmental and Land Use Planning

​​​​​​​​​​​Program Description

Environmental and land use planners and geographers specialize in developing plans and programs for the use of land. Their input and expert geographic assessments help create strong, healthy communities, accommodate population growth, and revitalize physical facilities in towns, cities, counties and metropolitan areas.

Points of Pride

  • With a 6-foot-long unmanned helicopter equipped with a high-resolution digital camera, CMU geography experts are leading the way in research imaging of Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
  • Through CMU's Center for Geographic Information Science, you’ll gain hands-on experience using the latest GIS hardware and software to provide geospatial research tools for solving academic, governmental and industrial problems.
  • The geography department offers small classes, field trips and opportunities to work in close collaboration with faculty on research projects. You’ll also gain professional development, resources and contacts through student organizations such as the Geography Club.

Put Your Degree to Work

Employment of environmental and land use planners is projected to grow 10 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Population growth, economic conditions and environmental concerns will drive the growth in cities, suburbs and other areas.

​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data

JobMedian PayJob Growth through ​2022​
Geographer$74,760 per year29% (500 more jobs)
Surveyor/mapping technician$39,670 per year14% (7,300 more jobs)
Urban/regional planner$65,230 per year10% (4,000 more jobs)

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.

(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)

Geography Major: Environmental & Land Use Planning Concentration

Advisors: Brea, Patton, Wang This concentration will prepare one for an entry level position in the fields of land use, environmental, or regional planning. Graduates may wish to enhance their qualifications upon completion of the concentration with graduate study in these areas.
Total: 36 semester hours
Required Courses I
(12 hours)
Core Courses
GEO 105
Physical Geography
3
GEO 120QR
Environmental Geography
3
GEO 121
Cultures of the World
3
GEO 203QR
Introduction to Geographic Information Science
3
Required Courses I
(15 hours)
GEO 303
Geographic Information Systems I
3
GEO 330
Resource Perception and Utilization
3
GEO 340
Urban Geography
3
GEO 530
Land Use Planning
3
GEO 531
Integrated Land Use Planning
3
Electives
(9 hours)
At least one physical course (i.e. ESC or BIO) and a course in statistics is strongly recommended:
Electives I
(3-9 hours)
BLR 521
Environmental Law and Policy
3
GEO 305
Remote Sensing of the Environment
3
GEO 317
Economic Geography
3
GEO 320
Population Geography
3
GEO 500
Advanced Cartography
3
GEO 503
Advanced Geographic Information Systems
3
GEO 508
Digital Remote Sensing
3
GEO 512
Quantitative Methods for Spatial Analysis
3
PSC 261
State and Local Government
3
Electives II
(0-3 hours)
You may select only one of the following:
GEO 210
Landforms
3
GEO 310
Surface Hydrology
3
GEO 334/BIO 334
Soil Science
3
Electives III
(0-3 hours)
You may select only one of the following:
STA 282QR
Introduction to Statistics
3
STA 382QR
Elementary Statistical Analysis
3
 

 Grads on Fire

Jay Anderson, ’06, is a transportation planner and GIS technician in Bay County.

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