​​​​​​​​​​​​​Program Description

Columbus discovered the world wasn’t flat, but you’d like to analyze that sphere a bit more. If you’re a critical thinker who thrives on all things geography and loves to assess the news and trends in economic, political and cultural change, you’ll want a seat in CMU’s geography program. The global studies concentration will have you thinking on a macro scale about solutions to problems in developing countries … and poring over the micro complexities of regional politics and social and economic problems. If you’re an explorer, we’ve got adventure.​​

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

The federal government employs about half of all geographers. Many geographers do fieldwork, which may include travel to foreign countries or remote locations. Employment of geographers is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Increasing use of geographic technologies and data will drive the growth.

​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)

For More Information

Visit the Department of Geography website or contact:

Department of Geography
Dow Science Complex 296A
Email: franc1m@cmich.edu
Phone: 989-774-3323

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: Global Studies Concentration

Advisors: Brea, Liesch This concentration enhances students' global perspectives by building on the strengths of traditional and contemporary geographic research that emphasizes foreign regional studies, field experience, and geo-spatial analytical techniques.
Total: 39 semester hours
Core Courses
(12 hours)
GEO 105
Physical Geography
Environmental Geography
GEO 121
Cultures of the World
Introduction to Geographic Information Science
Required Courses I
(3 hours)
Select one of the following:
GEO 312
Geography of Contemporary Global Issues
GEO 346
Geography of the Developing World
Required Courses II
(6 hours)
Select two of the following:
GEO 315
Food and Agriculture
GEO 317
Economic Geography
GEO 320
Population Geography
GEO 325
Geography of Growth and Change
GEO 340
Urban Geography
GEO 345
Political Geography
Required Courses III
(6 hours)
Select two of the following:
GEO 350
United States and Canada
GEO 365
GEO 373
Latin America
GEO 385
China: Environment and People
Electives I
(6 hours)
Six hours of courses that develop analytical skills and techniques for geographic inquiry using either primary or secondary data. These courses must be selected with advisor. Suggested courses include:
GEO 303
Geographic Information Systems I
GEO 305
Remote Sensing of the Environment
PSC 280
Introduction to Empirical Methods of Political Research
SOC 200
Introduction to Social Research and Analysis
Electives II
(6 hours)
Six hours of 300-500 level geography or non-geography courses that advance the understanding of contemporary issues outside the U.S. from a global perspective. Specifically, these courses may be either foreign language courses or courses with a primary regional focus outside of the United States. These courses must be selected with advisor. It is strongly recommended that at least 3 hours come from GEO 511 or a similar field-oriented courses:
GEO 511
International Geographic Experience