Department of Geography
Much more than maps, the study of geography impacts business, the environment, and how we interact with the world around us.
Geography is a very old discipline, going back at least to the classical era. The Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina, however, is on the cutting edge of a new era for the discipline as it has become one of the leading centers for geographic information systems, satellite-based remote sensing, and other 21st-century technology.
One of the nation’s Top 10 geography programs, the Department of Geography also ranks among the best graduate programs nationally, according to the recent National Research Council (NRC) Report. It is the only program in South Carolina to offer Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in Geography.
Our 17 full-time faculty members offer a range of courses in four key programs: Environmental Science, Geographic Information Sciences, Nature and Society, and Human Geography. Students may also participate in interdisciplinary programs – such as International Studies, Southern Studies, and courses offered by the School of Earth, Ocean, and Environment – at the college and university.
The department has a growing reputation in the areas of physical and environmental geography as it helps students understand the environmental challenges facing the world in the decades ahead. Undergraduate courses are also offered in political and regional geography, including courses on South Carolina, North America, Latin America, Europe, and Africa, as well as systematic areas such as economic, urban, historical, and recreation geography. The undergraduate program offers a number of courses in computer cartography, geographic information systems, and air photo interpretation/remote sensing.
The graduate program offers areas of emphasis that include cartography and visualization; cultural-historical, economic, environmental, physical, political, and urban geography; geographic education; global positioning systems; geographic information systems, and remote sensing.
Congaree National Park, the largest remaining old-growth floodplain forest in North America, is less than a 30-minute drive from the Columbia campus and provides an extended laboratory for research on a variety of climate and climate-change issues.