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College of Arts and Sciences


Geography is the science that studies the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of the Earth.  The first person to use the word “geography” was Eratosthenes (276-194 B.C.).

 As a discipline, geography can be split broadly into three subsidiary fields:  human geography (how humans create, view, manage, and influence space); physical geography (the natural environment, and how organisms, climate, soil, water, and landforms produce and interact; and environmental geography, which combines physical and human geography, and looks at the interaction between humans and the environment.

The Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina is on the cutting edge of a new era for the discipline, and has become a leading center for geographic information systems (GIS), satellite-based remote sensing, and other 21st-century technology.  The Department is one of the nation’s Top 10 geography programs, and also ranks among the best graduate programs nationally.  It is the only program in South Carolina to offer a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degree in Geography.

The Department of Geography offers a range of courses in four key programs:  Environmental Science, Geographic Information Systems, Nature and Society, and Human Geography.  The Department has a growing reputation in the areas of physical and environmental geography.  Undergraduate courses are also offered in political and regional geography, as well as systematic areas such as economic, urban, historical, and recreational geography.  In addition, classes are offered in computer cartography and air photo interpretation/remote sensing.

While there aren’t many job titles that are “geographer,” there are many types of positions that fit well with a degree in geography, including urban planner, cartographer,  GIS specialist, climatologist, transportation manager, environmental manager, science/travel writer, National Park Service ranger, real estate appraiser, librarian, teacher, Foreign Service officer.  There are also a variety of positions within the federal government and state agencies.

For further information, contact:

Dr. John Kupfer, Director of Undergraduate Studies, 803-777-6739,

Visit our department's page.