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Department of Geography


Woman in canoe taking samples

Study

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 doctoral degrees in geography.

Our 20 full-time faculty members offer a range of courses in four key disciplinary areas: Physical Geography/Environmental Science, Geographic Information Science, Environment-Society Relationships, and Human Geography. Many of our courses tie in with interdisciplinary programs at USC, including Global Studies, Southern Studies and Environmental Studies, and our introductory courses fulfill a number of Carolina Core requirements.

Our aim is to equip students with the concepts, perspectives, and practical skills needed to understand and respond to complex social and environmental problems. Geography students learn to approach contemporary issues from multiple angles and to analyze the connections between human and natural processes that constantly shape our world.

We offer a full array of courses each semester in cultural, economic, urban and political geography; GIScience and remote sensing; natural hazards, environmental change and environmental resource management; and climatology, landforms and landscape ecology. We also offer regional courses on South Carolina, North America, Latin America and Europe. 

 

Undergraduate Studies

We offer both B.S. and B.A. degrees in geography. Both of these tracks teach much more than maps. The study of geography impacts business, the environment, and how we interact with the world around us.

 

Graduate Studies

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.

 

Research

Research is an important way to apply and reinforce what you're learning in the classroom. It also teaches critical thinking. We encourage all of our students, graduate and undergraduate, to take part in research activities. Geography is a very old discipline, going back to the classical era. The Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina, however, is on the cutting edge of research and has become a leading center for scholarship in a range of subfields.

 

Internships

A geography major or graduate degree can prepare you for careers in environmental management, education, disaster response and emergency planning, city and regional planning, international development, intelligence, and many other fields. Many of our students choose to learn explore a career with an internship. The USC Career Center is the central location at USC for assisting students with internship preparation and finding an internship.