A-Z Index


Why Major in Geography?

Geography is a holistic discipline that studies the relationship between humans, the unique cultures of construct and the environments in which they live. This major prepares students for a wide range of careers in varied areas of geography and culture. This major offers three different areas of focus:

Each emphasis allows students to specialize in one of these fields and tailor classes within that emphasis to fit their interest beyond the core courses within the program.

As a student majoring in geography at Northwest, you learn the importance and impacts of space, the uniqueness of places and regions, and how humans and environment interact.

The major focuses on culture and regional geography with a wide range of tropical and regional courses available. Students will develop physical geography expertise in areas like geomorphology, atmospheric processes and sustainability. The major also teaches skills in analyzing, planning and critical thinking to prepare you for success in your career.

Transfer Students

For transfer students completing a vocational or technical Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science degree from a regionally accredited community college, a Bachelor of Applied Science with an emphasis in Geography is available. The coursework for this program builds on workplace skills and practical career training provided by an associate degree.

Minor in Geography

A minor in geography teaches students the fundamentals of maps and map interpretation, economic geography, North American geography and the thoughts and methods of geography. After taking the required courses, students can customize their minor from a list of approved electives. For a list of required courses, visit the academic catalog. This minor requires the completion of 24 credit hours.

Stand Out From The Crowd

Northwest understands that geography is a diverse field. We offer students the opportunity to pair the Geography major with a complementary minor. These minors have been specially designed to enhance your studies.

  • Earth Science Education 
  • Emergency and Disaster Management 
  • Geographic Information Systems 
  • Geology 
  • History 

Career Ready. Day One.

Northwest ensures students are career ready, day one through internships, field experiences and networking opportunities. Read Aaron's story »

Aaron is Career ready. Day One.

Career Opportunities

placement rate

More than 95% of students who graduated with a degree in geography obtained employment or continued their education within six months after graduation.

The following is a listing of common positions for graduates with a geography major:

  • Cartography Technician
  • Geography Information Systems Analyst
  • Retail Analyst
  • Homeland Security
  • Mapping Technician
  • Urban Planning
  • Precision Agriculture
  • Graduate School in Geography

For a list of job placements by year, view the placement reports »

*Based on self-reported data in recent years.

Profession-Based Learning Experiences

Study Abroad

Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their own academic development. Faculty members provide short-term study programs that prepare students before, during and after the program. Two types of study abroad programs are available: faculty-led and traditional study abroad.

Each year, faculty-led study abroad is available to students who prefer to study abroad for two to four weeks with teaching Northwest faculty members. In prior years, students have traveled to England, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Egypt.

The traditional program may be a semester, summer or year-long program and is taught by Northwest’s international partner institutions.

For more information about study abroad opportunities »

Gamma Theta Upsilon is the National Honorary Geography society for geography majors. Membership is earned through superior scholarship. 

GeoClub provides academic and social activities in the fields of Earth science, geology and geography for active members.

For a full list of student organizations with in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences »

Research Opportunities

Faculty-led Research

An opportunity for undergraduate students to produce original research with the goal of publishing their work. This is available for students showing interest in furthering their education. In 2015, Northwest student, Brian Birchler presented his research, "Toponymic Landscapes of Nebraska" at the Association of American Geography (AAG) national conference in Chicago, Ill.

The Northwest Difference

The Northwest Difference

Founded in 1905, Northwest is a traditional campus with more than 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in the middle of everywhere, Maryville is two hours from Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Missouri and 2 ½ hours from Des Moines, Iowa.

Textbooks and Laptops Included

Save more than $7,200 over four years through our textbooks and laptop program.

Laptop Program Information
$22 Million money for you

Nearly $22 Million in scholarships and grants awarded annually.

Scholarship Information
Career Ready. Day One.

Students organizations, internships and profession-based learning experiences ensure students are Career Ready, Day One.

Read student stories
Graduation Rate: 90th percentile

Graduation Rate: 90th percentile of Northwest's national peer group.