Geography and Planning

Why Geography? Why Planning?

I came to Geography after living through four years of the Sahel Drought in west Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. My previous education (Humanities) had given me no tools to understand the impact of the environment on the villagers I lived with. I switched to Geography for the Ph.D. and did my research on the impacts of drought on people, collecting data in the same villages I had worked in Mali as a PCV.
- Dr. Roy Cole


Geography is about understanding people and the environment, space, place, and patterns--and understanding processes over space and time. It is the most international area of study and the original "global study." Geographers study where phenomena are located, how they got there, where they are going in the future, and why.

The Geography major at GVSU is very research-oriented and provides the student with the hard skills and content knowledge necessary to get a well-paying and rewarding job with the B.S. degree. Our majors are very competitive for admission to graduate school and have a competitive edge for paid graduate research assistantships.

Urban Planning combines skills and content from geography and other physical and social sciences to develop policies and land use designs that help communities manage the built and natural environment.

Our planning courses explore "best practices" around the world in transportation infrastructure, main street revitalization, watershed protection, fair housing opportunities and more.

We welcome you to our program and invite you to come and visit

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Page last modified March 11, 2014