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GVSU student studying a map.

Geography, B.A., B.S.

Geographers are leaders in exciting new research on all types of land use and the environment, including climate change, urban planning, and local and global environmental changes. The program offers students 21st-century skillsets for helping to solve complex environmental, economic, and social problems such as food and water security, sustainable and equitable economic growth and transportation, environmental justice, and climate change adaptations.

Visit the program website for more information.

Students are admitted directly into this program.
Teaching minor offered.

Program Overview

Majoring in geography provides students with the knowledge and technical skills to find long-term, place-based solutions that are socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable.

Both a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees are offered. In addition to the general geography degree, there are four distinctive areas of emphasis:

  • Climate change mitigation, adaptation and resiliency planning
  • City and regional planning
  • Environment and global development
  • Geospatial technology using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and satellite imagery

Why Study Geography at Grand Valley?

  • Coursework includes research and community engagement opportunities that provide hands-on, real-world experience and networking connections.
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and planning are in the top 10 hot jobs in the country.
  • Students acquire skills in research and analysis using the latest technology, leading to exciting, well-paid jobs both foreign and domestic, all while enhancing graduate school admissions.
  • Career preparation and skills for academia, business, government and non-profits.
  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023 median pay for a geographer with a bachelor's degree was $90,880 per year and $43.69 per hour.

Career Insights

This tool shows an overview of potential career opportunities for this major. Actual salaries, employment opportunities, and job titles may change over time.

Location & Format

Undergraduate students in this major study at the Grand Valley Allendale Campus.

  • Face To Face


  • Agroecosystems
  • Land-use and transportation planning
  • Globalization
  • Environmental planning
  • Climate change
  • Geospatial technology: GIS, cartography, remote sensing
  • Sustainability
  • Urban and regional planning

Combined Degree Programs

Many GVSU undergraduate programs can be combined with an existing master’s degree program to save on tuition and get you into the workforce sooner. On average, you can save $8,500 by pursuing a combined degree and take up to four fewer courses than if earning the degrees separately.

Talk with an advisor about how you can build your combined degree from existing programs to further personalize your education and create your own niche area of expertise.

Admission Requirements

Visit the Admissions website for undergraduate requirements.

For More Information

Department of Geography and Sustainable Planning
B-4-105 Mackinac Hall
(616) 331-3065
[email protected]

Admissions and Recruitment Office