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Learn about the spatial organization of social life, environment and society, and the natural environment, with a focus on critical theory, practical application, and engaged analysis.

The geography curriculum spans the social and natural sciences and includes GIS, remote sensing, and other technologies for analyzing spatial processes.

The degree program is structured to allow geography students to combine majors and minors in other fields, preparing graduates for careers in environmental analysis and resource management; urban and regional development; international relations; conflict resolution; public service and more.

About Maxwell

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs is Syracuse University’s home for innovative, interdisciplinary teaching and research in the social sciences, public policy, public administration and international relations. It includes America’s #1 ranked graduate program in public affairs, offering highly regarded professional degrees alongside advanced scholarly degrees in the social sciences, and it is home to undergraduate programs across the full spectrum of social sciences. 


Core coursework focuses on the environmental, human, and physical dynamics of the world around us. Sample courses include:

  • World Cultures
  • The Geography of Climate and Weather
  • Geographies of Environmental Justice
  • Gender in a Globalizing World
  • Political Geography
  • Environmental GIS

View official major requirements.

Practical Experience

Take part in real-world learning opportunities that will enhance your experience.

  • Get hands-on experience as an intern at leading environmental and urban planning firms and in our Community Geography program.
  • Organize geography-related events such as films and outings as a member of the Geography Club.
  • Conduct your own research with Geography faculty or through an undergraduate thesis.
  • Supplement your learning and networking experiences as a Renée Crown University Honors student.

Study Abroad

Consistently ranked among the top international education providers in the U.S., Syracuse Abroad is a storied part of the Syracuse experience. With over 100 programs in 60 countries, nearly half of all students go abroad during their four years. 

Geography majors most often go abroad to Syracuse University centers in Florence, London, and Santiago, and to our World Partner programs CEDEI Semester in the Andes (Cuenca, Ecuador), Fordham in Pretoria, Pitt in the Himalayas, and SIT South Africa: Multiculturalism and Human Rights. Summer programs of interest may include Global Cities and Transnational Identities (Mexico City).

Life After Syracuse University

With a degree in geography you can explore careers such as:

  • Environmental consulting or advocacy
  • Policy consultant
  • GIS specialist or surveyor
  • Urban and regional planners
  • Community organizer

Or, earn a graduate level degree in the areas of economics, anthropology, and sociology, among others.