What is the Geography and Planning Major? Geography is the science of place and space. Geographers ask where things are located on the surface of the earth, why they are located where they are, how places differ from one another and how people interact with their environment. West Liberty University offers a major in geography and planning for social science majors as well as a minor for students majoring in a wide variety of other areas of study.
With an additional focus on planning, this major prepares students for jobs relating to land use and economic development, urban and regional planning, and positions in local government and organizations. The curriculum includes a required internship in which students apply concepts of geography and planning beyond the classroom. Such experiences frequently lead to employment opportunities.
General Description of the Program: The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences offers both a major and minor in geography and planning. The geography and planning major is designed to provide students with a strong background in the Liberal Arts as well as specialized skills and the theoretical foundation required for their effective application in a variety of careers and can be completed as either a BA or BS degree. Students who major in geography and planning gain a sophisticated perspective of the elements of both physical and human geography and the ways in which physical and cultural environments influence each other.
Distinctive Features of the Program: The two full-time geography professors at West Liberty University bring a broad and deep knowledge of all facets of the discipline. Both professors hold the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, one with a concentration on environmental and technological areas of the field, the other with a focus on the cultural landscape. Upper level courses typically have fewer than twenty students and offer the opportunity for personalized interaction with faculty. In addition, the University has a local chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the international geography honorary society, through which member students may network with other geographers, seek scholarships and attend annual social events that focus on geography.
What Types of Students Might Be Interested in Such a Program? Because geography is a discipline rooted in both the natural and social sciences, it appeals to students with many interests. A common interest among students is an intrinsic curiosity about the importance of space and place in cultural, economic and environmental situations. Students who do well in such a field learn to balance a broad global view with the specifics of more local concerns. In addition, training in geography and planning helps students hone critical thinking skills that will serve them well in whatever careers they choose to pursue.
Course Offerings: West Liberty University offers a wide range of courses in geography. From broad survey courses including Introduction to Geography and World Regional Geography to more specialized topics including Weather and Climate, Geographic Information Systems, Environmental Geography, Cultural Geography, Geographies of World Tourism and Geographies of Popular Culture, students in many majors may benefit from the perspective on location and place that geography provides. With the increasing need to understand cultural diversity and environmental impacts, geography offers many tools with which to understand the world and make informed, sensible decisions in the workplace.
- Academic 4-Year Plan(s)
- BS-Geography Planning 4 Year Plan
What Careers Exist in Geography? Individuals with training in geography and planning work in a variety of fields including education, business, industry, urban planning, historic preservation, and government. Recent geography and planning majors at West Liberty have gone on to earn masters degrees and doctorates in geography.
Geography and Planning graduates go on to careers in:
- Economic Geography
- Location Expert
- Market Researcher
- Traffic Manager/Route Manager
- Real Estate Agent/Broker/Appraiser
- Environmental Geography
- Environmental Manager
- Forestry Technician
- Park Ranger
- Hazardous Waste Planner
- Geographic Education
- College Professor
- Overseas Teacher
- Geographic Technology
- Cartographer/Computer Mapper
- Geographic Information System Specialist
- Remote-Sensing Analyst
- Human and Cultural
- Peace Corps Volunteer
- Community Developer
- Map Librarian
- Physical Geography
- Weather Forecaster
- Outdoor Guide
- Coastal Zone Manager
- Soil Conservationist/Agricultural Extension Agent
- Regional Geography
- Area Specialist (State Department, CIA)
- International Business Representative
- Travel Agent
- Urban and Regional Planning
- Urban and Community Planner
- Transportation Planner
- Health Services Planner
Geography & Planning Internship Placements
Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle
Marshall County Tourism
Ohio Valley Farmers Market
Ohio Valley Solid Waste Authority
Schrader Environmental Center at Oglebay Park
Wyoming Dinosaur Center