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Department of Geography


The Department of Geography offers the opportunity for advanced study and research in a variety of fields within the discipline. The department awards the M.A., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Graduate students may take specialized courses and seminars in environmental change, urban and political geography, spatial data analysis, remote sensing and environmental science. Graduate students also learn disciplinary history and receive training in geographic research methods and research design.

Graduate Resources

Graduate students enjoy access to a variety of departmental resources and facilities, including computer labs, the Beach and Dune Processes lab and the Climate Research Lab. The department is licensed to run ESRI software, and it owns a wide array of equipment used for environmental-science, GIScience and remote-sensing research. Graduate students also have access to USC’s world-class Thomas Cooper Library, including its extensive e-journal, aerial photography and map collections. Specialized programs in the Center for Teaching Excellence give valuable training to students in instructional techniques. The Geography Graduate Student Association provides a forum for graduate students and organizes numerous service activities in the department, the university and the community at large. 



The department has a strong record of success in placing graduates in private-sector, public-sector and academic careers. Recent graduates from the doctoral program can be found in academic positions at the University of Iowa, Penn State, George Mason University and the University of Western Florida. Former graduate students have secured employment in large private-sector consultancies and data-analysis firms, non-governmental and environmental organizations, emergency- and resource-management agencies and in the secondary education field.