Geography is a practical discipline which studies the distribution and movement of people, things and ideas across the complex surface of Earth. It offers great intellectual breadth by way of integrating knowledge from many disciplines in the social and natural sciences. At the same time it focuses sharply on the spatial dimension, leaving geographers best suited to answer complex questions such as why things are where they are, where they are likely to be in the future, and where they might best be located. These skills are applied at any scale to any issue where space and location play a role. For example, one might determine where to best locate a business or how to predict or manage trade. One might study neighborhood dynamics in a chang­ing economy, or plan for urban growth and change. One might study natural hazards, resource use and distribution, or climate change; or perhaps migration, suburbanization, tourism. When location is relevant, geography plays a pivotal role.

Program Objectives

Students are expected to:

  • apply both a systematic approach and a regional approach to interpret, analyze and organize geographic information at global, regional, and local scales
  • show an understanding of physical geographic systems such as weather, climate, landforms, soils, natural vegetation, and hydrology
  • demonstrate knowledge about how humans shape landscapes, with particular attention to urban, economic and other cultural patterns
  • interpret maps, data and images; to collect geographic data from multiple sources; to make effective maps and to conduct analysis using Geographic Information Systems
  • demonstrate critical thinking skills to interpret, evaluate and predict spatial patterns or phenomena, and to propose solutions to geographic problems at various scales of analysis
  • demonstrate effective skills working individually and within a group for research as well as for oral, written, and graphic presentations

Academic Catalog Information

Take a closer look at the bachelor's degree in Geography and the courses offered toward the degree.

Geography, B.A.

Department and Contact Information

If you are interested in the program or have questions please contact Geography and Environmental Studies

Geography and Environmental Studies Department Homepage

About Northeastern

Northeastern Illinois University is home to students from all corners of the world and is one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the nation. Our small class sizes, flexible schedules and dedicated faculty can help you succeed in your studies.

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