Geography Major with GIS Certificate/Minor
The tradition of a liberal arts degree combined with cutting edge technology.
Geography is an attempt to both understand & meet the world. – Alistair Bonnet
From the Greek word meaning “earth writing,” geography is the study 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 the environment. With roots in the ancient world, geography is an integrative discipline that straddles the science-social science-humanities divide and is centrally concerned with the nature and significance of the places, patterns, and landscapes that make up the earth’s surface.
Long before I knew my own strengths, my professors took a vested interest in my passions and challenged me to go beyond the textbook. They taught me that being a geographer was more than being a walking atlas, but being able to recognize the complexities of the world around us, and to always be curious. -- Meghan McCollum (2012), Executive Director of Blank Space Birmingham
Is This Program for Me?
What does a geography student look like? He/She may:
- have a broad range of interests
- be curious about places, travel, and/or global patterns
- enjoy being outside; be concerned about environment
- appreciate spatial learning, spatial thinking
- love maps and visual representations of information
- be curious about a wide range of subjects, but not sure how to tie it all together into one degree.
What Makes Us Different?
Most people who are ultimately attracted to the discipline of geography are motivated by much larger aspirations than good salaries. The opportunity to make a difference in the world, in whatever expression that takes, is one of the most frequently cited reasons why current geography students, researchers, and practitioners explain their career choice.
Geography is the perfect major for the student who is interested in a wide variety of subjects. Since graduating, I’ve learned that my geography skills are valued in the corporate world. Samford’s geography department has shaped my view of this place we call Home and I would not be the same without it!--Kyle Duncan (2015), GIS Analyst, Capital Growth Buchalter Inc
Geography students are advised throughout their Samford career about possible job opportunities. Internships, undergraduate research projects, and job shadowing are just a few of the ways we prepare students to get jobs.
Real Estate Analysis
Geographic Information Systems
Cultural & Historical Preservation
Teaching & Research
Accolades and Alumni
Awards and Recognition
Eric Fournier: Alabama Professor of the Year, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2014
Eric Fournier: Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching, Howard College of Arts and Sciences, 2013
Jennifer Rahn: Higher Education Distinguished Teaching Award from the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE), 2014
Our students get jobs. What have our recent graduates been able to do with their geography degree?
- Marketing and site location jobs with national food and retail corporations
- GIS analyst for local, national and international corporations
- Freelance travel and culture writer, who maintains her own blog about food & culture
- Environmental education director at McDowell Environmental Center
- Regional sales representative for Garmin (GPS technologies)
- Graduate assistantship to Ohio University
- $45,000 international fellowship to study at Queen Mary College, London
- Education Coordinator at Hands On Regional Museum, Johnson City, TN
- Community development project manager, non-profit in Jackson, MS