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Bridging the natural and social sciences, Geography looks at questions related to the intersection of people and the planet. How can water resources be allocated more equitably and sustainably? How do Hollywood directors choose movie locations? Or, how do dams affect nearby forest health?

An incredibly diverse and flexible degree, the MSU Denver Geography program offers concentrations in Physical Geography and Sustainability The curriculum will allow you to explore classes in physical geography, human geography and geographic information systems among others, while learning from dedicated teacher-scholars in small classes.

Because MSU Denver stresses learning by doing, numerous MSU Denver Geography classes incorporate hands-on projects, fieldwork or travel study. Your required internship will give you the chance to acquire professional skills, applying your knowledge in a local setting, such as Denver’s Accelerate Climate Action. Plus you can also complete an undergraduate research project that you can present at MSU Denver's Undergraduate Research Conference.

So whether venturing to Utah, Alaska or Chile, or working to improve campus water usage, you will have the chance to not just study Geography, you will “do” Geography, too. This classic MSU Denver combination of academics plus relevant experiential work will lay the groundwork for a career in Geography, post-graduate studies and it will help you to help transform your world.

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

Participate in undergraduate research. Undergraduate research projects, carried out under the direction of geography faculty, allow you to delve more deeply into Geography topics and gain research skills. Recent research projects have included studies on sustainable planning and community development in Denver, the Colorado Water Plan, the cottonwood forest on the South Platte River and mapping the impacts of mining in Mongolia.

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

 four photos of a prairie, wind turbines, a world map, and a compass

Your program in Geography will prepare you for post-graduate study in a Geography-related area in addition to careers such as the following:

  • Accredited land consultant
  • Business development
  • Cartographer and photogrammetrist
  • Civil drafter
  • Community developer
  • Community resource specialist
  • Demographer
  • Digital cartographer
  • Emergency management specialist
  • Engineering services
  • Environmental affairs specialist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental economist
  • Foreign services officer
  • Geodesist
  • Geointelligence specialist
  • Geoscientists
  • Geospatial analyst 
  • Geospatial information scientist and technologist
  • GIS developer
  • Geospatial information scientist and technologist
  • Graphics editor
  • Hazards analyst
  • Hydrologist
  • International development specialist
  • Interpreter and translator
  • Journalist
  • Land manager
  • Lobbyist
  • Logistics analyst
  • Manager of sustainability
  • Market analyst
  • Market researcher
  • Natural resources manager
  • Photogrammetric compilation specialist 
  • Policy analyst/consultant
  • Policy researcher
  • Population, real estate, community association manager
  • Program manager
  • Public health officer
  • Radar and sonar technician
  • Real estate appraiser
  • Remote sensing analyst
  • Remote sensing scientist and technologist
  • Sensor specialist
  • Surveying and mapping technician
  • Surveyor
  • Sustainability analyst
  • Sustainability consultant
  • Sustainability coordinator
  • Transportation planner
  • Urban and regional planner


Antonio Bellisario_GeographyAntonio Bellisario

Professor Antonio Bellisario is an expert on the intersections of international development planning and environmental geography. For the last four years, he has been traveling to the Aconcagua river basin in central Chile to study water vulnerability and the changing climate and propose sustainable solutions to improve the region’s water resilience. He is also analyzing how the current multi-year drought could be used to plan for the effects of future climate change on water resources.


Jamie Harris_GeographyJamie Harris

Senior Lecturer Jamie Harris has published on a variety of subjects from the settlement patterns of the Anasazi and how Hollywood choses its movie locations (using the concept of landscape signatures) to the location of dental offices in Ciudad de Juarez. His industry experience includes locating offsite bank locations in the Greater Saint Paul, Minn. area, and working in marketing research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Lakeside Games and the Los Angeles Times.


Gabrielle Katz_GeographyGabrielle Katz

Assistant Professor Gabrielle Katz is a physical geographer, with research and teaching specialties in biogeography, hydrology, conservation and ecological restoration. Her research looks at how river hydrology affects floodplain ecosystems and how these relationships are influenced by water management, invasive species, and restoration actions.



Sara Jackson Shumate_GeographySara Jackson Shumate

Lecturer Sara Jackson Shumate is a human geographer with teaching and research interests in political geography, sustainability studies, cultural ecology and economic geography. Her research experience includes investigating the impacts of mining infrastructure development in Mongolia and she has done research on immigration, ethnic and religious politics in North America.



Learn more about MSU Denver Geography faculty.

Alumni at Work

Graduates of the MSU Denver Geography program have gone on to work for the Colorado state government (e.g., Colorado Parks and Wildlife), the United States Geologic Survey as well as for private firms.

MSU Denver Geography graduates have been accepted for post-graduate study at:

  • University of Colorado Denver
  • University of Denver

Sample Classes

Geography class trip

Choose from a wide array of Geography courses including those that will allow you to investigate geographic issues in Denver, Colorado and beyond.

  • Biogeography
  • Economic Geography
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Global Sustainable Development
  • Internship in Geography
  • Urban Geography
  • Urban Sustainability
  • Weather and Climate
  • World Regional Geography

Facilities and Resources

Take advantage of MSU Denver’s Geography-related facilities housed in the EAS Department, such as teaching labs, an integrated science lab, a dendroecology (tree ring) lab, prep room, x-ray lab, a meteorology computer lab and classroom, undergraduate research lab plus two Geographic Information Systems classrooms with ESRI and ENVI software. You may also obtain ArcGIS software for use while enrolled in GIS classes. Petra Geologic subsurface mapping software is also available through an educational grant.

More Info

Study Geography Abroad

MSU Denver’s Geography program offers a study abroad course that will introduce you to environmental problems and environmental policy in Chile. Learn about the ecological, political and social impacts that development and climate change are having on natural resources. Study best-planning practices that scientists, planners and community based-groups are devising to solve these problems. And acquire real-world field skills for the study of environmental and sustainability issues related to water resources.

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