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Geography, Ph.D.

College of Arts and Sciences

Explore human interaction with the built and natural environment and be at the forefront in developing solutions for the world's most pressing issues through our geography program.

As a doctoral student, you will plan and execute an original research project and learn skills and techniques that are applicable to both academic and non-academic careers. Our faculty also provides a wide array of professional development, including overseas research, academic writing, grant writing and more.

Program Highlights

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    Classes and Faculty

    Form close relationships in our smaller classes and be mentored by an approachable, award-winning faculty.

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    Diverse Courses

    Take courses in physical science, social science and technology, all taught by faculty with diverse expertise.

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    International Expertise

    Immerse yourself in international cultures covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Central Asia.

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    Push For Progress

    Create strong connections with urban and environmental policy makers and stakeholders across South Carolina and beyond.

What You’ll Study

Our graduate program offers advanced seminars in a variety of subfields, including urban geography, political geography, environmental geography, geographic information systems and remote sensing. The department also connects you to active research centers on topics such as geographic education, hazards vulnerability, geographic data, climate and more.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Multicultural Awareness

    Understanding cultural variation and adapting behaviors and communication styles accordingly

    Data Analysis

    Examining and interpreting information to uncover insights and inform decision making

    Presentation Skills

    Preparing and delivering effective and engaging presentations to inform, persuade or inspire

  • Writing

    Creating professional written content for inclusion in scholarly journal articles, books and reports


    Gathering and analyzing information to increase knowledge or solve problems

    Critical Thinking

    Analyzing and evaluating information to make informed decisions or judgments

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Learn how alumni use degrees with outcome data from Gamecock GradStats, a service of the University of South Carolina Career Center.

Potential Careers

  • Government Researcher
  • Disaster Manager/Planner
  • Climate Scientist
  • GIS Analyst
  • Conservation Director
  • University/College Faculty

Job Titles of Alumni

  • Cartographer
  • Professor
  • Research Assistant
  • Senior Geospatial Scientist
  • Senior Analytics Data Scientist

Average Alumni Salary

Five to 10 years after graduation without additional education $93,988

Workplace Settings

  • Research
  • Education
  • Government
  • Industry

Employers of Alumni

  • University of South Carolina
  • National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
  • University of Iowa
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte

My experiences in the Geography department conducting research with community members and leading research projects were essential to my current work and career.

Eleanor Pierel
Portrait of Eleanor Pierel