What Can I Do With a Major In Geography?

marlena_yang_wcidwami_150x200
Connect with:
Marlena Yang

Career Counselor
yang1358@umn.edu
marlenay.appointments.umn.edu
612-624-7577

Major Information

Geography majors go on to successful careers in academics, business, science, research, publishing, and much more.

You can graduate with a B.A. or a B.S. in Geography. B.S. students take either the Geographic Information Science (GIS) or Environmental Systems track, which emphasize math or computer science. B.A. students choose one of these interest areas: Environmental Systems, Geographic Information Science/Systems, Globalization & Uneven Development, Urban Worlds, or Environment & Society. For more information, contact the Department of Geography.

All liberal arts degrees help CLA students develop their Core Career Competencies, and geography majors develop specific skills that are applicable to lots of different careers. These skills include:

  • Critical thinking and evaluation skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong research skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Ability to gather, assess and interpret data
  • Ability to apply rhetorical theory to professional practice
  • An understanding of the composition of the Earth and the processes that operate on it                                        

Interest Code: IRS

Internship & Job Search Websites

Student Groups

  • UMN Geological Society

Professional Organizations

Career Options

Below is a small sampling of what alumni with this major have pursued, organized by the most common career fields they go into (although, keep in mind that there are geography alumni in all eight of the career fields).  For more career information for geography majors, utilize these additional resources:

  • What Can I Do With This Major - Find information about common career paths, employers, and strategies for how to build experience in different career fields
  • LinkedIn's Alumni Tool - Explore thousands of alumni career pathways
  • GoldPASS - Explore different job, internship, and volunteer opportunities as well as career events on campus

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Government, Law, Public Policy, & International Affairs

Internships

  • Intern, National Geographic Society
  • Community Development Intern, City of West Saint Paul
  • GIS Intern, State of Minnesota
  • Community Development Intern, City of Hugo
  • Housing Policy Research & Analysis Intern, City of Minnesota
  • Housing Policy Research & Analysis Intern, City of Minnesota
  • Tnasportation Planning Intern (Urban Scholars), Metropolitan Council
  • GIS Intern, Hennepin County Survey Department
  • Hennepin County Assessor's Office Intern, Hennepin County
  • Information Technology Intern, Hennepin County Resident & Real Estate Services
  • GIS Asset Management Intern, MNDOT
  • GIS Transit Oriented Development Intern, Metropolitan Council
  • GIS Planning & Economic Development Intern, City of Saint Paul
  • Rail Transportation Intern, Metro Transit
  • Intern, Union Park District Council of St. Paul

Entry-Level

  • City Planner, City of Big Lake
  • Regulatory Assistant, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District
  • Hydrology Intern, Bureau of Land Management
  • Senior Research Analyst, GIS, Minnesota Department of Transportation
  • Project & Administrative Assistant, Environmental Initiative

Experienced

  • Presidential Management Fellow, US Department of Transportation
  • Policy Analyst, US Department of Transportation*
  • Transportation & Built Environment Director, Fresh Energy
  • Comprehensive Planner, Ventura Village, Inc.
  • Principal Planner, Oregon Department of Transportation
  • Planner, Community Growth Institute
  • Community Development Director, City of Arden Hills
  • Vice President of Housing Development, Aeon
  • Senior City Planner, City of Minneapolis
  • Urban & Environmental Planner, URS Corporation
  • Senior Urban & Transportation Planner, AECOM
  • Project Manager, Great Lakes Commission

Graduate Programs

  • MURP, University of Minnesota
  • MA, Urban Planning & Design, UC Denver
  • MA Urban Planning, UCLA
  • MGIS, University of Minnesota
  • MS, Geospatial Intelligence Analytics
  • MS, Science, Technology and Environmental Policy
  • MS, Natural Resources Sciences & Management
Nonprofit, Human Services, & Social Justice

Internships

  • Events & Marketing Intern, Ronald McDonald House Charities
  • Program Outreach Intern, Highland Friendship Club
  • SNAP Family Resource Intern, Second Harvest Heartland
  • Recruitment & Training Intern, Environment America
  • Intern, American Relief Agency for the Horn of Africa
  • Research Assistant, Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership

Entry-Level

  • Program Director, Highland Friendship Club
  • Three Rivers Park District Crew Member, Conservation Corps
  • Afroforestry Extension Agent, Peace Corps
  • Research Assistant, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

Experienced

  • Executive Director, Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition
  • Sustainability Consultant, Self-Employed
Technology, Data & Analytics

Entry-Level

  • GIS Technician, CenterPoint Energy
  • IT Specialist, Hennepin County
  • GIS Quality Control Engineer, Navico, Inc.

Experienced

  • GIS Data Engineer, Google