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Garfield Avenue project affects travel on lower campus.

The project is expected to be completed in fall 2018, and the footbridge will be closed from late May to late August in both 2017 and 2018.

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Geography Majors and Minors

Are you curious about other places and spaces around the world? Geography is a scientific discipline that engages a spatial perspective to explore questions and issues associated with the human condition, natural world and the interconnections between humans and the environment.

Geographers look for and analyze cultural and environmental spatial patterns and relationships to better understand the human experience. This spatial perspective and understanding of space and place is critical in the areas of business, resource management, law, education, planning, tourism, international relations, demography, government/public affairs and health sciences.

Contact Info:
Yvonne Plomedahl, Geography and Anthropology
Phillips Science Hall 257
101 Roosevelt Avenue

Department Website


  • Geography - Liberal Arts
Comprehensive majors (no minor required)
  • Geography - Environmental Geography
  • Geography - Geospatial Analysis and Technology
  • Geography - Transnational Geography


  • Environment, Society, Culture
  • Geography - Liberal Arts
  • Geography - Teaching

Where you'll find our grads

  • Cartographer, National Geographic, Washington, D.C.
  • Coastal Hazards Outreach Specialist, Oregon State Extension, Astoria, OR
  • Geospatial Technician, Continental Mapping, Sun Prairie, WI
  • GIS Management Officer, UNICEF, Gaziantep, Turkey
  • Market Analyst, Target, Minneapolis, MN
  • Senior Operations Manager, FedEx, Eau Claire, WI
  • Transportation Planner, Amazon, Seattle, WA
  • Grad schools: Arizona State, Boston University, Kansas, Oregon, Penn State, S. Illinois, Tennessee, UCONN, UM-Mankato, UW-Madison

I love the new opportunity for students through Departmental Honors program. I think it will help spark creative thinking, foster new more in-depth learning process, and help great students become superb geographers.

Joey Quintana | geography major

Prepared for Success

Geographers are everywhere in the public, private and non-profit sectors. There are careers for geographers in education; environmental engineering and consulting; land-use planning and resource management, at the municipal through the Federal levels; emergency management and NGO relief organizations; in industry, supervising shipping routes and identifying industrial locations; public utilities, managing infrastructure; travel and international business, helping companies understand the people and places where they do commerce; and in the retail sector, siting store locations and analyzing markets and customers.

As an integrative discipline, geography connects the local with the global and helps students take full advantage of a UW-Eau Claire liberal arts education, providing the tools to allow graduates to be flexible and adapt to a dynamic job market. According to predictions by the Department of Labor, geospatial technologies will be among the fastest growing career areas over the next two decades.

Why UW-Eau Claire

Rankings / Reputation / Well-funded programs

The Geography department’s estate gift from the Simpson family to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation makes high-impact experiences accessible for all Geography students. Students gain valuable experience solving real-world problems, gathering and analyzing data, interpreting earth surface processes, functioning as part of interdisciplinary research teams, and producing professional presentations and reports. Geography requires students to learn a wide variety of field, laboratory, and social/natural science research methods, tools and techniques. Field trips that provide opportunities for students to develop and apply their geographic knowledge and skills are an important component of many classes. Extended field-based courses to such places as the desert Southwest, Louisiana, Hawaii, New York City, New Zealand, Turkey, and the Great Lakes region, are offered annually. To support global engagement, the Geography department has a unique department-to-department relationship with the geography program at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.


The Geography department distributes thousands of dollars annually from its endowments to support the accomplishments, efforts and aspirations of their students. The scholarships offered include the following:

  • Four renewable Geography scholarships for incoming freshmen
  • Up to ten merit-based scholarships for Geography majors
  • Study abroad scholarships for all Geography students

Additionally, scholarships are awarded to students who present their research at regional, national and international conferences as a way to offset their travel costs. Lastly, the Geography department pays the initiation fee for all students who are accepted into the International Geographic Honorary Society.


Geography majors may earn credit while gaining on-the-job experience through internships with city, county and regional governments or private businesses. The university library is a Federal Map Depository with a collection of more than 92,000 maps in its Simpson Map Library, which can be used for research and study. In addition, the department has two computer labs dedicated to geospatial science (cartography, GIS, remote sensing) and is well regarded for its interdisciplinary work with departments across campus.

Innovative Facilities

UW-Eau Claire students use sophisticated geospatial tools. While students at most universities do not use high-end equipment until the graduate level, UW-Eau Claire students learn to use them as undergraduates. Field experiences provide students with opportunities to use cutting-edge approaches and technologies, including state-of-the-art geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing software, ground penetrating radar, and unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

Suggested Freshman Curriculum

  • Human Geography
  • The Physical Environment
  • Conservation of the Environment
  • Intro to Geospatial Analysis
  • University writing requirement (depending on placement exam)
  • Math competency for BS/BA degree
  • Liberal education core classes


Special Admission Guidelines

Students with a spatial curiosity and imagination are encouraged to meet with geography faculty as early as possible as they explore courses and possible minors in related disciplines. They should also meet with faculty to discuss career opportunities.


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