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Explore the environmental geography bachelor's degree program at UW-Eau Claire

Study the bond between humankind and nature with an environmental geography bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Here you’ll find yourself surrounded by highly motivated and enthusiastic people just like you: curious about the earth and how humans connect to it.

Environmental geography is meant to be experienced — and UW-Eau Claire’s geography department helps you do just that. We offer students direct access to state-of-the-art technology typically not available to undergraduate students. You’ll also learn from engaged faculty, who know you by name and are excited to mentor you.

Through field experience, internships and collaborative research, your skillset and resume will grow quickly. And faculty-led immersion experiences, our National Student Exchange program and study abroad opportunities offer life-changing, experiential learning. Previous students have traveled to places like the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Ecuador, Hawaii and Turkey — exploring new environments, cultures and ways of living. 

No matter your passion, UW-Eau Claire will provide you with the tools, knowledge and resources needed to choose your direction and make an immediate, positive impact in today's world.

Dr. Zach Hilgendorf and Dr. Doug Faulkner

Coming full circle

Zach Hilgendorf transferred to UW-Eau Claire from a larger university as an undergraduate student, and he quickly found his place in UWEC's geography department. Support from faculty and opportunities to conduct research ignited Zach's passion for the world of geography — one that extends far beyond maps.

Now, Dr. Zach Hilgendorf is a visiting assistant professor of geography at UWEC. The best part? He's teaching his former faculty mentor's classes while he is on sabbatical leave.

Read more about Dr. Zach Hilgendorf's experience at UWEC.

Why environmental geography at UW-Eau Claire?

Inspirational world travels. Whether it’s two weeks in Scotland researching modern tourism practices or a semester in France studying the impact of World Wars on soil, immersion and study abroad programs give you the opportunity to explore the world and all it has to offer.

Unique and insightful internships. The extensive education you receive at UWEC makes you a great candidate for exciting and career-building internships — some of which lead to full-time jobs. Environmental geography students have worked across the globe, with both nonprofits and large corporations, developing maps and using the latest equipment to explore interesting landmarks.

Rare undergraduate experiences. At UW-Eau Claire, you have the chance to work with the same technology professionals use out in the field today. You will learn how to operate equipment like unmanned aerial systems (UAS), global positioning system (GPS) and ground-penetrating radar (GPR). It’s experiences like these that set you apart from other candidates when applying for jobs.  

Unparalleled research opportunities. Our geography department offers you the chance to contribute to the field of geography in meaningful and lasting ways. Alongside faculty, you’ll have opportunities to participate in groundbreaking research, bringing your findings back to labs equipped with top-notch tools and industry-standard software. Many students go on to present their discoveries at both regional and national competitions.

Geography scholarship access. First-year students interested in majoring in geography are eligible to apply for the George Simpson Incoming Student Scholarship. Six scholarships ranging from $1,000 up to $1,500 are awarded each year, and there is potential for recipients to receive an additional second-year scholarship if all academic requirements are met.

94% employed

or continuing education after graduation

2020-2021 Graduate Report

Ranked an environmentally-responsible

Green College

by the 2023 Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges

Quick facts

Environmental geography program details
  • Program length: four years
  • Offered: in person
  • Campus: Eau Claire
  • This major does not require a minor.
  • Students majoring in this program may choose either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
Student organizations
  • Geography and Anthropology Club
  • Gamma Theta Upsilon

What can I do with an environmental geography degree from UWEC?

UW-Eau Claire environmental geography alumni have gone on to work for organizations like the DNR, Conservation Minnesota and American Conservation Experience, holding a variety of positions, including trail managers and runoff specialists. By applying the knowledge, skills and experiences gained through their well-rounded liberal arts education, they are able to find a career that both interests and inspires them.

Where are environmental geography alumni now?

Environmental geography careers

The geography department’s view that students are future colleagues provides a healthy and strong network of peers, which, combined with their drive to incorporate all of their students into real research, provides for a life-shaping experience.

Zach Hilgendorf Environmental Geography
Time spent with coffee farmers was among the highlights of an immersion in Guatemala.

Immersion program boosts passion for environmental justice

A cultural immersion program in Guatemala gave Molly Larson a whole new outlook on coffee, life and environmental justice.

Along with 15 of her peers, Molly traveled over Winterim to assist Guatemalans with harvesting coffee — expanding a local coffee cooperative and gaining a better understanding of international environmental issues in the process. In particular, the Blugold group learned how climate change is affecting the coffee crop and the impact that it can — and is — having on farmers' livelihoods.

Learn more about Molly's immersion experience in Guatemala.

Environmental geography bachelor's degree program curriculum

Our environmental geography major gives you the ability to understand connections between humankind and nature. Through coursework, field seminars and field trips, you'll explore a variety of topics including history, social issues, culture, race, gender, tourism and technologies. 

What classes do environmental geography majors take?

Your classes may cover topics like: 

Learn more about the comprehensive environmental geography major in the UWEC course catalog.

Learn more about UWEC

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Related programs at UW-Eau Claire

Thinking about a bachelor’s degree in environmental geography? Here are other programs you might be interested in exploring.

Department information

Photo of a student on a Yosemite immersion experience

Geography and Anthropology

Phillips Science Hall 257
101 Roosevelt Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Visit the Geography and Anthropology department website