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A woman was sitting on the train reading the newspaper. A headline read, "12 Brazilian Soldiers Killed." The woman shook her head at the sad news, turned to the stranger sitting next to her, and asked, "How many is a Brazilian?"

If you laughed, you might be a geographer in the making so keep reading.

Geography is the science of place and space. Geographers ask where things are located on the surface of the Earth, why they are located where they are, how places differ from one another and how people interact with the environment.

There are two main branches of geography:

Human Geography

Human geography is concerned with the spatial aspects of human existence – how people and their activities are distributed in space, how they use and perceive space, and how they create and sustain the places that make up the Earth's surface. Human geographers work in the fields of urban and regional planning, transportation, marketing, real estate, tourism and international business.

Physical Geography

Physical geographers study patterns of climates, landforms, vegetation, soils and water. They forecast the weather, manage land and water resources, and analyze and plan for forests, rangelands, and wetlands. Many human and physical geographers have skills in cartography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Geographers also study the linkages between human activity and natural systems. Geographers were, in fact, among the first scientists to sound the alarm that human-induced changes to the environment were beginning to threaten the balance of life itself. They are active in the study of global warming, desertification, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, groundwater pollution and flooding.

Careers in Geography

General Areas

Jobs and Careers

See the Association of American Geographers website to learn more.

GIS Transfer Information

Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville

Contact Information

SIUE – Geography
Alumni Hall 1401
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1459

  • ShunFu Hu, Associate Professor, Geography
  • Randy Pearson, Department Head, Geography


  • BA; BA; MA; MS in Geography
  • Areas of Specialty in GIS within Geography

Notes for Transfer Students

None of the SCC classes will be accepted as replacements for the SIU-E curriculum; however, the required courses are sufficiently different that there should be very little overlap.

Northwest Missouri State University – Maryville

Contact Information

  • Gregory Haddock
    Chair, Dept. of Geology/Geography
    1372 Garrett-Strong
    800 University Dr.
    Maryville, MO 64468
  • Leslie Chandler
    Transfer Coordinator
  • Beverly Blackford
    Secretary for Enrollment Management


  • Masters in GIS – Online only
  • Certificate in GIS
  • Minor in GIS
  • BS in Geography

Notes for Transfer Students

The following classes will transfer:

  • Introduction to GIS (GEO 120) – Cartography (Geog 32-362)
  • Advanced GIS (GEO 225) – GIS (Geog 32-365)
  • Internships (GEO 220, 221, 222) – Internship in Geography (Geog 32-415)

Students can transfer with an AAS.

University of Missouri – Columbia

Contact Information

UM-C – Geography
6 Stewart Hall
Columbia, MO 65211

  • Gail Ludwig, Chair, Geography and GIS
  • Tim Haithcoat, Director of Geographic Resources Center
  • Mark Cowell, Certificate Program
  • Philip Li, GIS I Professor
  • Susan Wang, Remote Sensing Professor


  • Minor in GIS
  • Undergraduate GIS Certificate
  • Graduate GIS Certificate
  • Major in Geography

Notes for Transfer Students

The GIS/Geography Department at UM-C has agreed to provide credit for GIS courses taken at SCC. None of the SCC classes will be accepted as replacements for the UM-C curriculum they will be accepted for the following:

  • 3 GIS credits can be used toward an Applied GIS course.
  • 3 (or more) GIS credits can be used toward a GIS Independent Study course.
  • In addition, students with SCC GIS courses can contact Mark Cowell about work opportunities while a GIS student at UM-C.
Missouri State University – Springfield

Contact Information

Department of Geography, Geology and Planning
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, MO  65897

Dixie Williams
Assistant Director of Admissions – Transfer Coordinator

Dr. Tom Plymate
Professor of Geology and Department Head


  • BA in Geography
  • BS in Cultural and Regional Geography
  • BS in Environmental and Natural Resources
  • BS in Geotourism
  • BS in Geospatial Sciences
  • BS in Community and Regional Planning
  • BS in Tourism Planning and Development

Notes for Transfer Students

The geography, geology and planning programs are field intensive and job focused.

Majors, Degrees & Certificates

Contact Information

Ellen Wilson,
Program Chair
Email »
Margaret O'Dea,
Office Coordinator
Email »
Office Location
SSB 1104
Office Hours

7:45 a.m.-4:15 p.m.

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4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive
Cofttleville, MO 63376

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