Undergraduate Programs in

Geography & GIS

Geography is a lot more than maps and memorizing state capitals. Geography and its high-tech cousin, Geographic Information Systems or GIS, is a blend of social and natural science that helps make sense of how our physical and social surroundings affect the way we live.

The Geography and GIS programs are housed in the Department of Global Studies and Geography.

Why Study Geography and GIS?

Geographers analyze transportation patterns to determine the best way to design roads and transit systems. They work with public health agencies to look at the societal factors that contribute to the spread of disease. They partner with emergency management officials to develop the plans and routes that help evacuate regions before catastrophic events and quickly restore critical services and supplies in the aftermath.

In short, studying geography and GIS trains you to solve complex problems, and the skills you develop can be translated to virtually every field and industry. 

Our Majors and Programs

Hofstra offers three geography-related degrees, including two that focus on GIS. There are also minors available in geography, geography/GIS, computer science and GIS (which is an introduction to coding and GIS), and global studies.

Students use professional-grade software and hardware, including ESRI’s professional ArcGIS software SuiteENVI remote sensing softwareAdobe graphic design softwareGlobal Positioning Systems (GPS)web-based maps with Mapbox, and hands-on large-format poster printing within the department. 

BA in Geography

The BA in Geography is a liberal arts degree that is appropriate for students who want a career that involves qualitative research of communities and cultural phenomena. You'll examine the ways communities interact with their environment and how that shapes public policy and government institutions, and impacts businesses, education, health, and economic development.

BA with a Specialization in GIS

The BA in Geography with a specialization in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provides general geography majors with a thorough grounding in this fast-growing, high-tech field.

BS in GIS

The BS in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is better suited for students with a mind for processing data. It offers technical-oriented, professional-grade training in GIS and geospatial technologies, and requires significant math, statistics, and natural science coursework. Unlike the major in geography, the GIS degree requires a minor or a second major in an area outside geography. Some popular choices among our GIS students include civil engineering, biology, journalism, and political science.

The Student Experience

The Global Studies and Geography Department is a tight-knit, welcoming, diverse community. The active Get Global student club hosts social, networking, and academic events throughout the year. Mu Kappa, Hofstra's chapter of the international geographic honor society Gamma Theta Upsilon, also hosts guest lectures and other events.

According to a survey with recent graduates from the Department of Global Studies and Geography, 100% responded that an internship was part of their academic experience at Hofstra.

Recent internships include: The American Association of Geographers, American Geographical Society, Amnesty International, CBS/CBS News, Central American Refugee Center, Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Republic of Bulgaria, New York Division of Human Rights, the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations, Planned Parenthood, Sustainable Long Island, the United Nations Voice of America, and the World Youth Alliance.

We encourage students to take advantage of Hofstra's study abroad programs, whether for a full semester or shorter programs during the January and summer intercessions. There are Hofstra-sponsored programs to locations such as London, Venice, Athens, Japan, Ireland, and Spain.

The Department of Global Studies and Geography is also home to Hofstra's European Odyssey program, a unique study abroad program in which students travel with faculty throughout several Western and Eastern Europe cities by minivan, meeting local residents, politicians, and policymakers.

In the Classroom

Learn from the Experts

Your professors will help you focus your studies on the regions, topics or technologies that interest you most, and ultimately shape a rewarding post-Hofstra career. They will guide you in finding relevant internships and study abroad programs for which you may obtain course credit toward your degree.

The Outlook

Studying geography and GIS trains you to solve complex problems, and the skills you develop can be translated to virtually every field and industry. The career outlook for geographers is strong – job growth is projected to increase 7% by 2026.

Information on Alumni Outcomes

92%

of recent geography alumni (and 94% of GIS alumni) reported that within a year of graduating from Hofstra they had landed employment or were attending or planning to attend graduate school.

91%

of those recent alumni reporting employment responded that they had landed their positions within three months of graduating from Hofstra. They are working in a wide variety of occupations, such as marketing, computer mapping, local government, education, law enforcement, and the military. 

Examples include: AmeriCorps VISTA, Burma Task Force USA, the Counsel on Foreign Relations, the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery, the Harris Corporation, the National Governors Association, NBC/NBC News, New York Public Interest Research Group, and the United Way.

Graduate Studies

Geography is great preparation for graduate degrees in a wide range of fields, and recent Hofstra geography and GIS alumni are furthering their education at institutions such as:

  • Columbia University

  • Hofstra University

  • London School of Economics and Political Science

  • University of St. Andrews (Scotland)

  • Western New England Law School

Contact Us

Our main office is currently closed. We are sharing office space with the Department of Mathematics.

Secretary: Christine Jutt Email

Room 306 Roosevelt Hall

Office Hours:
Monday-Friday
9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Department Chair

Dr. Grant Saff
Professor of Global Studies and Geography
516-463-5596
Room 209J Roosevelt Hall
grant.saff@hofstra.edu

Our Office

Department of Global Studies and Geography

Room 209K Roosevelt Hall
130 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549-1300, USA

Phone: 516-463-5826
Fax: 516-463-6968
Office Hours: Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Department Email: gsgeog@hofstra.edu