The Geography B.S. major (formerly Geoscience) at Valparaiso University is an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science curriculum designed for students interested in the broad interplay between the geographic and atmospheric sciences through the use of spatial and other analytical tools. This major integrates dynamic classroom instruction with field and professional experience to prepare students for a wide variety of careers.
Students master the use of sophisticated geotechnology-which the Department of Labor recently identified as one of the three most important emerging employment fields in the U.S.-including geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, computer cartography, and the global positioning system (GPS).
The Department of Geography and Meteorology offers a number of field study courses, as well as fieldtrips within other courses that Geoscience majors may take to fulfill major requirements.. In recent years, geography field courses have visited Yellowstone National Park and other sites in Wyoming, the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, the volcanoes of Hawaii's Big Island, and glaciers in Alaska. In meteorology, we offer a Great Plains severe weather field study experience following completion of the Spring semester. Many students complete more than one of these remarkable field excursions.
The Geography B.S. program is staffed by an experienced, award-winning faculty from both geography and meteorology. Faculty members in the program draw on considerable expertise in severe weather, climatology, atmospheric modeling, geomorphology, conservation, computer cartography, GIS, and remote sensing. Our emphasis is on a blend of both theory and application, resulting in rigorous but exciting courses with significant hands-on work.
Geography B.S. students are eligible for election to both the geography honor society, Gamma Theta Upsilon, and the meteorology honor society, Chi Epsilon Pi, based on superior academic performance. Students can also participate in the Valparaiso Storm Intercept Team (VUSIT), the local chapter of the National Weather Association, and the Geography Club, which conducts semesterly hikes and other recreational activities. Geoscience students can also attend various lectures, conferences, and fieldtrips offered through the Department of Geography and Meteorology.
Students interested in a career in geography and geoscience education may apply for the Mathematics and Science Education Enrollment and Development program (MSEED) in which they complete the Bachelor of Science degree in geography and also earn a teaching license in four years.