The geography major at Valparaiso University emphasizes practical experience through field trips, field courses, internships, and opportunities to work with faculty on original research.
Students who take physical geography courses regularly visit the nearby Indiana Dunes National Park to learn about dune formation and biodiversity. Students who study urban geography and planning take a short train ride into Chicago to experience the dynamism of the downtown Loop and to observe everyday life in its diverse neighborhoods. In field courses, students use the environment as their classroom and learn about glacial processes while hiking on a glacier in Alaska or about natural hazards by visiting volcanoes in Hawaii. Most geography students complete a paid or unpaid internship with national parks, urban planning agencies, American Indian reservations, environmental organizations, nonprofit organizations, or businesses. Many geography students also complete one of Valpo’s Study Abroad programs or the Chicago urban studies program.