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Prospective Students


The Environmental Science, Policy program encourages student success in an engaged, and interdisciplinary, learner-centered environment, by providing a rigorous education and a stimulating environment. The program strives to be a leader in high-quality teaching and research specifically related to the natural environment. Through a multidisciplinary approach to both research and teaching, the program provides unique insights into the challenges facing the environment and society. This uniqueness comes from the incorporation of both science and policy investigation into these challenges. The program strives to continually develop its strengths and to build bridges with faculty from USF, as well as those at national and international institutions. Program strengths include: water resources, wildlife ecology, karst and wetland environments, meteorology and climatology, environmental sustainability, and environmental policy.

Located in the Tampa Bay region, USF serves as a center of knowledge and research about our natural and built environments. With the largest economic growth in Florida, and on par with some of the faster growing regions in the United States, the Tampa Bay area is an ideal place to study issues related to environmental science and policy. The programs are interdisciplinary in nature, intended to educate students in the cross-boundary problems facing researchers and decision-makers in today’s complex environmental problems. Our graduates emerge from our programs with the knowledge and skill sets to be competitive in his or her arena of expertise and with the potential to become leaders in their fields.


Geography is a diverse and intellectually vibrant academic division of the School of Geosciences committed to excellence in geographic research, scholarship, and student success. We aim to produce outstanding students and to engage them in critical thinking, practical problem-solving, and meaningful research to serve the region and local community. A BA in Geography offers a broad education in human and environmental geography, which, combined with undergraduate research and practical knowledge, provides the necessary experience for a range of academic pursuits and employment opportunities.

We investigate all aspects of geography, but our research and teaching focus on three themes:

  • Human geography studies the construction of space, place, and power. It encompasses the study of economic geographies (e.g., globalization and development), political geographies (e.g., geopolitical struggles and new social movements), and social and cultural geographies (e.g., identities and exclusions). Human geography is key to providing insights into contemporary spatial arrangements, including the role of cities within the global economy, locating urban-rural intersections in the production of uneven development, and how class, gender, and race shape struggles for social justice.
  • Environmental geography links the study of nature and society and considers the ways in which conventional divisions between human and non-human (natural) worlds are bridged through the production of socio-natures. This understanding is crucial to explaining and ameliorating contemporary environmental problems, including the privatization of natural resources, inequalities in access to food and water, injustices associated with environmental hazards and undesirable land uses, and the role of human activities in spurring large-scale environmental change.
  • GIScience and Spatial Analysis concentrates on the use of advanced geospatial technologies, and the development and use of spatial analysis methodologies, to applied research problems in human and environmental geography. A thorough understanding of such geospatial technologies as Remote Sensing, GIS, and GPS, as well as modern methods of spatial statistical analysis, and emerging spatial analytical techniques such as agent-based modeling, is a critical aspect of developing appropriate approaches to the analysis of geographic data.

Did you know that Geology is considered one of the ten most profitable (highest paying) college degrees awarded by US universities? According to Forbes magazine, Geology is ranked 7th as one of the 15 most valuable college majors. Geology is also consistently rated as one of the most rewarding careers in terms of job satisfaction. USF graduates in Geology typically have numerous employment opportunities in the Tampa Bay area, the US and worldwide.

Geology is a great field if you like rocks, enjoy being outdoors, and are challenged by science. Maybe you just want to explore the natural environment or solve problems that have great impacts on society. You might want to understand the effects of climate change or discover Earth's earliest beginnings by examining fossils, marine sediments, or caves. Maybe you are intrigued by dynamic earth processes such as erupting volcanoes, earthquakes, moving glaciers, or meteorites. Our students travel the world. Our faculty interact with colleagues from universities located around the globe. Our alumni own companies, some right here in the Tampa Bay area, that are making a difference in meeting energy and environmental challenges.

As a geology major, the classes you take will prepare you to work as a professional geologist. These classes will introduce you to cutting edge research in diverse fields such as geophysical exploration, hydrogeology, paleobiology, and natural hazards. You will explore the environment on field trips to locales such as the Florida Keys, the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains, Utah and California. You will have the opportunity to work on research projects with faculty in small classroom settings and in world class research labs.

Learn more about becoming a geologist!

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This page is designed to help facilitate the academic and career goals of USF students majoring in Geology, Geography, and Environmental Science and Policy.

USF Geosciences Field Trip Calendar