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Department of Geography and Geology

About | Academic Programs | Highlights | Career Opportunities | Student Organizations and Activities | Internships | Scholarships | Courses


Brian Cooper

Gary Acton
, Samuel Adu-prah, Don Albert, Brian Cooper, Marcus Gillespie, Gang Gong, J. Patrick Harris, Joseph Hill, Mark Leipnik, Faluni Mukherjee, Velvet Nelson, John Strait, Johathan Sumrall, Jim Tiller, C. Allen Williams (Emeritus)

The primary mission of the Department of Geography and Geology is to provide students of the two complementary programs a comprehensive understanding of the range and depth of these scientific disciplines which encompass, respectively, the human and physical domains of geography, and the physical and historical domains of geology. This understanding is intended to enable our students to achieve their full potential as skilled professionals and well-qualified technical employees in a diverse range of companies and governmental organizations, and to become effective teachers and community leaders. Our programs enable students to become informed users of a range of technologies and prudent stewards of our natural resources. This understanding of the world will promote successful careers, active life-long learning, and an ability and desire to contribute positively to society.

Contact Information


Academic Programs

Geographic Information Systems, MS
Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems


Located on the third floor of the Lee Drain Building, the department maintains both a Geographic Information System (GIS) lab and a combination GIS and remote sensing lab. These labs contain state-of-the-art computers, software and scanners. We also have a van for fieldtrips, a pickup truck and trailor used for field research, a coring device capable of taking up to 6m core samples, high-quality GPS receivers, a large-scale flume to demonstrate sedimentation processes, and a Ground Penetrating Radar System. In order to enhance learning, all of our rooms are outfitted with video-projection systems, and our lecture rooms have sound systems and dedicated computers with Internet access that are used by the instructors for teaching purposes. Many of our students obtain internships and work with faculty members on research projects.

Career Opportunities

Because of the breadth of geography, there are a wide variety of career opportunities for geography graduates. These opportunities include careers in the following:

  • surveying and geomatics
  • geophysics
  • wetlands delineation
  • water quality analysis
  • photogrammetry
  • urban planning
  • computer mapping and geospatial technologies
  • environmental companies and state environmental agencies
  • state transportation departments
  • city, county, state, and federal government
  • education
  • historical preservation
  • marketing agencies
  • energy companies
  • emergency management and law enforcement
  • tourism
  • military

Geography’s focus on spatial relationships, in conjunction with new advances in technology, have led to the development of new geographical tools—principally Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS)—that are now used by many geographers in a wide variety of fields. Because these technologies can be applied within virtually any field (government, business, military, etc.) it is one of the fastest growing job fields and the demand for people with experience using them exceeds the supply. Aside from offering a tract with our program that emphasizes these technologies, we also offer students an Interdisciplinary Minor in GSS that emphasizes GIS, remote sensing and computer cartography. The combination of geography major and a GSS minor is highly marketable. With their broad background, geography graduates have an ability to see connections where others do not, and this enables geographers to work in many different fields. Geography literally offers a world of opportunities.

Student Organizations and Activities

  • Geographers of Sam Houston (GOSH) - GOSH is intended to enhance appreciation for geography through club-sponsored field trips, guest lectures, and other activities, and to promote camaraderie among geography students.
  • Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) - GTU is the National Geography Honor Society and was established to promote geographic awareness and the pursuit of geographic knowledge. To be eligible for membership in this honor society, students must have at least 12 hours of geography coursework, a minimum GPA of 3.25 in their geography coursework, and an overall GPA of at least 3.0.


Educational and research opportunities using GIS are available through a variety of internship opportunities that will increase students’ skills and employment opportunities.


  • THE GRADUATE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT SCHOLARSHIP: A competitive scholarship awarded to graduate students whose academic accomplishments and university or community citizenship are excellent in every respect.  This competitive scholarship is intended for a full-time student enrolled as a resident, nonresident or a citizen of a country other than the United States of America, maintaining not less than a 3.50 GPA. The award amount is determined on the availability of funds--for summer semester only.
  • AMATO BROTHERS SCHOLARSHIP: $3,000 per year; Recipient must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student, majoring inn any discipline, demonstrate financial need, and exhibit commitment to continue and complete their education.  The recipient must maintain not less than a 2.5 GPA in major and overall.
  • COLLEGE OF SCIENCES SPECIAL GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP: This is a prestigious scholarship from the College of Sciences.  it is awarded each fall and spring semester to select graduate students whose academic accomplishments and university or community citizenship are excellent in every respect.  $1,500 per semester is awarded. Recipient must be a Sam Houston State University graduate student enrolled full-time.  Application deadlines: Fall Semester--April 1; Spring Semester--November 1.
  • OFFICE OF GRADUATE STUDIES SCHOLARSHIP: The Office of Graduate Studies offers a scholarship intended to recruit and retain high-quality graduate students. Nominations need to be made by the graduate advisor.  See the Graduate Studies website for more information.
  • JAMES ELLISON KIRKLEY AWARD: Two awards (amounts vary) to majors in history, political science, geography, or sociology.
    Recipients are selected on basis of high academic achievement.


Geography (GEOG)
Geology (GEOL)

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