Undergraduate Catalog

Geography & Environmental Studies

Phone: 845-257-2995
Location: SH 114
Web address: www.newpaltz.edu/geography

The Department of Geography & Environmental Studies offers comprehensive liberal arts majors in Geography and Environmental Studies. For those majoring in other fields, minors in Geography, Urban Planning and Environmental Studies are available. 

Geography is a diverse and integrative discipline that allows students to explore and make sense of place, space, and landscape and the connections between them, while also learning to analyze problems from multiple perspectives. Our programs are designed to prepare students for graduate study in geography or for employment in fields actively seeking geographers. Students may choose the general Geography major, leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree, or Geography concentrations in environmental geography and in urban planning, leading to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. The concentration in urban planning is for students who wish to undertake graduate study in planning or to obtain employment in that field. A Geographic Information System (GIS) sequence is offered in addition to courses in Cartography and Remote Sensing.

Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary major drawing on social and physical science, the humanities and the arts to provide students a broad understanding of the relationship between humans and the earth. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program emphasizes environmental policy and social and economic aspects of the environment while providing a background in earth science. Much of environmental studies focuses on public and political discourse about scientific uncertainty, assessment of risks, and economic costs and benefits. Students majoring in Environmental Studies gain theoretical perspective and practical experience through a combination of coursework, activism, policymaking, applied-learning opportunities, and a capstone seminar.

The Department of Geography & Environmental Studies also supports other interdisciplinary programs, such as Asian Studies; Latin American & Caribbean Studies; and Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies. Students in the Early Childhood & Childhood Education (B-6) and Early Childhood Studies (non-certification) programs may select a geography major, while those in the Adolescence Education (7-12) program may select geography courses as part of the social studies major.

To complement the academic programs, the department offers an internship at several public and private agencies in the region, such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Mohonk Preserve. One semester long, the internship offers students the opportunity to gain practical, on-site experience at a planning, development, or environmental protection agency.

Geography and Environmental Studies Programs: