Welcome. We're delighted that you are interested in UW-Madison Geography.
For over 85 years, UW-Madison has been home to one of the top ranked geography departments in the nation.
The strength of our department is reflected in our ability to attract top-caliber students, compete for significant research funding, and publish foundational scholarly work. Although we are a small department by national standards, we are able to make significant and lasting contributions to key theoretical and methodological aspects of the discipline, in particular, with work that establishes new research areas or find new linkages across fields. Examples of such pioneering work from past decades include Yi-Fu Tuan's critical role in shaping the field of humanistic geography, William Denevan's leadership in shaping cultural ecology research and his status as a world authority on aboriginal populations, and Arthur Robinson who is one of the most important academic cartographers of the 20th century. Our faculty have been long been recognized both by the university and within our profession for their outstanding contributions (e.g., named chairs, lifetime achievement awards, Guggenheim fellowships). This commitment to excellence is reflected in the fact that our department has continuously been ranked among the top three programs in the country since rankings began in 1924.
Our Geography Program is organized into four major thematic areas: physical geography, people-environmental studies, cartography and GIS, and human geography, which are described in detail below.
There is intentional overlap among the thematic areas and many of our faculty work across subfields (e.g., teach courses in both human and people-environment). The department's strength lies in more than its faculty. We are fortunate to have the Robinson Map Library (with over 500,000 items) and the UW Geography Library housed within Science Hall. Combined, these libraries represent one of the largest and best collections of geographic materials anywhere. We are also proud of the accomplishments of our graduates, many of whom have gone on to prominence within government, industry, and academia. Some of the most influential names in geography received their training here in Madison. However, we are not content to rest on our laurels and the future looks equally bright. What follows is a description of our current research and teaching directions.
Read more about the faculty and research with these four areas:
- People-Environment Geography
- Human Geography
- Physical Geography
- Cartography and Geographic Information Science
UW-Madison is a world-class research university that provides many opportunities for inter-disciplinary collaboration. The strength of our department is reflected in our ability to attract top-caliber students, compete for significant research funding, and win major awards, including more Guggenheim Fellowships than any other geography department. We are fortunate to have both the Robinson Map Library (with over 500,000 items) and the UW Geography Library housed within Science Hall. Combined, these libraries represent one of the largest and best collections of geographic materials.