Welcome. We are delighted that you are interested in UW-Madison Geography.
For nearly a century, UW-Madison has been home to one of the top ranked geography departments in the nation. Formally established as its own department in 1928, the historic Science Hall has always been our home. Geography grew out of the Geology Department, an original Science Hall tenant.
Today, the 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.
Our Geography Program is organized into four major thematic areas: physical geography, people-environmental studies, human geography, and cartography & GIS. 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, housed within Science Hall. The department and university library holdings represent one of the largest and best collections of geographic materials anywhere. Other valuable facets within the department include the Cartography Lab(a unique cartographic production facility), the Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office, and the History of Cartography Project.
We are 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.
Overview of Programs
The UW-Madison Department of Geography is a leader in the field of geography and offers exceptional opportunities for graduate education. The Department has been consistently rated one of the best in the country and for nearly a century has been the training ground for generations of geographers.
Study in Geography is divided into four major thematic areas: Human Geography, Physical Geography, People-Environment, and Cartography/GIS. The Geography Department faculty serves in prominent positions both within the University and in our larger professional communities. Our faculty have been recognized both by the university and within our profession with such honors as UW named chairs, and American Association of Geographers (AAG) lifetime achievement awards. We are also proud of the accomplishments of our graduates, many of whom have gone on to prominence within government, industry, and academia.