5 Best Online Geography Degrees for 2020

Geography is an important field, one that will only continue to become more critical as space grows more limited. There has never been a better time to earn one of the best online bachelor’s degrees in geography.

What is a Geography Degree?

A bachelor’s degree in geography gives you the expertise you need to understand the shape of the world and how that affects human society. Geographers study the formation and effects of the landscape of the earth on humans and animals. They also seek to understand why and how the earth’s landscape can change over time. Geography degrees can allow you to specialize in different aspects of geography, such as international relations, tectonic shifting, or even disaster preparation.

A bachelor of geography degree focuses on how the intricate environmental systems of the earth can affect one another and humans. It’s a facet of environmental science that can lead to a diverse selection of careers.

How Much Can You Earn with an Online Geography Degree?

There are multiple career paths you can pursue with a bachelor’s degree in geography. Geographers, the most common career, study the earth and its features for scientific or practical purposes. They may also be teachers or researchers at universities. Geographers earn a median salary of about $80,000 per year, though there isn’t much projected growth in the near future.

Those who enjoy geography but want to see real-world applications of their work might enjoy being an urban planner. These specialists can help develop property and find new land for commercial or residential development. Urban planners have a median salary of about $73,000 per year, and they are experiencing rapid growth projected to last until 2028.

Finally, geographers with an academic focus could become environmental scientists and specialists. These experts often continue into grad school. These scientists are on the front lines concerning climate change and long-term human sustainability. They’re often also concerned with green technology and recycling efforts. Environmental scientists have a median salary of about $71,000 per year and are also experiencing decent growth, which is expected to last until 2028.

Overall, most professions that are suitable for those with bachelor’s degrees in geography will net you good money in the long run.

What Is Required for a Geography Degree?

A bachelor’s degree in geography will require you to take several specialized classes in addition to your general education courses. Some example subjects include:

  • environmental science
  • climatology
  • biology
  • psychology
  • mathematics
  • cartography
  • geology

Overall, expect to spend most of your time with scientific subjects and courses. Your general education requirements may include extra mathematics and science courses. Many of the courses in a geography degree program require the use of calculators, advanced computer software, and measuring tools. You may also need to spend time in some field areas for practical parts of your studies, even with online programs.

What Are the Best Geography Degrees?

OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.

The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.

  1. Arizona State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $8,597(in state) / $18,187(out of state)
    • 120 credit hours
    • 7.5-week classes
    • Multiple start dates throughout the year

    School Wide

    Student SatisfactionNot Reported
    Admission Rate63%
    Programs offered online45

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department4
    Popularity at School< 1%
    100%
    OSR Score

    This BA in Geography focuses on human and cultural traditions throughout the world. It emphasizes the effect geography has on human population and migration patterns. It’s much more socially focused than scientifically focused, so it’s a good choice if you want to go into urban planning or social research.

  2. University of Arizona

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $10,262(in state) / $31,067(out of state)
    • 120 credit hours
    • Contains 14 classes in the major
    • Teaches some programming for geographical interfaces

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74%
    Admission Rate84%
    Programs offered online20

    Program Level

    Median Debt$20,674
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School< 1%
    80%
    OSR Score

    This degree program focuses on a STEM approach to geography. Its courses emphasize cartography, web and mobile applications for geographical development, and geographical science. Many of the courses contain projects, and all seniors must complete a capstone project to graduate.

  3. Park University

    20-Year ROI
    $916,414

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $8,232(in state) / $8,232(out of state)
    • Offers several minors and certificates
    • 120 credit hours
    • $35 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74%
    Admission Rate69%
    Programs offered online37

    Program Level

    Median Debt$20,498
    Programs in Department4
    Popularity at School< 1%
    79%
    OSR Score

    This program bridges the natural and social sciences together, emphasizing both the scientific aspects of the discipline and the social effects of geography on human development. The classes are interdisciplinary. All students have the opportunity to join an international geographic honor society.

  4. Kennesaw State University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $4,341(in state) / $15,322(out of state)
    • 123 credit hours
    • Offers several competitive minor options
    • $40 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction74%
    Admission Rate61%
    Programs offered online10

    Program Level

    Median Debt$36,244
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School< 1%
    75%
    OSR Score

    This program is delivered entirely asynchronously. Students have the opportunity to take additional summer courses if they would like to graduate at a faster pace. The curriculum allows for three concentrations in geography as a subject: geographic techniques, physical and environmental geography, and human or regional geography.

  5. Florida Atlantic University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $2,522(in state) / $14,374(out of state)
    • 120 credit hours
    • School also offers several certificates
    • $30 application fee

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76%
    Admission Rate60%
    Programs offered online10

    Program Level

    Median Debt$26,343
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School< 1%
    75%
    OSR Score

    This Bachelor of Science in Geography degree program emphasizes the understanding of Geographic Information Sciences, or GIS. This includes some programming education and some statistical and mathematical courses. As a geoscience curriculum, it’s a particularly good option for future geographical researchers and environmental scientists.