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Geography and Planning

Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Contact Geography and Planning  

Geography and Planning

West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Department of Geography and Planning
College of Business and Public Management
Fifth Floor
Business and Public Management Center
50 Sharpless Street
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-2343

Name: Dr. Dottie Ives Dewey
Position: Department Chair

Name: Heather MacQueen
Position: Department Secretary

Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Geography and Planning offers two undergraduate degrees; a BS in Urban and Environmental Planning and a BA in Geography. The BA in Geography degree has five areas of specialty (or tracks) that students can follow.

  • BS Urban and Environmental Planning (click here for advising sheet)
  • BA Geography, there are five areas of specialty, or tracks, that students can follow:
  1. General Geography - for students wanting an overall mix of geography courses.
  2. Planning - offers students an opportunity to develop extensive coursework in planning, such as land use planning and development, transportation, planning law, and environmental planning.
  3. Environmental Geography - encourages environmental awareness; promotes research and service that fosters regional and global sustainability.
  4. Elective Social Studies - incorporates the courses necessary for certification to teach.
  5. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - focuses on techniques in spatial analysis, cartography, environmental modeling, geodatabases, and internet-based GIS. Students are able to integrate GIS into their course/degree projects work, and thesis, as well as presentations and research.

We also offer two minors:

  1. Geography and Planning
  2. Business GIS

Bachelor of Science Urban & Environmental Planning

The newest of the undergraduate degree offerings, the BS in Urban and Environmental Planning program prepare graduates to work as professional planners, geographic information systems (GIS) analysts, and environmental specialists and in related fields. The program will ensure students are trained with cutting-edge geospatial technologies and with a deep knowledge of local and regional sustainability concerns.

Geospatial technologies have been rapidly expanding and evolving in recent years. An abundance of spatially-oriented information is emerging from aerial photography, satellite remote sensing, image processing, global positioning systems (GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Geospatial technologies permeate all layers of society with GPS-enabled smartphones, to real-time traffic maps, to increasingly more sophisticated data availability from satellites and other remote sensing sources.

The focus on sustainability will result in a curriculum that incorporates more solutions to some of our greatest contemporary challenges, such as uncovering solutions and adaptations to global climate change. Considering the multiple components of sustainability, the program offers the integration of economic development, environmental protection, social priorities and place-based problem solving.

Graduates of the program will be prepared to work in the public, not-for-profit, and public sectors. Whether planners, environmental specialists or GIS analysts, the program provides future practitioners with the knowledge, technical skills, and values to enable them to become effective professionals.

Click here for the BS Urban and Environmental Planning Advising Sheet     

Bachelor of Arts in Geography

The BA in Geography prepares students for a variety of career choices in planning, environmental work, population and site analysis, and for entry into many government agencies such as EPA, Census Bureau, CIA, and Forestry Service, as well as private sector jobs. Students who elect to go on for graduate degrees are usually accepted, often with full financial support, and complete those programs successfully.

The degree program has several tracks and options, but minimally involves 7 geography classes, 5 additional social science courses (which can be geography), and 15 hours of cognate courses as well as university requirements. Presently, the five tracks include:

The advising process gives students careful individual attention so that their interests are met, and they may graduate in a timely manner. Students who enter the program as first year students can graduate in four years with no difficulty.

Minor in Geography and Planning

This six-course minor appeals to students of many majors. Selection of courses under this minor is flexible so that, for example, the Business student can build a sequence of courses that include Business Geographics, Economic Geography, and perhaps some international courses. As another example, the Biology or Geology major can build a sequence of courses that are in the environmental realm (e.g., conservation of natural resources, environmental planning) and also select some of the techniques and tools courses, such as Geographic Information Systems. Elementary education majors would choose still a different array of courses.

Advising Sheets

Advising sheets are available online. Paper copies can be found in Ruby Jones Hall, from either the department secretary in room 103, or on the bookcase across from room 104. Advising sheets are subject to change; majors should check with their advisor before registering for classes.

Required Course: (1 course, 3 credit hours)

  • GEO 101 World Geography OR GEO 103 Human Geography

Elective courses: (5 courses, 15 credit hours) Selected in consultation with Minor Advisor.

Minor in Business Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

This six course minor program in Business Geographic Information Systems (GIS) builds a sequence of statistical and computer courses, and provides students with the spatial analysis skills applied to business-oriented data and questions. It is designed for students in business programs (management, marketing, economics, and accounting) but may be taken by others. Course work focuses on developing expertise with GIS.

Advising Sheets

Advising sheets are available online. Paper copies can be found in Ruby Jones Hall, from either the department secretary in room 103, or on the bookcase across from room 104. Advising sheets are subject to change; majors should check with their advisor before registering for classes.

Required Courses: (3 courses, 9 credit hours)

  1. GEO 325 Business GIS
  2. GEO 425 GIS: Business Applications
  3. ECO 251 Quantitative Business Analysis I OR GEO 326 Geographical Analysis OR MAT 121 Statistics I

Elective Courses: (3 courses, 9 credit hours)

Select in consultation with Minor Advisor, usually recommended from the following courses.

  1. GEO 324 Introduction to GIS
  2. GEO 424 GIS Applications
  3. GEO 213 Social Sci GIS
  4. GEO 214 Introduction to Planning
  5. GEO 318 Economic Geography
  6. GEO 328 Computer Graphics
  7. GEO 331 Transportation Planning
  8. GEO 338 Environmental App: GIS
  9. GEO 401 Internet Mapping
  10. GEO 427 Geodatabase Systems
  11. MIS 300 Introduction to MIS
  12. MIS 301 Introduction to Business Software
  13. GEO 415 Internship (GIS related)
  14. MKT 461 Internship (GIS related)
  15. MGT 341 Production Operations
  16. MGT 486 Internship (GIS related)

Contact Information

For more information on programs in Geography and Planning, contact:

  • Dr. Dottie Ives Dewey, Chair
  • West Chester University
  • Department of Geography and Planning
  • West Chester, PA 19383
  • 610-436-2343 or 2746