Globalization. Social Justice. Sustainability. Geographic Methods.
Our students land competitive, meaningful jobs upon graduation in Philadelphia and beyond.
Environmental studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to the examination of nature and the causes and consequences of human interactions with the environment. Are natural disasters truly “natural”? Why are environmental benefits and burdens inequitably distributed across cities and regions? How do global environmental processes impact the health and wellbeing of populations in different places? Our programs focus on teaching and research for social change using a range of geographic methods.
Our department offers a BA in Environmental Studies and a MA and PhD in Geography and Urban Studies. Through interdisciplinary coursework that confers strong social science skills with technical training, our students are trained to analyze multi-faceted problems with a range of analytical tools and skills including the following:
- A global approach
- Spatial thinking
- An interdisciplinary perspective
- Understanding of the complexity of interactions between humans and the environment
- Social science research methods, policy analysis, and technical skills
- Written, oral and visual communication skills
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and mapping software
Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary major offered by the Department of Geography and Urban Studies. Environmental studies examines the nature, causes and consequences of human interactions with the environment. Environmental studies students seek to understand and address the crucial environmental issues of our time, such as climate change, environmental justice and resource management. Our students are introduced to physical geography, an understanding of the economic system and social science methods (GIS, spatial statistics, remote sensing, environmental impact assessment, quantitative and qualitative research methods) and are given flexibility to choose electives that fit the students’ own academic interests.
This major prepares students for environmentally focused careers as well as graduate programs in environmental studies, sustainability, law, geography, resource management, planning and other fields.
Environmental Studies students are introduced to:
- Current environmental issues such as health and justice, geospatial techniques and environmental policy
- Social science approaches to examining nature-society relations
Learn More about the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies
Minor in Environmental Studies
A minor in environmental studies is available to any student enrolled at Temple University. Many students choose to add an Environmental Studies minor as a complement to their primary major. This is an 18-credit minor, requiring students to take one gateway course and five electives.
- Learn More about the Minor in Environmental Studies
Undergraduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is powerful analytical software that combines data with maps. It allows users to query, analyze and visualize spatial data, asking any “where” questions: “where are we seeing outbreaks of flu,” “where will this utility have the greatest impact” or “where should we open our storefront?” Because it is so widely applicable, geographic information has become one of the linchpins of the Information Age. Employers across industries are seeking candidates trained in geospatial technologies. Because its uses are so pervasive, the U.S. Department of Labor considers geospatial technology a high-growth industry, growing at an annual rate of almost 35 percent, with faster-than-average job growth expected over the next 10 years.
- Learn More About the Certificate in Geographic Information Systems
Accelerated Degree Offerings (4+1)
Students can start pursuing a graduate degree in their junior or senior year and complete their graduate degree in one additional year by enrolling in a 4+1 program.
Professional Science Master’s in Geographic Information Systems (PSM in GIS)
Students may enter the 4+1 program in their junior or senior year, taking up to four graduate-level courses during their undergraduate program. The remaining graduate credits are completed the year after completing their bachelor’s degree. Graduate-level courses completed during the junior or senior year may be used to satisfy major requirements, as appropriate.
The 4+1 program allows students to begin pursuing a graduate degree in a high-growth area while still working toward an undergraduate degree, saving them time and money in earning their graduate degree.
- Learn More about the BA/BS and Professional Science Master’s in GIS
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B.A. in Geography and Urban Studies or Environmental Studies + M.A. in Geography and Urban Studies
The M.A. in Geography and Urban Studies accelerated degree is open to Geography and Urban Studies and Environmental Studies majors. Students can apply as early as second semester sophomore year for entry their junior year or as late as second semester junior year for entry their senior year.
- Learn More about the B.A. in Geography and Urban Studies or Environmental Studies + M.A. in Geography and Urban Studies
Academic Advising and Professional Development
Take full advantage of the College of Liberal Arts’ flexible curriculum with the help of our award-winning advisors. We help you select a major or minor and graduate on time. Beyond academics, our advisors ensure you have a rich experience at Temple by complementing your academic work with study abroad programs, internships and other experiential learning opportunities.
- Learn More about Temple’s Award-Winning Advisors
Fly in 4
Take charge of your future and limit your debt. The Fly in 4 partnership allows you to complete your degree on time — or Temple will pay for your remaining coursework. Graduating on time means your path to success starts sooner. We provide you with the resources you need to graduate in four years, like academic advising and classes offered when you need them. You commit to doing what it takes to graduate in four years, and we’ll help you get there.
- Learn How to Fly in 4
Tuition and Fees
Students have been receiving world-class Temple educations at affordable prices for more than 125 years. Compare Temple to other comparable universities, and you’ll see how your dollars go further here. Please note that Temple tuition rates vary by school or college, student level, residency status and more. Use the Temple tuition calculator to estimate your tuition rate.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
At Temple, we believe students from all walks of life should have access to an outstanding college education. If you need help paying for your education, you aren’t alone. Most students receive some form of financial aid to fund their education. About 60 percent of first-year Temple students receive need-based financial aid, and the average first-year financial aid package is about $15,000. Eligible students receive financial assistance from federal, state, private and university sources. Explore your financial aid options and apply early to make your college education an affordable experience.
- Learn More about the College of Liberal Arts and Environmental Studies Scholarships and Financial Aid opportunities
Additional Undergraduate Resources
Programs of Study
The MA and PhD in Geography and Urban Studies focus on the themes of globalization, sustainability, social justice and geographic methods. Our faculty have expertise in critical geography, spatial analysis, program evaluation and feminist geography. Our Professional Science Master’s and Graduate Certificate in GIS are rigorous, technical programs focused on cutting-edge spatial analysis software. Our faculty have expertise in GIS, remote sensing, cartography and geovisualization.
Master of Arts in Geography and Urban Studies
Graduate students in Geography and Urban Studies emphasize research in environmental issues, gender and race, geographic methods, international development, social and spatial theory and urban development. The MA degree is designed to prepare students for further graduate study as well as for professional positions related to urban and economic development, environmental sustainability and social justice. Students in the MA have the option to pursue a Graduate Certificate in GIS with no additional coursework.
- Learn More about the MA in Geography and Urban Studies
PhD in Geography and Urban Studies
We offer an integrative doctoral program in Geography and Urban Studies that gives students a strong analytical foundation and stresses spatial relations, scale transitions, place and context and societal relations. Graduates of our PhD program in Geography and Urban Studies are prepared for faculty positions in a range of academic disciplines; they work in programs and departments that range from traditional geography to more interdisciplinary ones like development studies and urban planning. They also work in NGOs, private sector firms and think tanks that deal with relevant issues.
We place emphasis on the following issues:
- Globalization: Capital and labor flows, welfare state restructuring, identity, culture and concepts of citizenship
- Social Justice: Increasing inequalities in terms of economics, gender and inequalities
- Sustainability: Urban ecology, environmental justice, land use and sprawled development patterns
- Geographic Methods: Spatial analysis, remote sensing, qualitative research
- Learn More about the PhD in Geography and Urban Studies
Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is one of the 10 most employable skills of 2017 on LinkedIn, and the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the geospatial technology market is growing at an annual rate of 35 percent. Full-time students can complete our Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in as soon as a year. This means you can return or enter the workforce quickly. We produce competitive and skilled GIS technicians who easily pass the GISP certification exam. We are affiliated with the National Professional Science Master’s Association and work with an advisory board of professionals in the field ensures that we teach the skills employers seek.
- Learn More about the PSM in GIS
Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
We offer a Graduate Certificate for students who already have a bachelor’s degree and want to pursue additional coursework in GIS. Our courses introduce students to a variety of cutting-edge spatial analysis technology and mapping software. The certificate complements our Professional Science Master’s in GIS and serves as a gateway into the program. It also augments graduate programs in the College of Liberal Arts and throughout Temple University.
- Learn More about the Graduate Certificate in GIS
Professional Science Master’s in Geospatial Data Science
Professional Science Master’s in Geospatial Data Science students will learn to process, and analyze spatial data through in-demand technical skills including programming, statistics, big data analytics, application development, machine learning, and interactive and exploratory data visualization. Graduates may be expected to work in contexts outside the realm of traditional GIS jobs, including in corporate environments. With increasing access to geospatial data, the demand for organizations to undertake projects that require geospatial skills and a spatial perspective will increase.
Full-time students can complete the Professional Science Master’s in Geospatial Data Science in as little as one-year, returning quickly to the workforce. The program curriculum is informed by an advisory board of industry professionals and incorporates real-world experiences through project-based learning and an internship capstone requirement.
- Learn More about the PSM in GDS
Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Data Science
We offer a graduate certificate for students who already have a BA and want to pursue additional coursework in Geospatial Data Science. Our courses introduce students to a variety of data science tools with a focus on location-based data. The certificate complements our Professional Science Master’s in Geospatial Data Science and serves as a gateway into the program. It also pairs well with other graduate programs in the College of Liberal Arts and throughout Temple University.
- Learn More about the Graduate Certificate in GDS
Funding for Graduate School
At Temple, we believe that students from all walks of life should have access to an outstanding college education. If you need help paying for graduate school, you aren’t alone. Most students receive some form of financial aid to fund their education. Graduate students are eligible for financial assistance from federal, state, private and university sources. Explore all available funding and apply early to make your college education an affordable experience.
We provide financial support to full-time doctoral students through a variety of university and departmental teaching and research assistantships, fellowships and awards. The department nominates our strongest candidates for Graduate School Fellowships and offers a limited amount of TA-ships. Students from underrepresented groups may also be nominated for Future Faculty Fellowships. Masters students are not eligible for financial aid from the department.
Please visit the Geography and Urban Studies MA Admissions page, the Geography and Urban Studies PhD Admissions page or the PSM in GIS Admissions page to learn more about graduate program requirements, dates and deadlines and instructions on how to apply.
PhD Application Deadline:
- Fall: January 15
MA Application Deadline:
- Applications for the MA are reviewed on a rolling basis for Fall or Spring entry.
PSM in GIS Application Deadline:
- Applications for the Professional Science Master’s in GIS are reviewed on a rolling basis for Fall, Spring and Summer entry.
Graduate Certificate in GIS:
- There is no application process for the Graduate Certificate in GIS and students may start taking classes in Fall, Spring or Summer. To get started, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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