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We offer students excellent undergraduate and graduate programs of study in geography, earth sciences, sustainability, and the mapping sciences.  Our undergraduate programs are designed to give students an appreciation of the natural and human environments of the earth, how they are coupled, and how they interact. Our students develop skills in collecting, recording, and analyzing geoenvironmental data. They become involved in laboratory work, field investigations, and environmental exercises that help students sharpen their critical-thinking and technological skills and to arrive at solutions based on evidence and inductive reasoning.

Explore Our Programs


Supercell storm cloud ATMOSPHERE
  • Meteorology, climate, air quality, sustainability
People wearing safety vests GEOLOGY
  • Geomorphology, soils, paleoenvironments, rock & mineral resources, karst
  • Regions, history, urbanization, transportation, regional economics, disease & the environment, methods, global cultures
People standing in parking lot LAND USE
  • Planning, landscape modification, urbanization, transport, sustainability
  • Spatial data: collection, curation, analysis, representation
  • GIS, remote sensing, cartography, field techniques
Three green gears SUSTAINABILITY

Our interdisciplinary nature

The Department of Geography-Earth Science has an interdisciplinary nature for our faculty members come from diverse backgrounds and have had professional and entrepreneurial experiences before joining academia. Our faculty members are currently working on solving real problems in the Cumberland Valley, the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the Delaware River watershed, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Europe, Latin America, South America, and Asia. Accordingly, our programs and courses focus on the importance of location, the reasons why places and regions are different physically and culturally but linked economically. The unique quality of our department is its object of analysis-- the earth's surface.  Its purpose is to understand how that surface is structured and differentiated and how people have affected, affect, and will affect the landscape.

Degree and Non-Degree GIS Certificate

GIS CERTIFICATE Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate: The GIS Certificate program is a 4 course (12 credit) hands-on curriculum designed to give degree and non-degree-seeking students a strong intermediate background in Geographic Information Systems, data analysis, and geotechnology (GPS, remote sensing, drones, etc.). 

All students complete two required courses: GIS I (GEO202, 3 credits) and GIS II (GEO363, 3 credits) and customize the rest of their program by completing any two approved elective courses (see approved list below). All students at Shippensburg University, except GIS majors, are eligible to earn a GIS Certificate. Students may transfer, if approved, up to six (6) geotechnology course credits taken at another accredited institution into the GIS Certificate program.

Graduate students in the Geography-Earth Science Department may double count up to six (6) geotechnology course credits at the 400-level or higher toward both their M.S. in Geoenvironmental Studies program and GIS Certificate program requirements. Shippensburg University alumni who graduated without finishing their GIS Certificate program and who wish to complete it may now return to do so.

Complete 2 required courses
(3 credits each):
  • GEO 202: GIS I – Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • GEO 363: GIS II – Intermediate Geographic Information Systems
Complete 2 elective courses
(3 credits each):
  • GEO 420:  GIS III: Advanced Geographic Information Systems
  • GEO 352:  Cartography
  • GEO 339:  Remote Sensing
  • GEO 425:  Image Processing
  • GEO 440:  Field Techniques
  • GEO 441:  Quantitative Methods
  • GEO 463:  Applied Geophysical Imaging
  • GEO 517:  Applied Geographic Information Systems (grad students only; undergraduate students may take the course with permission of the instructor).  
  • Students will appreciate using geographic perspectives which will serve as a basis for life-long learning
  • Students will develop proficiency in communication and analytical skills as applied in the geosciences.
  • Students will develop proficiency in one or more of the geotechniques: GIS, Cartography, Remote Sensing, Image Processing, Quantitative Methods, or Field Techniques.
  • Students will participate in an applied capstone internship experience and/or field studies course.
  • Students will develop mastery of substantive disciplinary knowledge focusing on the six elements of geography outlined in the National Geography Standards: Geography for Life.
Contact the Geography & Earth Science Department 104 Shearer Hall, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1685 Fax: (717) 477-4029