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Welcome to the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. The Department is home to approximately 150 students in our three degree programs and two certificate programs.

Geography and Environmental Studies logo

Our degree programs include:

The Department offers two Certificate programs:

We also offer three minors:

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies (G&ES) offers a 36-credit hour major in Geography, a 42-credit hour major in Environmental Studies, and a 33-credit hour Master of Arts degree in Geography and Environmental Studies. The department also has three 18-credit hour minors. It also has an 18-credit hour Graduate Geographic Information Science (GIS) Certificate and a 15-credit hour Undergraduate GIS Certificate.

Both geography and environmental studies are broad fields of study bridging the human and natural environments.

In Geography, the emphasis is on location, distribution, and spatial processes which reflect and affect society and the natural environment. Environmental Studies focuses on the health and restoration of the natural environment through policy and planning, and also through environmental education and interpretation. Both fields require both a local and a global view.

The Geography degree emphasizes courses in physical geography, human geography, regional geography, and techniques including computer cartography and Geographic Information Systems. Environmental Studies emphasizes the interface between the human and natural environments, and concentrates either in the area of policy and planning or education and interpretation. Both geography and environmental studies span the human and natural sciences, and therefore, come together nicely for a graduate M.A. in G&ES. The surrounding areas in Chicago offer many opportunities for internships, field excursions, volunteer work, and first-hand experience in environmental and geographic organizations throughout the region. The Department takes pride in its ability to integrate experiences in the local environment with traditional academic coursework. Environmental Studies students undertake an internship near the end of their program and it often leads directly to full time employment. We have seven full-time faculty members and enlist local professionals to teach courses in their area of specialty. This enriches our students' academic experience and establishes unique and valuable connections with the community.

Welcome again to the Department. Thank you for visiting this site and we hope to make your acquaintance if we have not done so already!

Declaring Your Major or Minor:

Once you are a fully admitted student, you may then declare your intended major(s) and/or minor(s). To do so, please complete the Major & Minor Declaration Form and deliver it to the Department Office in BBH 346A or to one of our departmental advisors listed below. Once declared, it is crucial that you contact your new advisor as soon as possible to discuss and plan your academics (i.e. which classes should you take) and career goals.

If you are declaring more than one major and/or minor, one form is needed for each declaration!


Your progam advisor will help you navigate through the required coursework and provide guidance on career and/or graduate school planning along the way. Students may choose their preferred advisor; however, each of our advisors has his/her own area of specialty. The G&ES Advisors are:

  • Dennis Grammenos - Geography (Urban Geography and Urban Planning)
  • Erick Howenstine  - Geography (GIS and Cartography)
  • Ting Liu - Geography (GIS, Remote Sensing, and Land Use Modeling)
  • Alex Peimer - Environmental Studies (Policy and Planning track)
  • Melinda Storie - Environmental Studies (Education and Interpretation track)

Northeastern's Advising Center will also help you fulfill your general education requirements.

Potential Career Options:

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The following are some career possibilities for each of our programs (not a comprehensive list):


  • Cartographer
  • City Planner
  • Community Developer
  • Demographer
  • Environmental Impact Analyst
  • Extension Officer
  • GIS Programmer/Analyst
  • GIS Database Manager
  • Industrial Planner
  • International Business Representative
  • Journalist/Correspondent
  • Land Developer
  • Land-Use Analyst
  • Location Analyst
  • Map Curator/Librarian
  • Park Ranger
  • Site Manager
  • Surveyor
  • Teacher K-12
  • Transporation Analyst
  • Travel Agent/Specialist
  • Urban Regional Planner

Environmental Studies

  • Air/Water Quality Manager
  • Conservation Agent
  • Environmental Educator
  • Environmental Campaigner
  • Environmental and Safety Coordinator
  • Environmental Interpreter
  • Environmetnal Impact Analyst
  • Environmental Planner
  • Environmental Policy Analyst
  • EPA Inspector
  • Fisheries Conservationist
  • Forest Ranger
  • Forest Resource Manager
  • GIS Specialist
  • Landscape Architect
  • Lobbyist & Advocate
  • Natural Resources Manager
  • Park Ranger
  • Renewable Energy Advocate/Analyst
  • Recycling Coordinator
  • Natural Area Restorationist
  • Sustainability Programs Manager
  • Teacher K-12
  • Waste Management Specialist
  • Water Conservationist
  • Water Quality/Treatment Officer
  • Wildlife Resource Manager
  • Zookeeper/Curator
Thank you for stopping by to visit our page. Contact us if you have any questions.




Geography & Environmental Studies

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T (773) 442-5640

F (773) 442-5650

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