Geography Departments (Clark vs Dartmouth?)

<p>Clark has a very well known geography department, but Dartmouth is, well, ivy league.</p>

<p>I'm applying for university next year and am highly interested in geography but am unsure about the following things (not a lot of info available about this area of study):</p>

<ol>
<li><p>As an undergrad planning on majoring in geography, how important is it that a school have a department in this area? I mean most schools have some elements of geography under the guise of urban planning or environmental sciences etc etc.</p></li>
<li><p>In comparing these two schools (and also Boston University which I am also very interested in) which ones do you view as better and why?</p></li>
<li><p>Any other schools with good geography departments that you know of?</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Great major!</p>

<p>U Wisconsin has an incredible Geog Dept. that is highly ranked. Plus History, Env. Studies and Sociology Depts are also top notch with crossover classes. </p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>Clark and BU, in all honesty, can not touch Dartmouth in anything! The student bodies and level of teaching are not close.</p>

<p>what do you plan to do with Geography?</p>

<p>For this sort of major I think you should focus mostly on general academic quality (So if you can get into a school as good as Dartmouth, go for it!) Nearly every school will have geography courses. Middlebury has an excellent geography department and it has both environmental studies and international studies majors which could include some geography focus.</p>

<p>Ohio State and Northwestern have excellent geography departments... I think Northwestern might be eliminating their geography department though.</p>

<p>Save Clark for your PhD. It's one of the best, and pops ups on every list of elite geography departments out there. That said, most geography PhD's did not major in geography for undergrad. Most geographers see geography as a perspective to be applied to a subject, not a subject in and of itself. </p>

<p>There are UG biologists who pursue geography PhD's so that they can examine things like wildlife migration, deforestation and habitat fragmentation on a macro scale. There are UG archeologist who pursue a geography PhD's to examine the spread of cultures across continents. There are UG civil engineers who pursue geography PhD's to examine how infrastructure can influence a country's the economic development. However, since UG geography programs tend to focus primarily on GIS and remote sensing techniques most UG geographers end up in industry applying those methods to practical problems.</p>

<p>If a career as a GIS specialist sounds appealing to you then Clark would be a great, cost effective place to go since you can get a BA in geography and then a MA in GIS & remote sensing for free in one additional year. If you have your eyes on academia, or if your unsure of your path, then you would be much better served going to Dartmouth as it is a much better all around university which you can take advantage of while you decide what subject matter you might want to later apply a geographer perspective to.</p>

<p>I went to Clark for the State Geography Bee in 6th and 7th grade and came in 2nd place. Still kinda bitter that I didn't get to meet Alex Trebek in Washington DC hahahaha :D</p>

<p>Forgive my ignorance, but what would make one geography department better than another? A map is a map, no?</p>

<p>^^^^LOL. That's like saying 1+1=2, so all math departments are alike.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Forgive my ignorance, but what would make one geography department better than another? A map is a map, no?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Geography is about much more than reading maps. It's a pretty dynamic and sophisticated academic discipline, with top geographers doing cutting-edge work on such subspecialties as human geography, biophysical geography (including both contemporary and historical studies on such environmentally relevant topics as land use change, climate dynamics, changes in hydrological systems, and ecosystem dynamics), human-environment interactions, and cartography & Geographic Information Systems/science (pretty high-tech stuff about how we record and represent complex sets of spatio-temporal data). In general, geography is emerging as one of the most important fields for climate change studies, but it's also important other kinds of environmental research.</p>

<p>Unfortunately, many top universities and LACs no longer have geography departments; the discipline went out of fashion back in the 60s and 70s and was deemed expendable at many schools You quite literally can't study it at many schools, unless you do it on your own or come at limited aspects of it obliquely through anthropology, earth science, or environmental science courses. As a consequence, most of the top geography programs are now at state flagships or quasi-flagships. Penn State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio State, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, and UCLA are usually ranked among the very top in the field, along with Cambridge in the UK. LACs with strong geography departments include Middlebury, Macalester, Colgate, and Vassar. Clark University is also very strong in this field, and traditionally one of the most important centers for geography studies.</p>

<p>I think you can't come close to Dartmouth with Clark. There's so much more to an undergraduate school than just a department - and in this regard Dartmouth will serve you much better if you are accepted.</p>