The Department of Geography and Planning promotes the understanding of the spatial dimensions of human behavior within the physical and cultural systems of the earth, and the role of planning in achieving improvement in those systems. The department offers degrees in geography and in community and regional planning.
You want to impact the world.
The Department of Geography and Planning successfully prepares students for careers in climate science, health geography, conservation and natural resource management, urban and community planning, national security, and Geographic Information Science (GIS). We offer degrees in Geography and Planning, including both Undergraduate and Graduate programs.
Why Major in Geography and Planning?
To declare a major or minor, visit College of Arts & Sciences: Request for Change of Major/Minor/Catalog Year.
In the News
Dr. Saskia van de Gevel Receives Service Award from Regional Geography Division (College of Arts & Sciences)
Dr. Elizabeth Shay Receives College of Arts & Sciences Teacher of the Year Award (College of Arts & Sciences)
Dr. Jeff Colby, Dr. Derek Martin, and Dr. Maggie Sugg Receive Cratis D. Williams Faculty Awards (College of Arts & Sciences)
Dr. Maggie Sugg Discusses Adaptibility to Extreme Heat (The Atlantic)
Dr. Maggie Sugg Interviewed About Local Perceptions of Heat (FiveThirtyEight)
Dr. Baker Perry Leads Climate Science Expedition (Appalachian Today)
Dr. Baker Perry Leads Expedition to Install New Weather Station on Mount Everest (National Geographic)
Dr. Maggie Sugg and Lauren Andersen Discuss Weather in the High Country (Watauga Democrat)
Dr. Maggie Sugg Interviewed About COVID-19 Seasonality (The Scientist)
Dr. Jeff Colby Co-Leads Research Project Studying Climate Change Vulnerability (College of Arts & Sciences)
Dr. Baker Perry Inspires - and Requires - Students to Reach New Heights (Appalachian Today)
Dr. Derek Martin Studies the Ward Mill Dam Removal (Watauga Democrat)
Alumni Spotlight: Kai Kelley Jr. ('19)
Hello! My name is Kai Kelley Jr., and I successfully graduated in May 2019, earning a B.S. degree in Geography, a B.S. degree in Community & Regional Planning, and a Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
During undergrad, my involvement on campus explored the necessity of community outreach and engagement. Upon graduation from Appalachian, I was appointed to serve as Commissioner on the Durham City-County Appearance Commission and worked as an ENGAGEDurham Outreach Team Member for my hometown’s Comprehensive Plan. I continued to serve in local government while receiving a graduate degree at NC State. Currently, I serve as the Assistant Director at Duke University's Career Center, where I received the Duke Presidential Award and work to support career development programming. I look forward to what the future holds and am excited to keep my fellow peers, alumni, and mentors in the department up to date! Go 'Neers!