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Department of Geography


One earth - many worlds: The earth and its diverse environments are at the focus of studying Geography at the University of Zurich. How do humans and the environment interact? What are the relationships between human beings and natural space?
Global change, neoliberalisation, virtual worlds, environmental changes and
urbanisation are challenges that concern Geography. At the Department of Geography in Zurich, students learn about socially relevant topics in Switzerland and the global south, in the high mountains, in metropolitan areas and in cyberspace.

Why study Geography?

Geography’s main strength is combining approaches from the natural, social and computer sciences. Geographers work in interdisciplinary networks and formulate solutions to current problems. In an increasingly networked and accelerated world, geographers assume social responsibility and address not only the opportunities but also the challenges of global change.

Participation in excursions, the implementation of small research projects, laboratory exercises and internships offer the opportunity to apply the acquired knowledge in practice throughout the program. With these skills graduates can work in a diverse range of fields such as spatial planning, environment, landscape and human beings, geoinformatics and communication or teaching at secondary schools.

Why study at the University of Zurich?

The Department of Geography is affiliated to the Faculty of Science and is located on the Irchel campus. As the largest Department of Geography in Switzerland, it offers students an enormous variety of topics and opportunities for specialization.

The approximately 620 students with the major Geography can specialize according to their interests during their studie, benefitting from the strengths of research at GIUZ. These include the multifaceted field of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Science, Physical Geography with an emphasis on snow and ice, soil and water, and Human Geography, which focuses on globalization processes and North-South relations.

Combinations with minor study programs

There are three different options for the Bachelor's study program in Geography. Basically, the study programs differ in the number of consolidation modules (core elective modules) in the third year of study as well as in the volume of the elective section.

The major study program Geography 120 at Bachelor’s level can be combined with a minor study program of 60 ECTS credits or two minor study programs of 30 ECTS credits.
The major study program Geography 150 at Bachelor’s level can be combined with a minor program of 30 ECTS credits.
Minor study programs can be chosen from the entire range of subjects offered by the University of Zurich. Possible minor study programs at ETH Zurich are listed on the website of the Department of Geography.
The Bachelor's degree program in Geography 180 is a mono study program (without a minor).

It is recommended to complete the study program in Geography with at least a minor of 30 ECTS credits.

What next?

The following links will provide you with general information on the study programs at the Department of Geography, which should enable you to have a smooth start to your studies: