The Department of Geography offers a very wide range of opportunities for hands-on education and training  that allow students to gain experience in a variety of human and physical settings.

Study Abroad

Michigan State University is the National Leader in Study Abroad participation among public universities.  The Department of Geography offers the following Study Abroad Opportunities:

Globalizing Forces:  Study in Brazil (Open to all students)

Political-Economic and Sociocultural Change in Modern Turkey (Open to all students)

Social Science in Rome (Open to all students)

Australia: Summer Sports Program Down Under (Open to all students)

Gender and Development: NGO Internships in Malawi (Open to all students)

College of Social Science Study Away & Internship Programs

The College of Social Science sponsors many domestic, off-campus programs that provide students with opportunities to combine classroom education with field experience.  They have several  programs that are either study only, study and internship, or internship only that run each semester.   They have a webinar posted on the website that gives information about each specific program.  Many Geography majors are interested in Washington, DC and the Association of American Geographers Internship.   The AAG internship offers a stipend and they have been known to hire their interns into permanent positions.  There are also opportunities for students with some GIS skills in various organizations both public and private.

See the Study Away Programs Website.


Washington, DC Internship
Hawaii Study and Internship
Civil War Study
San Francisco Internship
Boston Internship
New York Internship


Washington, DC Study and Internship


Washington, DC Study and Internship
New Orleans Study and Internship

Department Internships

With the approval of the department and College, students may obtain credit for an internship experience.  Students must meet with the Academic Advisor in advance to determine requirements and eligibility.

For more information, please contact:

Ryan Shadbolt – Undergraduate Advisor

Field Experiences

One of the most exciting parts of being a geographer is getting into the field to explore spatial relationships.  Faculty within our Department provide a variety of field experiences that range in scale from global to local.  Our field experiences include (but are not limited to) the following:

1) Glacial Landscapes in Michigan

2) River Systems in Michigan

3) Urban Geography in Detroit

4) Prehistoric Environmental Change in the Great Lakes Region

5) Human/Environment Interactions in Brazil.

6) Landscapes in the Central Great Plains.


The Department is a tight-knit and friendly unit that includes many opportunities for social interaction.  Most of these interactions take place within the confines of our GEOClub and Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU).

GEOClub (Open to all Geo students)

2013 Nov_GeoClubGEOClub is a registered student organization at Michigan State University that welcomes all undergraduate students who are interested in the geography of our world, how human communities interact with the environment, and how geography information is represented.

Click to see GEOClub’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/33327007130/

Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) The International Geographic Honor Society (Open to qualified students)


Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) is an international honor society in geography. Gamma Theta Upsilon was founded in 1928 and became a national organization in 1931. Members of GTU have met academic requirements and share a background and interest in geography. GTU chapter activities support geography knowledge and awareness.