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2021 Best Colleges for Geography & Cartography

Approximately 6,501 geography and cartography degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be a challenge finding the best choice. This year's Best Colleges for Geography & Cartography ranking analyzed 61 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in geography and cartography. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of schools for Geography & Cartography students.

Choosing a Great Geography & Cartography School

Best Colleges for Geography & Cartography The geography program you select can have a big impact on your future. Important measures of a quality geography program can vary widely even among the top schools. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we consider a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a combination of various factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

Over 80% of the schools in this list are in the top 12% of our overall quality ranking while the lowest ranked school on the list is still in the top 16%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 187 to 46 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

A geography and cartography degree from colleges on this list typically translates into above average wages following graduation. While the average geography and cartography bachelors degree from U.S. schools results in an average starting salary of $32,264, graduates of colleges on this list average $35,611.

Starting Salary  ( 33726 to 38673 )
$0
$38,900

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Geography & Cartography students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other geography and cartography students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized geography and cartography related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Geography & Cartography students.

Best Schools to Study Geography & Cartography in the United States

The following list ranks the best colleges and universities for a Geography & Cartography degree.

Top 10 Best Geography Colleges

It is hard to beat University of California - Los Angeles if you want to study geography and cartography. UCLA is a very large public school located in the city of Los Angeles. A Best Colleges rank of 65 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UCLA is a great school overall.

There are about 152 geography and cartography undergrads studying this program at UCLA. Soon after graduating, geography students generally make an average of $33,000 in the first five years of their career.

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It is hard to beat University of Maryland - College Park if you want to study geography and cartography. Located in the suburb College Park, UMCP is a public school with a very large student population. This college ranks 117th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

There are about 82 geography and cartography undergrads studying this program at UMCP. University of Maryland - College Park geography and cartography students receive $4,040 more than the typical geography graduate.

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University of California - Santa Barbara is among your top options if you're planning on studying geography and cartography. UCSB is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Santa Barbara. This college ranks 133rd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

University of California - Santa Barbara is a fairly popular school to study geography in United States exceeding 98 graduates last year. Graduates of the geography program make about $33,200 in the first couple years of working.

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University of Washington - Seattle Campus is a wonderful option for students pursuing a Geography & Cartography major. Located in the large city Seattle, UW Seattle is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 97 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UW Seattle is a great college overall.

There are roughly 140 geography and cartography undergrads studying this program at UW Seattle. After graduation, geography students usually earn about $32,800 at the beginning of their careers.

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#5

Binghamton University

Vestal, NY

Binghamton University is a large public school located in the midsize suburb of Vestal. This college ranks 177th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, Binghamton University also offers a Master's Degree in geography and cartography. Geography & Cartography graduates from Binghamton University earn a boost of approximately $3,040 above the average income of geography and cartography graduates.

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UT Austin is a fairly large public school located in the city of Austin. A Best Colleges rank of 91 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UT Austin is a great college overall.

With 85 undergraduates, The University of Texas at Austin is one of most popular schools to study geography in United States. The University of Texas at Austin geography and cartography graduates make $2,040 more than the standard geography grad.

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Located in the midsize city College Station, Texas A&M is a public school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 102 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Texas A&M is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Texas A&M also offers 2 different higher degree levels in geography and cartography, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Geography & Cartography majors from Texas A&M University - College Station receive an earnings boost of around $4,740 over the average income of geography and cartography graduates.

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Located in the city Tempe, ASU - Tempe is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 276th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Arizona.

For those interested in something more advanced, ASU - Tempe also offers 2 different higher degree levels in geography and cartography, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Geography & Cartography graduates from Arizona State University - Tempe receive an earnings boost of around $3,340 above the average income of geography and cartography majors.

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Located in the city Boulder, CU - Boulder is a public college with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 227th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Colorado.

For those interested in something more advanced, CU - Boulder also offers 2 different higher degree levels in geography and cartography, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). After graduating, geography students generally earn about $33,500 in the first five years of their career.

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Located in the city Minneapolis, UMN Twin Cities is a public school with a very large student population. This college ranks 124th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Minnesota.

For those interested in something more advanced, UMN Twin Cities also offers 2 different higher degree levels in geography and cartography, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from this program state that they receive average early career wages of $33,800.

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Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Colleges for Geography & Cartography award.

Rank College Location
11 Macalester College Saint Paul, MN
12 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
13 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
14 Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA
15 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI

Geography & Cartography by Region

View the Best Colleges for Geography & Cartography for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 13 majors within the Social Sciences area of study, Geography & Cartography has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Economics 48,297
Political Science & Government 47,035
Sociology 37,611
General Social Sciences 19,694
International Relations & National Security 15,207

View All Geography Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Couleur. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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