College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Geography > About


Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on Chicago's north side, DePaul's Department of Geography was founded in 1948 by the late Dr. Richard Houk. Over the last 60 years, the department has grown and developed to reflect changes in the geographic discipline, in technology, and the labor market. Today, the department includes eight faculty, and several full and part-time faculty instructors, teaching a wide variety of courses within several sub-disciplinary and topical areas.

As the largest Geography Department in the Chicago Metropolitan Region, we are positioned extremely well to be the major provider of post-secondary and professional Geography degrees and certificates. With our commitment to critical human geography and to strong specializations in Urban Geography, Geotechnologies (GIS and Remote Sensing), Cultural, and Environmental Geography, we offer high quality programs that lead to careers in government, GIS, community and international development, environmental management, and intelligence, to name a few. Many of our alumni continue their studies at the graduate level in geography, planning, and other natural and social sciences. Recent graduates have joined MA or PhD programs in geography, urban planning, urban studies, and international relations at universities such as Syracuse University, the University of Toronto, Rutgers University, University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Chicago, the Ohio State University, and NYU. Most of our alums, however, have taken the skills honed and the concepts learned in Geography to successful careers as planners, cartographers and GIS technicians, policy analysts, activists, and advisors in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Our Mission

The mission of the Department of Geography at DePaul University is to provide students with a high quality geographic education in which teaching and research excellence are paramount. The department equips students with sophisticated conceptual and technical skills for professions that draw upon geographical knowledge, spatial analysis, and advanced work in the social sciences, as well as makes available to the university the discipline's cutting-edge methodological and technical resources. We pursue our mission with a faculty that is committed to the “teacher-scholar” model, and through a curriculum that is theoretically robust, technologically innovative, and global in its orientation and scope, albeit with a distinctively urban emphasis. The department’s mission is grounded in the confidence that a geographic education ensures a comprehensive liberal arts experience where students acquire knowledge, analyze information, and cultivate critical thinking. In a world that is becoming increasingly complex and interdependent, geographical literacy provides the basis for understanding the relationships between and among people and the environment, for understanding why events take place where they take place, and for pursuing a world that is more socially, economically, and environmentally just. Such understanding serves students as they pursue challenging careers and become socially engaged global citizens.​