Skip to main content

Learn geography with online courses and programs

Geography is the study of landforms, the earth’s surface, and other features of the natural environment. Geographers explore how these forms have changed over time and what might happen to them in the future. Explore geography courses on edX.

What is geography?

Geography is a broad field of study that explores the earth’s landscapes and environments. Mountains, rivers, climate, and the human activities that shape them all fall under the umbrella of geography. The field is often divided into two main branches:

  • Physical geography deals with the natural processes and phenomena occurring on the earth’s surface, such as landforms, weather, ecosystems, and natural hazards.

  • Human geography focuses on the relationships between people and the natural environment through the study of population, migration, urbanization, and other human activities.

From map-making to remote sensing, geographers use a variety of tools and approaches to collect important data about the environment. Through their research, they can provide important insights that can help address environmental challenges, resource management, and other societal concerns.

Geography | Introduction Image Description

Maximize your potential

Sign up for special offers, career resources, and recommendations that will help you grow, prepare, and advance in your career.

Geography course curriculum

Do you want to learn more about geography and the effects of human activity on the natural world? You can deepen your understanding of this vast and interdisciplinary field with online courses on edX.

Beginner coursework may introduce you to broad geographical topics, such as:

  • Climatology: The study of weather patterns, climates, and the factors that impact them.

  • Urban geography: The study of cities and their development.

  • Cartography: The technique of geographical map-making.

  • Conservation: The protection of natural resources and ecosystems.

  • Geopolitics: The relationships between geography, politics, and international relations.

  • Geographical history: The development of geographical knowledge and exploration over time.

Depending on your learning goals, you may decide to explore a specific area within geography. Class curricula may provide you with opportunities to engage in fieldwork and hands-on study, as well as supply you with compelling reading materials to deepen your understanding of the subject.

edX offers online courses that allow learners to study a variety of topics, including geography. Sign up for an accelerated boot camp or enroll in a full degree program and start working toward a bachelor's degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You can also explore executive education programs specifically designed for busy professionals.

Explore jobs related to geography

There are many professional opportunities for individuals with geographical knowledge. You can apply your specialized skills and knowledge to careers in various fields, including:

  • Urban planner: Assesses geographic factors such as land use and environmental sustainability in their development of urban areas.Footnote 1

  • Environmental scientist: Studies the effects of human activities, such as pollution and conservation efforts, on the environment.Footnote 2

  • Land surveyor: Measures and maps the earth’s surface to inform property boundary decisions, construction projects, and infrastructure development.Footnote 3

  • Geologist: Studies the earth’s composition and geological processes, a critical step in mining, oil exploration, and environmental repair efforts.Footnote 4

  • Conservation biologist: Works to protect and preserve endangered species and habitats.Footnote 5

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. For example, you may be able to build relevant skills in a boot camp. However, some employers may seek candidates with a specialized degree depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.