Department of Geography History

While geography courses were taught at IU Indianapolis as early as 1971, the Department of Geography wasn’t officially established by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) until 1981. In the beginning, only four full-time faculty taught in the department.

Like much of the IU Indianapolis campus, the School of Liberal Arts and the City of Indianapolis, the Department of Geography grew gradually between 1981 and the late 2010s.

Since 1981, the department has graduated many students with a B.A., an undergraduate geography minor, a graduate certificate, or an M.S. in Geographic Information Science. Six graduates from the department now hold faculty positions at other universities.

Among the department’s primary initiatives has been the development of new courses and bolstering the graduate program in geographic information science, as well as courses in environmental and regional geography. The department has also enhanced its collaborations across campus, notably in the realms of medical geography (with the School of Medicine), environmental research, in international areas (most recently in Sicily), and the Center for Aerial Unmanned Systems Imaging to use drone technology.