About the Department

Under the former Institute of Health Science, geography was part of what was called the ‘Basic Science Unit’. At that time, the department was represented by just one instructor, who used to offer the course ‘Introduction to Ethiopian Geography’ as a common course to most of the departments operating under the Institute. When the Institute was upgraded to university level in 2000, geography merged with history to form the Department of Social Science, and it stayed that way for three years. The Department separated from history and began to act as a fully-fledged department in 2004, starting its training through the regular program by offering courses to English Department students minoring in Geography and Environmental Studies.  In addition, the department admitted 280 students in its regular program to train in Geography and Environmental Studies leading to bachelor degree in geographic education. It also, admitted 50 students in the same academic year to train at diploma (teaching) level through its evening program.

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies (DGeES) has revised its curriculum as of 2009 and has been offering an undergraduate program leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree (non-teaching) in Geography and Environmental Studies. The revision was aimed at inculcating the changes and improvements that are happening in the discipline.  In doing so, an attempt was made to include recent developments and tools of spatial analysis namely Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing technologies. In addition, environmental issues such as climate change; desertification and global warming, and environmental degradation are important issues in the revised curriculum.  However, the undergraduate curriculum which was implemented since 2009 has undergone revision again to include newer developments, insights, principles and application in geography.

Currently, the department of Geography and Environmental Studies is running undergraduate programs in the regular, summer and distance education modalities.Moreover, the department has launched master’s degree program mainly in Geographic Information System (GIS)and in other sub specializations like Urban and Regional Development Planning, Land Resource Analysis and Management in 2014/15.

Geography graduates work in both the teaching and non-teaching professions and contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the country.