General university entrance qualification (Allgemeine Hochschulreife)
Enrollment period winter semester
Place of study
Start of the program
Standard length of the program
Part-time studies possible
Geography has never been more relevant than today: Many of the challenges of our time – be it climate change, energy transition or flight and migration – can only be met with an integrative approach. The discipline of Geography offers exactly that: It is both a natural and a social science. It links nature-related topics such as avalanches or floods with social issues such as environmental protection, globalization and the development of tourist destinations. The Bachelor's degree program in Geography at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (KU) imparts basic technical and methodological knowledge in the two fields of human geography and physical geography.
The degree program can be studied in full time or part time.
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The program in detail
The Bachelor's degree program in Geography at the KU is divided into a basic and orientation phase and a subsequent consolidation and specialization phase. During the first two semesters, students acquire basic skills in the field of geography. These semesters include courses in the two central sub-areas of geography – human geography and physical geography – as well as in regional geography, methods and techniques of geography. In this way, you will get to know the different sub-areas of geography better and can decide on a focus on this basis.
From the third semester onwards, you will deepen your knowledge in one of the offered fields of specialization:
Society, Tourism, and Environment
The focus is on the interest in spatial dimensions of tourism in connection with questions of social natural conditions.
The field of study "Society, Tourism and Environment" is integrated into the general human geography education. A special focus is placed on the area of tourism in connection with questions of social natural conditions. Tourism is one of the fastest growing economic sectors. Its momentum is characterized by competing destinations, new forms of mobility and changing socio-cultural patterns of meaning. Therefore, questions of sustainable development are becoming more and more important.
Within the framework of this specialization, you will therefore acquire knowledge on the contents and working methods of social, economic and tourism geography as well as tourism management in semesters 3 and 4. In addition, you will learn about the most important approaches to social natural conditions and their practical and political consequences. You will develop an understanding of social, cultural and economic approaches in the interdisciplinary research area "Society, Tourism and Environment" and in sustainability. Furthermore, you will learn how tourism processes and dynamics as well as social natural conditions are analyzed and evaluated and how to deal with new tourism information and communication technologies.
The acquired skills can then be tested and applied in practical projects in semesters 5 and 6.
The understanding of natural systems, which change dramatically – especially under the influence of regional and global human intervention – is at the center of this specialization.
The focus "Physical Geography" imparts knowledge and methods to describe and analyze the processes taking place in geosystems and ecosystems and their human influence. Understanding natural systems and their complex interactions with society is currently a highly relevant topic. There are questions that currently arise all over the world, such as: How do debris flows, avalanches and floods occur and how does climate change affect these processes? How can we measure glacier melt? How can we reconcile environmental and landscape protection with economic and social interests? In the specialization in "Physical Geography", you will acquire the technical and methodological skills to deal with these and other important problem areas in your professional life. The KU's GIS laboratory, which is equipped with laser scanners and drone systems, offers you the opportunity to qualify in the field of surveying methods. You will deepen your knowledge from the basic phase in courses from the fields of landscape ecology, hydrology, geomorphology, climatology and natural hazards.
In semesters 5 and 6, you will specialize further with practice-oriented teaching and field events such as "Case Studies in Applied Geography" or "Human-Environment Conflicts". Thanks to a wide range of elective modules and field trips at the KU, you can design your studies individually. In addition, you can also attend elective modules in the fields of ecoclimatology, hydraulic engineering and remote sensing at the TU Munich.
A combination of the specializations "Society, Tourism and Environment" and "Physical Geography" enables interlinking issues of both sub-areas.
Irrespective of which specialization you choose, the degree program includes a big field trip and a professional internship in the period between semesters 3 and 6. In this way, you have the opportunity to prepare for your professional life both in theory and practice.
Mobile GIS Laboratory
An outstanding feature of the department, especially in the field of Physical Geography, is the equipment of the mobile GIS laboratory (in german) with a range of state-of-the-art terrain equipment (various drone models and sensors (RGB, thermal and multispectral), terrestrial and airborne (e.g. helicopters) laser scanning systems, tacheometry, tablets for mapping in the field, as well as several dGPS/GNSS systems for the exact collection and measurement of digital terrain and remote sensing data.
The KU weather station at the cafeteria parking lot records meteorological data automatically in 10-minute intervals. The collected data is made available to the working group AK Wetterschau and can be used for student work.
Geo Lab including several laboratory rooms; e.g. the wet laboratory for preparation and analysis of soil and sediment samples and the pollen and dendrochronology laboratory for analysis of aerobiological samples and tree rings.
A special offer of the department of Geography for its students is an own PC pool (in german) in addition to the PC pools offered by the KU Computer Center. It is designed to meet the special requirements of geography in the fields of geographic information systems and remote sensing and is used for courses and student work.
The mobile Geo-media Lab offers interested students the possibility to produce audiovisual projects independently with the help of professional guidance. At the same time, it invites students to take part in workshops to explore the practice of the audiovisual as a method and form of publication. The Geo-media Lab provides students with professional equipment (camcorders, system cameras, microphones, tripods, etc.) that they can borrow for projects and field trips.
The program in awards and rankings
The study options in the programs Geography and Political Science were repeatedly rated top level in the ZEIT university guide. In this year’s survey (2018) published by the Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung (CHE), students in the KU Geography program have stated, as in previous years, that they were very satisfied with their study situation overall and with the personal support provided for each individual. They also praised the study conditions – such as accessibility of courses and good coordination of learning content, great leeway when it comes to choosing their own field of specialization as well as the areas of supervision and field trips. Students also noted that the Geography program offered excellent professional opportunities.
4.4 stars (thus ranging above the average rating for the University (4.0 stars, 346 participants in the rating)). The categories study contents, lecturers and courses were particularly well evaluated.
Rankings and assessments
KU students and alumni have voted for their University to be Germany's most popular university in the 2021 ranking of the online portal StudyCheck. The ranking was based on over 40,000 evaluations for more than 500 higher education institutions and universities. 98 percent of students questioned for the ranking would recommend studying at the KU to others.
"There is no better praise for a university than almost 100 percent of students and alumni agreeing: I can only recommend studying at the KU! That is why we are very pleased with the ranking’s outcome, because it expresses the high level of satisfaction of our students," says KU President Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gien.
We consider stays abroad an important personal experience and a significant factor in the competition for an attractive job. The KU maintains a partnership network with around 300 universities worldwide. The KU International Office supports students in the planning phase and provides information on different financing possibilities for stays abroad. Completing a semester abroad at one of our partner universities offers you the following benefits:
Enhancing your international profile
Developing your intercultural skills
Expanding on your subject-specific and methodical knowledge
Increasing your chances on the job market
Gathering life experience and strengthening self-confidence
It is possible to study abroad in a KU-supported program:
at selected universities in the USA, Australia and Asia
in Central and South America in cooperation with the partners of the Center for Latin American Studies
at European partner universities of the KU in the context of the ERASMUS program
Furthermore, students have the possibility to apply at almost every foreign university in their own initiative as a free mover.
At the KU, theoretical knowledge is supplemented by practical experience and consolidation. We offer numerous field trips to many parts of the world in order give students the possibility to experience what they have learned in a practical context. Practical experience is also the focus of our student organizations: The association "TOPAS e.V." realizes projects in the tourism sector in cooperation with external principals. In the "AK Wetterschau", students gain practical experience in the field of meteorology at the campus weather station.
The degree program includes an 8-week required internship as well as the participation in several small field trips (1-3 days) and one big field trip (10-12 days). Students also have the possibility to complete their internship abroad; for individual advice and support in finding an internship and financing possibilities, the KU Career Service and the International Internship Service are happy to help.
Furthermore, you will qualify for later activities in science and practice (in german) through a practice-oriented, substantiated training in the use of the most modern surveying and mapping equipment (especially in Physical Geography) – i.e. a strong methodical education.
Career possibilities and professional fields
Geographers are active in a wide variety of fields – with public and private employers, in practice and science. Our graduates' fields of work include surveyor and planning offices, government agencies, GIS and remote sensing, regional planning, urban development, tourism management and consulting.
Career prospects (Physical Geography - only in german): Here, your will find a list of public and private employers from practical fields and academia, with whom we know graduates are or were employed. The table is intended to show a cross-section of the various fields of activity, it is therefore by no means complete. We would like to emphasize the key competence GIS, which is often in demand on the job market, as well as the methodological skills in the field of high-tech surveying (dGPS, LiDAR, drone flight and photogrammetric evaluation), which are particularly promoted in our degree programs with regard to application areas in the environmental and natural hazard sector.
"I work at Spessart Tourismus und Marketing GmbH in the outdoor sector and soon I will also be working in location marketing.
Since I had the desire to work in a DMO from the very beginning, the search was a bit bumpy at first because I had very specific ideas for my career entry. After six months, however, I found a position that perfectly suited me in the immediate vicinity of my home town of Aschaffenburg in the Spessart in Gelnhausen (Hesse).
In my daily work, I benefit in particular from the applied projects of the Chair of Tourism as well as the knowledge about structures from the courses. The field trips have also given me a very good insight into practical work. In a small team, I immediately had the chance to take responsibility and to implement projects in a self-determined way, as was also the case with the project work at the KU. The ‘I&K’ modules is particularly important, since the digitalization of tourist data plays an enormous and important role and is the basis of successful tourism marketing. Also the theoretical knowledge regarding spatial events can be applied very well in practice".
"I work as an area topographer at the Bavarian Agency for Digitization, High-Speed Internet and Surveying. What I like about my work is that change processes become visible, that you experience a completely new understanding of how people shape the cultural landscape and that I can get to know my home country in a completely new way. I was able to gain a lot of soft skills from my studies. For example, the frequent student presentations that we had to give with subsequent discussions helped me to present myself well in job interviews. Through the knowledge acquired during my studies, I was able to present my arguments and discuss in a well-founded way. Especially the big project work as well as the Bachelor's thesis can be seen as a kind of academic work experience. Especially the semester abroad helped me to approach people more openly and actively, to gain confidence in my communication skills and to have and show a positive attitude. In the course of my studies, I particularly liked the fact that the extensive insights into various geographical topics led me to look at the environment with completely different eyes. A seemingly accidental pile of rocks in the mountains bears witness of a former glacier expansion, the declining groundwater level is the consequence of straightened rivers and the structure and architecture of a city is a reflection of its history. There are actually no coincidences in the environment surrounding us and the more connections you begin to recognize in the course of the study, the more exciting it gets. This view of the environment and human-environmental processes not only helps me in my current work, but is what makes it so interesting in the first place. In retrospect, I liked that the imparted knowledge at the beginning of my studies was very broad and diversified through numerous field trips as well as lectures in different areas, which was followed by an in-depth examination in written assignments until I finally applied all I had learned in my final thesis. Like this, you become a generalist and specialist at the same time, you can think outside the box, i.e. interdisciplinary, but still have your main focus areas in which you are very well versed.”
What students say about the program
Elisabeth Grüner (Semester 4, specialization: General Geography)
"Our degree program goes beyond the usual standard that you would expect in the field! The connections and interactions between humans and the environment are an essential part of my studies.”
"I find it particularly interesting to learn to understand the systems and processes of the earth. The small course sizes also create a great sense of community between the students after a short time. This makes you feel comfortable in Eichstätt right from the outset.”
Christian Schuth (Semester 6, specialization: General Geography)
"What I particularly like about our degree program is that it places great emphasis on scientific work. I also find important that the field trips give us an insight into the practical side of the profession.”
Short distances on campus at the KU save time and avoid stress. The KU is a campus University with modern facilities. The buildings on campus are located close to the Eichstätt old town. Although the University and its campus has grown, it is still characterized by short distances: In Eichstätt, everything can be reached within ten minutes’ walking distance. On campus, green spaces such as the Hofgarten are the perfect places to relax. The garden of the Kapuzinerkloster is also used by different student initiatives for their projects. The canteen is located at the heart of the Eichstätt campus and has a sun deck and cafeteria that leave nothing to be desired.
What sets the KU apart
Studying at the KU is more than just acquiring specialist knowledge. We broaden our horizons together and take on responsibility in and beyond the individual degree programs. The KU has a particular focus on topics such as personal development, sustainability, social skills and social commitment.
It offers its students the possibility to study and work in a welcoming atmosphere and benefit from outstanding support and comprehensive service offers, a well-stocked library, a broad range of sports and leisure activities and a large global network of approx. 300 partner universities. Our team at the International Office helps you to plan your semester abroad and the KU Career Service provides comprehensive advice and support for embarking on your professional career.
Eichstätt and the surrounding Altmühltal natural park are not only a popular destination for culture enthusiasts and nature lovers, but also for cyclists, climbers, canoeists and fossil collectors. Located between Munich and Nuremberg, the city impresses with its Baroque setting and southern flair combined with modern and prizewinning architecture as well as a broad variety of cultural offerings and leisure activities.
The Baroque park at the heart of the campus and the nearby banks of the Altmühltal river are the KU’s “green living room”. Another big advantage: all University facilities are just a short walk away from each other.
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