Applied Geography B.Sc.


Key Info

Basic Information

Bachelor of Science
Start of Studies:
Winter Semester
Standard Period of Studies:
6 semesters
ECTS Credits:
180Mehr Informationen

What does that mean?

ECTS are credit points that measure the workload of one's studies.


Admission Requirements

  • Abitur or equivalent HZB Mehr Informationen

    What does that mean?

    General higher education entrance qualification (Abitur), subject specific university entrance qualification, or an equally recognized university entrance qualification (HZB)

  • Proficiency in German --- Mehr Informationen ---

    What does that mean?

    You must provide documentation of your language skills for the language of instruction at the time of enrollment. The exam regulations stipulate the relevant requirements.

Admission to First Semester

NC for WS 2023

Admission to Higher Semesters


Enrollment Requirements

  • SelfAssessment --- Mehr Informationen ---


    RWTH Aachen self assessments are online advising processes for deciding what to study. Participation in one (rarely two) of these self assessments is mandatory. You can find which self assessment you need to take for this subject in the course of study description under "Prerequisites". You will need to show proof of participation in a subject specific self assessment in order to enroll (not to apply). You can print out the participation certificate yourself.

Dates and Deadlines


Our planet is undergoing a rapid change process that is presenting humanity with ever greater challenges. Climate change, species extinction, growing population pressure, and global water scarcity are just a few examples. On the other hand, innovations and a digitally connected world provide the current generation with more tools than ever before to address these challenges. Addressing them requires insights from different perspectives, so as to be able to understand the complexity of the problems at hand and to achieve important sustainability goals.

Geography addresses this wide range of topics and uses both natural and social science perspectives and methods. The aim is to understand the Earth system as a whole, to analyze problems, and to develop solutions. Different geographical disciplines complement each other:

Physical geography concentrates primarily on natural science research approaches and methods, such as in climatology, geomorphology, and geoecology.

Anthropogeography takes an economic-social science perspective, such as in commercial geography, transport geography, urban geography, and population geography.

The RWTH degree program is structured accordingly: It consists of components from physical geography, anthropogeography, geographical methods, and regional geography.

Starting in the fourth semester the curriculum offers students the opportunity to specialize within a geographic subdiscipline. Students select – based on their personal interest – one of the excursion destinations offered and two specialization modules starting in the fifth semester.

A unique selling point of the RWTH geography program is that it offers many connections to other disciplines. The course catalogue, from which students choose a minor and a core elective module starting in the third semester, is unique and offers a broad range of specializations not available in this breadth at other universities. Students can choose from a unique variety of subjects in geography or other disciplines, including waste management and environmental engineering, business administration, biology, geosciences, geodetics, georisks, social sciences, computer science, mathematics, resources management, urban water management, urban planning, transport and spatial planning, and economics.

Another special feature of the RWTH degree program is its application of theory into practice: the concept behind the course of study is to offer an extraordinarily elaborate and comprehensive methodological training - from scientific data collection on site to evaluating the results.


Degree Content

Applied geography at RWTH means practical experience straight from the beginning! Field exercises supplement basic studies in the first semester. There is also an emphasis on methodological skills, such as climatological measurements at RWTH's own measuring stations, soil sample analyses, mapping, surveys, and statistic analyses. Many excursions offers a lively look into geographical peculiarities in the region and into geographical practice. Larger study excursions can take students to neighboring Euroean countries or to other continents.

Professional experience in a particular field of application is indispensable for geographers. A professional internship, completed during the lecture-free period, offers a deeper look into fields of work requiring geographic expertise.

Curriculum (simplified)

Semester Geographic Modules

Physcal Geography

Economic Geography

Industrial Geography

Introduction to Scientific Research, including Field Trip, Geostatistics, Cartography


Physical Geography
Soil Geography, Biogeography, Basic Seminar, and Field Trip

Economic Geography
Geography of Services, Agricultural Geography

Visualization, Geostatistics (SPSS)


Human Geography
Urban and Population Geography, Spatial Planning, Basic Seminar and Field Trip

Project Module
Empirical Methods

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Minor and Core Elective Module (from 3rd semester)


Project Module
Project Study

Regional Geography
Regional Seminar, Regional Internship

5 and 6 Specialization
Module 1 and 2 (by choice), Bachelor's thesis

All details including the detailed program structure can be found on the Institute of Geography website.

Programs Abroad

Geography is an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented subject, as is reflected by the numerous international research collaborations of the RWTH Institute of Geography. The program’s content relates to different regions of the world and involves current topics in world affairs. English-taught courses and opportunities to study or work abroad round out the internationally oriented offering.

The Institute of Geography maintains partnerships with renowned universities worldwide, making it possible for its students to gather the diverse international experiences that are so important for budding geographers. In the EU mobility program ERASMUS+ alone partnerships are maintained with universities in almost all European countries. Short-term scholarships offered through the IDEA League Student Grants support students with stays at several universities in Europe. Aside from further study possibilities on all continents, the exchange program with the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and the German Mongolian Institute for Resources and Technology in Mongolia offer interesting opportunities to simultaneously acquire technical and intercultural skills.

Beyond faculty-specific study abroad opportunities, RWTH students benefit from the university's strategic partnerships with international universities. Exchange opportunities with these partner universities are availabe, some of which are eligible for financial support through RWTH.

All of RWTH's partnerships and collaborative programs can be found on the study abroad web pages. Subject-specific information is available on the Institute of Geography website.



Enrollment Prerequisite

RWTH Georessources and Materials Technology Self Assessment


Decision Aids

Various methods, facts, and relationships are linked. In contrast to geography lessons in school where facts and data are taken from literature, geography students collect data themselves, statistically analyzing them, and researching their dependence and relationships with each other. Geography students must have a particularly interest in looking for causes and relationships. They should be just as interested in geosciences as in social and economic approaches. This "all around" perspective is typical for geographers and makes them appealing for diverse work in research and application requiring this ability to make connections. Broadly based alternatives with other focuses include georesource management, geoinformatics, geodetics, environmental science, agricultural studies, and the like.


Media Library

Do you want more perspectives? Use the diverse resources we have available! You can find our recommendations in the media library.


Career Prospects

Career fields are numerous and the occupational outlook is high due to the practical and quantitative orientation of the course of study. Graduates are active both domestically and abroad in the following fields:

  • Companies in private industry: site management, marketing, coordination activities, PR activities, controlling, consulting, editorial office activities, IT managment, media companies, environmental protection/consulting, telecommunications, city management, real estate, finance, traffic management, cross-border coordination, EU-oriented consulting responsibilities, tourism, and recreation
  • Public administration: spatial and urban planning, regional development and management, environmental management, nature conservation planning, neighborhood and city management, economic promotion, GIS supported planning and coordination activities, development assistance,international authorities
  • Self-employment: The vocational qualification offers good possibilities for under taking self-employment activities, e.g. in consulting offices or service enterprises as an external contractor for the professional fields listed above.

You can find more information about the job market for geographers on the websites Deutscher Verband für Angewandte Geographie (in German).


Master's Degree Prospects

RWTH Aachen offers two further Master's courses of study Applied Geography and Economic Geography.

Typical topics in the applied geography program are landscape system analysis, climatology, remote sensing, and urban geography.

In contrast, the Master's in economic geography focuses on topics such as geographic innovation research, regional development and tourism, services and digitalization.

Both courses of study integrate further geographic subjects, specialization modules, and excursion modules. A minor is a selected during Master's studies to help students further qualify themselves.


Module Handbook and Examination Regulations

The module handbook provides a description of all modules of a degree program and offers a comprehensive insight into the program contents.

The examination regulations are comprised of legally binding provisions on learning objectives, prerequisites for study, the course structure and processes, and examination procedures.

Regulations that generally apply to all Bachelor's and Master's degree programs, including information on language proficiency requirements, can be found in RWTH's General Examination Regulations. These general regulations are further specified and complemented by the subject-specific examination regulations.

If two examination regulations are valid for a degree program during a transition phase, the most current version shall apply to students enrolling in the program for the first time.

Please note that only the German examination regulations are legally binding.

Module Handbook
Subject Specific Examination Regulations
RWTH's General Examination Regulations



The Bachelor's course of study Applied Geography is offered by the Division of Earth Sciences and Geography in the Faculty of Georesources and Materials Engineering.

The Division of Earth Sciences and Geography practices traditional, application-oriented teaching in a geographically-interesting environment. It offers its students many insights "here on site" and comprehensive skills in open space and evaluation methods. Its collaboration with the other disciplines at RWTH, which is shaped by technology and engineering, open up education and research prospects not offered at other universities.