Haramaya University Geography and Environmental Studies

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Haramaya University Geography and Environmental Studies Department

Haramaya University Geography and Environmental Studies Department – Check Below:


The teaching of geography at the tertiary level started in 1950 at the University College of Addis Ababa (UCAA). Initially, geography was offered as an important field of study to Arts students. Since 1958, the Department of Geography, now renamed Department of Geography and Environmental Studies as of 2002, has been offering undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in geography. The first batch of geography majors who numbered three graduated in 1963. Geography graduates work in the teaching and non-teaching professions and contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the country.
Since its beginning, the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies continued to develop at a relatively rapid rate.  The broad sub-fields in the curriculum were Human Geography, Physical Geography and Cartography.  Cartography was offered as a tool course to strengthen the training of students at the undergraduate level. As was geography teaching in many parts of the world then, the program was biased towards regional studies. In the second half of the 1960s, the emphasis shifted to the study of geographic principles and quantitative methods.
The expansion of the program made necessary and possible a further evaluation of its curriculum in the light of the fast emerging trend of the “New School of Thoughts” in Geography – the Quantitative Revolution. In consequence, the Department began to introduce a series of changes. The level and relevance of teaching and research both in Geography and cartography are considerably affected by the quantitative revolution.
Now we live at a time when computers are widely used to acquire and process geo-data, store, retrieve and manage spatial information. Geographic Information System (GIS) including Remote Sensing (RS) technologies emerged as one of the main tools of spatial analysis and graphical presentation in geographical studies. This is a new development to the field of geography. Environmental issues such as climate change: desertification & global warming, and environmental degradation are important issues of these days. Globlization in its environmental, cultural and economic perspectives is a recent and important development.
Now a days, Geography and Environmental Studies has been given in all higher institutions of Ethiopia. Since 2004 E.C, a modular curriculum at national level was developed with the participation of respective university professionals under the guidance of Ministry of Education and started to practice in a modularization system in 2005 E.C.
2. Vision and Mission Statements
Vision of the Program
The vision of MOE is to achieve an education and training system which assures quality and equity education by the year 2020 that aims at producing competent citizens. In line with this, the programme of Geography and Environmental studies is to be a center of academic excellence in various fields of geography and Environmental studies which incorporate physical, human and Environmental issues in addition to the application of GIS & Remote Sensing in building basis for socio-economic development of the country by producing qualified and competent citizens.Mission of the Program
The missions of the programme are:

  • Implementation of the New Education and training Policy of the Country which demands academically qualified professional for the undergraduate educational program.
  • Producing academically qualified experts who can work research and community based activity on geographically diverse areas of the country.
  • Implementation of Ethiopia’s short and long socio-economic development plans by producing the necessary skilled manpower in both quality and quantity for the country’s development.

Goals of the programme:

  • Devoted to promote their capacities and desires to solve problems in the areas related with their field of study.
  • Trains highly qualified Geography and environmental studies  professionals and teacher educators
  • Conducts high quality research on relevant issues.
  • Provide optimum community service
  • Conducts high quality professional training

Admission Requirement
The following requirements are set as selection criteria to join the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies in the degree program.

  • Students who successfully completed the preparatory program and pass the entrance exam that could be prepared by Ministry of Education and meet the minimum requirement needed.
  • Students who have Diploma in Geography and other related disciplines from recognized college or university with a minimum CGPA of 2.00 at graduation.

Graduation Requirement

  • In order to graduate in this programme, a student has to take 180 EtCTS without scoring “F” in any course and the minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.00.

Degree Nomenclature

  • Students completing the graduate program of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies will be awarded: “Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Environmental Studies” in its Amharic version

Graduate profile

The curriculum of the department is designed with the view that graduates who complete their education from the department shall be able to:-

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of spatio-temporal distributions in both physical and human phenomena, and use geographic and environment perspectives to evaluate, make decisions about, and report on issues, processes, and events,
  • Identify, collect and compile information through archives, field survey; aerial photographs and remotely sensed data to alleviate spatio-temporal problems of physical & human environment and develop potentialities,
  • Care for ethical values, and provide leadership role models in national, regional and local development with a clear understanding of  values and needs of the country
  • Capable of working cooperatively for the common good of society
  • Use different theories and models to understand and explain spatio-temporal processes, trends and patterns related to human and physical environment,
  • Initiate and participate actively in community services and developmental activities
  • Generate, organize , and analyse Geo-data for Spatial Decision Support system
  • Apply modern tools and techniques like GIS and remote sensing in managing resources and protecting environment for sustainable development
  • Highly committed to self development through the continuous acquisition of knowledge and experience and able to survive in an environment of continuous change in a rapidly evolving society;
  • Conduct researches, which are beneficial to society and present the result of their findings in clear and coherent manner;
  • Appreciate the natural environment, work on resources and environmental degradation, pollution and population explosion, which are global issues of today’s,
  • Involve as an expert in land administration and registration issues;
  • Actively participate in food security and livelihood related research undertakings.
  • Have basic understanding on fundamental national issues and sustainable development.

Currently, the school of Geography and Environmental Studies has the following programs

No Name of program Level Duration Remark
PhD in Geography (with specialization yet not specified) PhD 4-5 years It will be open for 2016/17 academic calendar
Geography and Environmental Studies BA, Degree 3 years
Geography and Environmental Studies (with Urban and Regional Development Planning or Environment and Land Resource Management) MA, Degree 2 years
Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management MA, Degree 2 years
Urban Planning BA, Degree 3 years
Geo-Information Science BSc, Degree 3 years


Urban Planning program (BA Degree in Urban Planning)


Urban planning is a broad discipline which incorporates thedesign and regulation of the uses of space that focus on the physical form, economic functions, and social impacts of the urban environment and on the location of different activities within it.  Urban planning concerns itself with both the development of open land (“green fields sites”) and the revitalization of existing parts of the city, thereby involving goal setting, data collection and analysis, forecasting, design, strategic thinking, and public consultation. Increasingly, the technology of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has been used to map the existing urban system and to project the consequences of changes.
The major components of the discipline of urban planning are land use planning, transportation planning, infrastructural planning, natural resource and environmental planning, economic development planning, urban design and so on.
In many developing countries, the lack of appropriate urban planning can be pointed out as one of the major causes for poverty creation and increasing exclusion. Cities that develop chaotically see an increase in slums, lack of basic public services and leave the door open to exploitation of the weakest.
Having this concept, the need assessment, which was organized by College of Social Sciences and Humanities, has been conducted by the staff members of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. It has been done in five regional states of urban bureaus and city administration of DirreDawa as well as five Ethiopian universities such as Jigjiga University, DirreDawa University, Haramaya University Chiro campus, Bahirdar University, Ethiopian Civil Service University and Addis Ababa University to explore information on the various and interlinked aspects of urban bureaus that will serve as an input for the opening up of undergraduate program in Urban Planning. Therefore, results obtained from the data has its own implications on the persisting gaps prevailed in the urban bureaus of the nation   particularly stirring scarcity of skilled human resources.

2. Vision and Mission Statements

Vision of the Program
The program of Urban Planning aspires to be a center of excellence in education, training, research and professional guidance in urban planning in the country.
Mission of the Program
The program’s mission is to train high level professional skills for the nation and the region in the field of urban planning through training, research and professional guidance/extension.
In other words, to realize this vision, our program mission  to educate planners who will understand diverse needs of the population in the planning process and who will work with innovative technologies and planning methods to ethically create livable cities within sustainable environments; and to provide professional and public services to communities in the nation.

Graduation Requirements

  •  Take a total of 121 credit hours in 41 courses of urban planning program
  •  Registered and completed six semesters in urban planning program.
  •  Cumulative GPA (CGPA) of not less than 2.00
  • No “F” grade in any of the prescribed courses

Degree Nomenclature

B.A. (Bachelor of Art) Degree in Urban Planning).
The Amharic Version of the degree will be:

Graduate Profile

Upon the successful complete of the program our graduates will planners

  • Urban planners identify community needs and develop short- and long-term plans to create, grow, or revitalize a community or area.
  • Planners help communities manage the related economic, social, and environmental issues, such as planning a new park, sheltering the homeless, or making the region more attractive to businesses.
  •  Planners promote the best use of a community’s land and resources for residential, commercial, or recreational purposes.
  • Planners work with public officials, community members, and other groups to identify community issues or goals. Using research, data analysis, and collaboration with interest groups, planners formulate strategies to address issues or meet goals.
  • They also may help carry out community plans, oversee projects, and organize the work of the groups involved. Projects may range from a policy recommendation for a specific initiative to a long-term, comprehensive area plan.
  • Control, monitor and evaluate the implementation of urban development plans
  • Coordinate and participate in the designing of residential buildings, health centers, schools, commercial and office building complexes and other similar  structures
  • Coordinate and participate in the designing of public spaces, streets, squares, boulevards, and other relevant public structures.
  • Prepare Social and physical Infrastructural plans


Physical Facilities

The department has one independent laboratory room for offering skill courses. Moreover, there are two rooms which are prepared as a center of GIS & Remote Sensing, and Cartography &photogrammetry. Moreover, one independent urban studio room for drawing and project work.
Geo- Information Science (GISc) Program (BSc Degree in Geo- Information Science)


Sound planning, management and decision making efforts in any development and conservation activities depend on the availability of social, economical, and biophysical data/information. The proper sustainable utilization and management of resources requires plan which should be based on reliable and up-to-date data. Data is required to produce information for planning, executing, and monitoring of resources and activities. Planners, resource managers, and decision/policy makers, researchers, and the public in general use this information. Data, therefore, should be properly managed to address the needs of the different information users, since information is the fourth development determining factor besides knowledge, capital and land Haramaya University Geography .
Geo-Information science is an inter-disciplinary program allows the study of natural and manmade phenomenon with an explicit bearing in space. It is an information and communication technology mainly used for analysis of spatial information. It is a useful technology in earth’s natural and artificial data collection & storage in an organized manner in the computer system in a way to be retrieved, updated and analyzed to solve the spatio-temporal problems of humans and nature, for planning, sustainable use and management of geo-environmental resources.  With so many different fields of applications, GIS allow fast access to existing data/information, which helps timely decision making, execution of activities, and distribution of resources. Moreover it facilitates sharing of resources (data, software) and experiences between institutions/individuals.
Haramaya University Geography  Vision and Mission Statements
Vision of the Program

  • To be a center of excellence in Geo- information science by being a leading program in teaching, community service and research in the university as well as in the region.

Haramaya University Geography  Mission of the Program
o   To build the intellectual and human resources capacity through teaching Geo-information sciences.
o    To generate high quality knowledge and advance problem solving in Geospatial information sciences.

1.      Haramaya University Geography  OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAM

  • Teaching and training of geo-environmental scientists,
  • Conducting research in geosciences and environment to improve and generate new knowledge,
  • Rendering professional service to the community in matters pertaining to the fields of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
  • To advance Geo- environmental knowledge and skill through research and carry out consultation activities, and
  • To render service to and respond to the new realities and needs of the society/country

2.    Haramaya University Geography   OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAM

2.1    Educational Objectives and Competency Profile
The objectives of undergraduate program in Geo-Information Science are:
2.1.1        General Objectives
The general objective of the program is to produce Geo-information professionals with a broad understanding of geo-environmental sciences, who can:
o   Contribute to meet the high need of geo- information for the geo-environmental resource planning, management and monitoring and Carry out professional work in various ministries, governmental and none-governmental institutions and companies engaged in activities related to the broad fields of geo-environmental resources management and Haramaya University Geography
o   Apply the GIS skill and experiences to carryout problem solving researches related with geo-environmental and developmental issues to provide sufficient and adequate information about the extent and the depth of a problem.
2.1.2      Haramaya University Geography    Specific Objectives
The specific objectives of the program are enabling students to get knowledge, skill and attitude concerning:

  • Apply the skill and knowledge of GIS for urban and rural development projects and programs;
  • Characterizes, identify  and model environmental related problems for awareness creation, research, development programs and introduce and/or design different opportunities and or scenarios  to mitigate environmental problems;
  • Generate geo- information for  modeling future sustainable development and management options and opportunities;
  • Implement GIS in land use and landscape development plan, land administration and registration;
  • Provide training, consultancy, and advisory services to local regional and national governmental and non-governmental institutions and organizations
  • Extend methods and techniques of natural resources exploration
  • Conserve and protects the geo-environmental resources
  • maintain and improve professional competence in order to give better service to the community
  • Offers trainings in GIS  principles and methods;
  • Use different data sources, geo-information management  and decision support systems;
  • Construct  technical knowledge and skills in the development and application of GIS in planning, assessment, monitoring and decision making;
  • Disseminate broad knowledge of geo-spatial information system
  • Identify problems related with earth and environment issues and develop personal skills and attitudes, together with a depth of knowledge that equip students to carryout basic and applied research using their  GIS expertise; and
  • Advice and involve in development projects and policy issues at different level.

Degree Nomenclature

Students who have successfully completed graduation requirements can earn the following degree: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Geo-Information Science (GIS). Its Amharic version “የሳይንስባችለርድግሪበጂኦ-ኢንፎርሜሽንሳይንስ”.
Teaching Facilities

S.N Category Facilities
1 Computer Lab Computers with 1:3 ratio
2 GIS lab Computers with Remote Sensing & GIS software, internet connection (4 hr/week/student) with 1:2 ratio
3 Hardcopy Maps Topographic, Hydrological, Geological, meteorological  and other maps
4 Digital Data Digital data of different events and Aerial photos& satellite images
5 Classroom Equipments LCD (1 per section), Computer(1 per section),
6 Other Equipments Standard GPS, Digitizers, scanners, plotters, printers, compass and network modem

3.    Haramaya University Geography  GRADUATE PROFILE

After successful completion of the training, the graduates of the Geo-Information Science are:

  • Skilled and competent in the essential computer use for spatial and non-spatial data management and dissemination/visualization;
  • Able to implement and apply ground and remote sensing based methods of geo-data acquisition to quantify and qualify various geo-environmental resources;
  • Competent in identifying and selecting the best fitting geo- data sources and integrating these data in GIS to meet a specific geo- information need (for planning, decision making, monitoring, etc);
  • Competent in establishing geo-database, applying spatial data models and spatial analysis/geostatistics to generate useful geo-information for different end users;
  • Skilled  in spatial data management and visualization of spatial information;
  • Knowledgeable in spatial analysis modelling and trend analysis  using spatial and non-spatial data to provide information for various application;
  • Competent in the general and specific application of GIS for different disciplines;
  • Skilled in using and developing GIS projects at catchment, watershed, regional and national level;
  • Design and implement researches for identifying and characterizing geo-environmental problem and designing development projects at different levels;
  • Skilled in using GIS based software
  • Teaches basic GIS courses in a wide range of study programs
  • Provide  training, advices and consultancy  service for program managers, decision makers, policy makers and development projects; and
  • Develop self esteem, responsibility and confidence in line with GIS use and application

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