Renaming and Rebranding within U.S. and Canadian Geography Departments, 1990–2014

Amy E. Frazier, Thomas A. Wikle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Between 2000 and 2014, more than thirty geography departments adopted revised or new names, with some entirely dropping geography. Although renaming and rebranding efforts are not new to higher education, the rapid pace at which geography department names have changed raises questions about the discipline's identity and health. We examine the renaming trend within geography programs together with intended and unexpected factors as perceived by faculty. Specifically, we look at the renaming and rebranding trend within the context of four pillars offered by Pattison (1964) to define geography's principal academic domains—earth-science, man–land, area/regional studies, and spatial traditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-21
Number of pages10
JournalProfessional Geographer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • AAG
  • academic unit
  • administration
  • program
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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