The Department of Geography was a part of Dhaka College since it’s incept year 1841. During Dhaka College’s initial years, it was only an Intermediate College until it offered a two year pass course and finally an Honors course from 1994. The Honors course started with only 11 students and 4 faculty members and now it has gradually increased to a 125 students with 12 faculty members. The year 1997 marked the start of the Masters course and now 125 students are enrolled under it. Due to the expansion of its curriculum, the department was renamed as Geography and Environment in 1998. The Department of Geography has been served by remarkable individuals including Professor M. I. Chowdhury, who was the Head of Geography back then. With time, this position had been designated to worthy candidates and the current Chairman of Geography and Environment is Professor Akhtar Jahan.
Field of Studies:
The basic concentration of the undergraduate program covers the following functional areas: Physical and Human Environment Studies, Urban Planning, Regional Planning, Resource Management, Economic Geography, Climatology, Geomorphology, Oceanography, Disaster Management, Population Studies, Housing and Settlement and Cultural Studies, Population Studies, and Rural and Urban Land-use Studies.
Some functional areas of the course curriculum also covers some technical aspects to improve student’s technical skills like Cartography, Surveying, Analytical Skills such as quantitative techniques, Remote Sensing, and GIS ( Geographical Information System) skills.
In addition to the facility of Dhaka College Central Library, Department of Geography and Environment has its own collection of thousands of books, publications, journals, etc in the seminar. It is easily accessible by teachers and students alike. A well set drawing laboratory has already been established in which classes can be conducted. The department also has a computer lab where students can learn GIS courses and work on their projects using the lab facilities.
Students are also taken on a study tour as a part of their curriculum each year. This gives them a practical experience besides the traditional classroom learning. It is compulsory for Final year and Masters Students to attend a field work study in which they are taught land use surveying.
Students Research and Extracurricular Activities:
In order to complete their course, students need to submit term papers, research papers, and project papers. They also have to conduct several socio-economic surveys.
The students of Geography and Environment are also known for their brilliant academic achievements. In 2009, a student achieved first class first in his Masters. This department also had 11 first class passes in Masters.
The students of Geography and Environment participate in many inter-college, national and international competitions. These include essay competitions, quizzes, poster writing and much more. On 5th June 2012, the students celebrated World Environment Day enthusiastically by rallying, making posters and planting trees around the college campus. They also became the champions of Environment Olympiad conducted by Dhaka University in 2012.
Job Opportunities for Geographers:
On successful completion of the undergraduate program, the geographers are expected to serve in public and private sectors such as Ministries of Education, Agriculture, Planning, Population, and Science and Technology. They can serve in Urban Development Directorate. They can also serve in City Corporations/Municipalities and other local governments, NGOs, banks and international development agencies.
Future Plan of the Department of Geography and Environment:
The department is still working to ensure the academic excellence of current undergraduate and graduate programs. So, the special focus will be given to the proper setup of the department with adequate facilities.