History The Department of Geography was established in 1948 as one of the foundation departments of the University. It was in both the faculty of Arts and that of Science between 1948 and 1967. It moved administratively from the Faculty of Arts to the Social Sciences in the 1967/68 session.The foundation Head of Department was Professor Keith Buchanan and since then fourteen other members of the department have assumed headship of the department with Professor Akin Mabogunje being the first Nigerian professor of Geography and Head of the Department. The structure of the undergraduate degree programme in the early years was patterned after that of the parent University of London with students graduating with a general Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree.However, in 1962 when the University became a full fledged University, students started enrolling for the honours degree programme in geography. Presently, the department offers courses leading to the award of Bachelor degree in both the Faculty of the Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science. The emphasis of the undergraduate programme has been on imparting to students those principles and techniques/skills of geographical investigation which will help them to fit into several fields of human endeavour at the national and international levels.

At the postgraduate level, the department is well known all over the world for its depth and quality of the training of postgraduate students. It has one of the foremost postgraduate Programmes in Geography in Africa and its products constitute the bulk of the staff of Departments of Geography in Nigerian Universities, Colleges of Education and Polytechnics.


The first Ibadan-based M.A./M.Sc. graduated in 1963 and the first PhD graduate was produced in 1966. Our postgraduate programme has grown and blossomed since its inception in the early 1960s. Today, he Department offers postgraduate academic programmes leading to the award of M.Sc., M.Phil and Ph.D. degrees. The department has established a GIS Laboratory under the Nigeria/Iowa University Development Linkage Programme (UDLP). In the 1995/96 session the department started the professional programme in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) at the Masters level. GIS is being taught under the programme as a decision making tool not only in natural resources and the environment but also in the areas of urban management, transport facilities location and various social services delivery systems. Presently, the department offers courses leading to the award of B.Sc. degrees in both the Faculty of the Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science.


The B.Sc. programme usually lasts six-eight semesters and admits candidates who have the required passes in the Ordinary and Advanced levels of General Certificate of Education and equivalent examinations. The programme is usually intensive and covers virtually all aspects of Geography. The main areas of specialization of the academic staff include geomorphology, climatology, bio-geography, hydrology, cartography, land resources evaluation, transport, theoretical geography, industrial geography, population, urban geography, medical geography and urban and regional planning. The different courses taught in the Department apart from providing theoretical insights into the discipline, also reflect the needs of the wider society.