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It’s like this: you sit down in the back seat of your grandparents’ car and immediately spy the jumbo road atlas. You pick it up and are enraptured by each map, thankfully blocking out your grandfather’s thirty-sixth telling of his appendectomy story.

Surveying, a field of study often listed under a civil engineering program, is concerned with all aspects of the land around us. As a Surveying major, you’ll study data collection techniques such as photogrammetry and satellite positioning. You’ll learn about geographic information systems and other computer programs. You’ll study drafting and site planning, and you’ll be exposed to astronomy, geography, and other fields involving measurement.

As a Surveying major, your primary concern will be the physical environment—its beauties, problems, resources, and effects. You’ll study how natural resources should and can be preserved and protected. You’ll investigate the ways in which different aspects of the land affect each other. You’ll study the land in order to tackle issues like hazardous waste, deforestation, wildlife endangerment, and border disputes.

Eventually, your major in Surveying might lead you into a career with railroads, urban planning, architecture, land development, or public utilities. Your knowledge of the land—and the skills you develop to study it—can lead to endless opportunities.


  • Astronomy for Surveyors

  • Cartography

  • Construction Surveying

  • Ethics and Professionalism

  • Geodesy

  • Geodetic Models

  • Land Development Design

  • Land Information Systems

  • Legal Principles of Boundary Surveying

  • Map Projections and Coordinate Systems

  • Photogrammetry

  • Plane Surveying

  • Practical Field Problems

  • Public Land Survey System Boundaries

  • Remote Sensing

  • Route Surveying

  • Stormwater Design

  • Surveying Data Adjustment and Analysis

  • Surveying Drafting


To prepare for a major in Surveying, make an effort to take courses in geography, geology (you study some of this in physical science), computer science, and a lot of math. These will give you a good foundation for your college courses.