Geography was first established in S.Q.U. in 1986 as one of two units which constituted the then so called Department of History and Geography. This modest launch continued till 1993 when the Geography Unit developed into a full-fletched academic department with a significant instructional and research mission. Since then, Geography became a strong and dynamic discipline in the College of Arts and Social Sciences.
During the academic year 2007-2008, slightly more than 600 students registered in the Undergraduate Program of the Geography Department, amid 320 of them are in major and minor courses of Geography, and about 300 from other Departments and Colleges of SQU who enrolled in the different courses offered by the Department.
The Department has 14 members of staff, one Demonstrator and two GIS and Remote Sensing technicians. The Department was keen that they come from American, British, German, French and Arab universities in order to ensure diversity of geographical thought in the overall performance of the Department. In addition, facilities in the Department include a GIS laboratory with 30 personal computers, a cartography/ remote sensing laboratory with 20 personal computers, a map library and store and special shelves in the College library and Main Library containing a wide selection of geography related books and scientific journals.
Geography is an academic discipline of very broad and deep scope. It combines both social and physical sciences. As such, the study of Geography enhances significantly the student knowledge of the earth we live in and, hence, helps to broaden his/her perspectives in the social, political and economic aspects of different cultures and societies. In addition, studying Geography provides students with potent research tools such as cartography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques. It also endows students with quantitative and qualitative techniques which are necessary for to geographic and environmental analyses. These skills help to prepare students for careers in both public and private sectors that deal with environmental and social research, planning, development and management activities.
The Department’s teaching and training activities accord with the University’s aim of achieving regional and international standing Therefore, as we look forward into the 21st Century, the Department of Geography is well positioned to address key issues pertaining Omani society. We look forward to play an instrumental role in S.Q.U. efforts in forging the future of Oman's society and economy. This effort is entirely consistent with the recognition that Geography, particularly in the new GIS science era, plays a central role.