Dear students, fellow geographers and other visitors

Dear students, fellow geographers and other visitors

The study course of Geography in Bosnia and Herzegovina began with the establishment of the Sub-department for Geography at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo in 1950. With the foundation of the Faculty of Science in Sarajevo, as a separate educational and scientific institution in 1960, the Sub-department for Geography grew into the Department of Geography, as the most relevant institution in higher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the field of geographical science.

Geographical research in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past centuries can be perceived in the context of various historical processes and conceptions of institutional organization. More specifically, the very first form of institutional organization of Bosnian geographers of all scientific and educational profiles was established by the foundation of Geographical Society of the People’s Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The founding acts define two basic progressive directions of modern geographical science. The first one referred to the development of school geography, which in addition to improving the teaching process in geography, had the function of popularizing geographical science and its professional strengthening. The second founding organizational direction of the Geographical Society was related to the development of scientific geography. This concept got its expression through the publication of the scientific journal Geographical Review, which has been continuously published from 1957 until today. The results of theoretical and applied scientific research have been presented by Bosnian geographers at all 12 congresses of Yugoslav geographers, noting that the 3rd and 9th congresses were organized by the Geographical Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also, after independence, geographers of Bosnia and Herzegovina organized in the Geographical Society of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in co-organization with the Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, University of Sarajevo, have so far organized four congresses of geographers of Bosnia and Herzegovina with international participation.

Another very important aspect of the institutional organization of geographers in Bosnia and Herzegovina was legally established with the formation of the Sub-department of Geography as part of one of the six educational and scientific departments at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, established by Government Decree No. 120 on 14th February 1950. During the first decade of work, professors of the Sub-department of Geography in cooperation with the Geographical Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina have organized a large number of educational seminars for geography teachers from Bosnia and Herzegovina and thus gave their full contribution to the implementation of their first essential task – improving all aspects of geographical education in primary and secondary schools. In parallel with this, numerous initial complex and component research studies were started and implemented in several regions, whereby Bosnian geographers completely took over the primacy in the geographical research of the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A new qualitative step forward in the institutional organization of geographers of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the formation of the Faculty of Science at the University of Sarajevo, which was founded on 1st December 1960. The Department of Geography has started operating as one of five separate departments at this institution. The organization of the education process is implemented through teaching and scientific subjects, which are grouped within: the Sub-department of Geology, Sub-department of Physical Geography, Sub-department of Human Geography, Sub-department of Regional Geography and the Cabinet for the Teaching Methods in Geography. During this period of geography development, the differentiation of complex geographical studies of spatial reality has started through specialized component scientific studies that are grouped within the basic geographical fields: geology, physical geography, human geography, regional geography and teaching methods in geography.

The innovated educational program, harmonized with the Bologna system of studying in the regular teaching process, with the first and second study cycles of the courses of Geography in Education, Tourism and Environmental Protection, as well as Regional and Spatial Planning came into force in the academic year 2005/2006. The first study cycle in all three study courses of the Department of Geography lasts four study years (with 240 ECTS) and upon its completion the title of baccalaureate/bachelor of adequate study field is acquired. The second study cycle in all three study courses lasts one study year (60 ECTS), upon completion of which the title of master of adequate study field is acquired. The third study cycle is also organized for all three study courses lasting three study years (180 ECTS), at the end of which the scientific title of doctor of geographical sciences of adequate study field is acquired.

The education process at the level of the Department of Geography is organized through the following sub-ordinate units: Sub-department of Physical geography, Sub-department of Human geography, Sub-department of Regional geography, Sub-department of Geology, GIS Center, Institute of Regional and Spatial Planning, and Cabinet for Teaching methods in Geography. Constituent scientific disciplines at the Department of Geography are grouped according to their basic study object into the following main scientific fields: Physical geography, Human geography, Regional geography, Regional and spatial planning, Tourism, Geoecology, GIS and Theoretical geography. Each of the mentioned main scientific fields unifies related subject scientific disciplines/areas that are further differentiated into adequate subdisciplines of theoretical or applied character. These main scientific fields represent the backbone of education and academic development of both the teaching staff of the Department of Geography and participants in the regular teaching process at all levels of education.

With the mentioned educational concept, the modern school of geographical thought in Sarajevo has implemented the applied geographical orientation, i.e. it has given its full contribution to the education of experts in the field of tourism, environmental protection, regional and spatial planning, as well as GIS. Also, by implementing this concept of studying, the existing generation of geographers at the Department of Geography has concretized the essence of the introductory words of prof. dr. Husein Brkić on the occasion of publication of the first issue of the Geographical Review (1957), which hinted at “saturation of schools with geographical teaching staff and the unemployment crisis”, and in the “recognizability of the breadth of the geographical profession toward other life practices: tourism, transport, culture, homeland museums, etc.” has recognized the possibilities for the application of geography in different areas of the economy and the development of society in general. More specifically, the mentioned possibilities are based on component and complex studies of natural and social geographical objective reality from the aspect of identification, valorization and revitalization of natural and social resources of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as their protection. Applied geography, with the implementation of a specific research methodology, puts valorized and revitalized economic resources in the focus of regional and spatial planning, which is incorporated in the recent educational concept into the study program of the same name. In these planning concepts, special attention is paid to tourism valorization and destination planning as a necessary basis for the development of the tourism business, which is one of the strategic development guidelines in the recent and future economic orientation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In correlation with these guidelines, a study program in the field of Tourism and environmental protection was formed with a study program that is highly correlated with modern tourism development.

The educational and scientific process at the Department of Geography includes 7 full professors, 8 associate professors, 6 assistant professors, 3 senior assistants, 2 assistants and 1 professional associate. The Department of Geography has developed a very intensive cooperation with several higher education teaching and research institutions abroad, including: Department of Geography from University of Kingston, University of Paris-IV, Institute of Geography and Spatial Research from University of Karl Franzens in Graz, University of Copenhagen, Department of Geography from Faculty of Arts at University of Ljubljana, Department of Geography from Faculty of Humanities at University of Primorska in Koper, Department of Geography from Faculty of Science at University of Zagreb, Department of Geography from Faculty of Education at Masaryk University in Brno, University of Trier, etc.
The organizational structure of the Department consists of:

• Head of Department
• Secretary of Department
• Department council
• Council of post-graduate studies
• Sub-department of Physical geography
• Sub-department of Human geography
• Sub-department of Regional geography
• Sub-department of Geology
• Cabinet for Teaching methods in Geography
• Institute of Regional and spatial planning
• GIS Center
• Library

More detailed information on educational programs, study mode, schedule of classes and exams, teaching staff, educational and research activities, as well as other activities of the Department of Geography are available on this website.
Head of the Department of Geography,
Dr. sci. Edin Hrelja, assistant professor