The department traces its origin to October 1959, when under the initiative of Professor V.K.R.V. Rao, the then Vice-Chancellor of the University and an eminent Economist, a Department of Human Geography was established as a constituent of the Delhi School of Economics. Professor George Kuriyan, a renowned Geographer of India at that time, was the first Professor and founder of the department. In 1966, Professor V.L.S. Prakasa Rao took over from him and guided the department until 1973. Since then, the department acquired a name and a distinctive identity in India and abroad. It draws students from all over India as well as abroad.
The department has expanded many times over since 1973. The name of the department was changed to the Department of Geography in 1976 to indicate the widening scope of teaching and research activity in physical and human aspects of Geography. The Department has evolved many new courses, which have been widely acclaimed as the frontiers in Geography. The Faculty members undertake research projects from various agencies including University Grants Commission, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Indo-Canadian Shastri Institute and Ministries of Government of India, which include Indian Space Research Organization, Department of Science and Technology and the Planning Commission.