The Graduate Program in Human Geography (PPGH) of the Faculty of Philosophy, Languages and Literature, and Human Sciences, University of São Paulo (USP), was created together with the Graduate Program in Physical Geography in the early 1970s, in the context of the federal regulations for stricto sensu Graduate Courses in Brazil. Its genesis, however, dates back to previous decades, when the first PhDs in Geography in Brazil were concluded in the Department of Geography of USP. The first thesis, by Maria Conceição Vicente de Carvalho, was defended in 1944, completing 70 years in 2014.

The economic centrality of São Paulo State and the academic centrality of the University of São Paulo contributed to the fact that the Program in Human Geography has attracted teachers and students who excelled in the construction of Brazilian Geography as an autonomous knowledge field and also as an open dialogue field for other areas of research. Names such as those of Professors Pasquale Petrone, José Ribeiro da Silva, Armando Correa da Silva, Milton Santos, among others, are part of the memory of the PPGH and its legacies populate our daily lives up to the present day.

The Graduate Program in Human Geography has been characterized throughout its trajectory by the permanent search for excellence through the exercise of academic freedom and autonomy. Its principles are: the ethical use of the knowledge we produce; the commitment to the consolidation and deepening of democracy, citizenship and socio-spatial justice in Brazil; the respect to the plurality of views on geography and the contemporary world.

Its objectives are: the production and dissemination of critical knowledge on issues of  geographical nature, aiming to contribute to the transformation of societies and territories; the valorization of knowledge about the socio-spatial dimensions of the world, in its different scales of analysis, representations and cartographic languages and the training of highly skilled professionals through the development of research, teaching and national and international cooperation and an openness to interdisciplinary work.

Such objectives are anchored in strategies such as: increasing the cooperation and the academic exchanges between national and international university institutions; strengthening the dialogue with associations linked to the production, dissemination and application of knowledge; the organization and participation in international, national, regional and local scientific and cultural events; the publication of collective and authorial works, as well as the publication of scientific articles in prestigious academic periodicals; the development and consolidation of communication channels between the Program and the civil society, searching a greater publicity of the research work carried out; the stimulation to the formation and the maintenance of research groups on topics of academic and social relevance; the deepening of studies on topics related to: epistemology and history of geography, contemporary urbanization, agrarian, regional and socio-environmental studies, geography teaching and education, planning and territorial policies.