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Bachelor of Arts in Geography

The Geography program is designed for students seeking professional careers in environmental fields, GIS, education and graduate study.

The Geography program has four major missions:
  1. Providing general education courses to enrich the liberal arts offerings in both the sciences and social sciences;
  2. Offering specialized, or more advanced courses, to service other programs in the university;
  3. Providing a solid academic major for students wishing to pursue graduate study or work as a professional;
  4. Supporting research, consulting and other services for the region.

Cooperative studies and programs are coordinated with Environmental Science, Biology, Geology, History, Children's Studies, International Affairs, and Urban and Regional Planning.

Note: two years of a single high school foreign language or one year of a single college-level foreign language is required.

Admissions Requirements for Geography and Anthropology: Students who plan to become candidates for advanced degrees are advised to complete two years of a foreign language. Also, Geography majors are advised to take at least one course in statistics.

What will I study?

Required Courses

Disciplinary Foundation Courses (10 credits)

GEOG 100 Fundamentals of the Physical Environment (5)
GEOG 101 Fundamentals of Human Geography (5)
CSBS Foundation Courses (5 credits)
CSBS 310 Foundations of Social and Behavioral Science Theory (5)

Choose one of the following (5 credits)

CSBS 320 Introductory Statistics for the Social Sciences (5)
CSBS 330 Integrated Social Science Methods (5)
CSBS 331 Documents-Based Research Methods (5)
GEOG 328 Geographic Information Systems I (5)

Disciplinary Core Courses (20 credits)

GEOG 201 Introduction to Field Research (5)
GEOG 227 Introduction to Map and Air Photo Analysis (3)
GEOG 230 World Regional Geography (5)
GEOG 392 History and Philosophy of Geography (2)
GEOG 490 The Geographer's Capstone (5)

Elective Concentration: Choose one of the following (20-25 credits)

CSBS Certificate Program

Students may select one of the approved interdisciplinary certificate programs from the CSBS certificate program list, with approval of the Geography program director. Additional Geography electives may be required to reach the 20-credit minimum, if the approved certificate is less than 20 credits.

Geography Graduate School Track

Students may follow the traditional four-field focus (human, physical, regional and technical) that is the expected preparation for graduate school. See full Geography graduate school track list below.

Specialization Track

Under certain circumstances, students may be allowed to design a 20- to 25-credit group of electives that best exposes them to the branch of geography they wish to pursue, with approval of the Geography program director.

Geography Graduate School Track Coursework

Select a minimum of 5 credits from each of the following four groups (20 credits minimum)


GEOG 250 Global Economic Development (3)
GEOG 317 Resources and Conservation (3)
GEOG 355 The Geography of Theme Parks (2)
GEOG 357 The Geography of Childhood (3)
GEOG 406 Women and Men in the Cultural Landscape (1)
GEOG 450 Global Transportation Development (3)
GEOG 459 Political Geography (3)
GEOG 465 Urban Geography: Origins, Forms and Functions (3)
GEOG 469 Built Environments of North America: Symbol and Structure (3)


GEOG 204 Atmospheric Environment (5)
GEOG 305 Introduction to Oceanography (5)
GEOG/BIOL 306 Forest and Rangelands (5)
GEOG/BIOL 312 Fundamentals of Soil Science (4)
GEOG 314 Weather and Climate (5)
GEOG 315 Surface Hydrology (4)
GEOG 325 Wetland Science I (4)
GEOG 410 Geomorphology (5)
GEOG 420 Applied Geography Studies (2-5)


GEOG 330 Geography of the Pacific Northwest (4)
GEOG 332 Geography of Latin America (4)
GEOG 333 Geography of Monsoon Asia (4)
GEOG 498 Seminar in Geography (1-5)


GEOG 328 Geographic Information Systems I (5)
GEOG 329 Air Photo Interpretation (5)
GEOG 420 Applied Geographic Studies (2-5)
GEOG 427 Desktop Mapping (3)
GEOG 428 Geographic Information Systems II (5)

Emphases / Concentrations:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in interpreting existing and creating new maps, in both paper and digital formats;
  • Demonstrate awareness of the diversity of cultural and natural landscapes on a global scale;
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of the content and history of geography’s main sub-disciplines, including physical, human, regional and cartographic techniques;
  • Apply basic research methodologies and field techniques to geographic research;
  • Demonstrate communication skills and critical thinking abilities required to interpret and express geographic information in clear, written form.

What could I do with my degree?

  • Typical career fields include: computer cartography and GIS, urban and regional planning, community development, environmental analysis, park ranger, intelligence analyst, hydrologist, climatologist, natural resources specialist, demographer, historic preservation specialist and numerous other related environmental fields.
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