2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Sep 25, 2021  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

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Geography (B.S.)

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Program Coordinator/Contact

Robert Watrel, Interim Department Head
Department of Geography
109 Wecota Hall

Program Information

Geography is the scientific study of the distribution of both physical and human features of the Earth’s surface. Geographers seek to describe, relate and explain the natural and cultural phenomena that distinguish places around the world. Geographers focus upon “where” and “why” questions concerning the global environment. Geography also functions as a bridge between the natural sciences; its perspective on the location of phenomena makes it unique among the academic disciplines. The process of change is a fundamental theme in geography and the examination of how humankind modifies the Earth is a continual emphasis. The study of geography is thus of vital concern to all citizens and provides graduates with numerous career opportunities in business, education, and government.

The Geography program is designed to provide the student with a general education as well as a concentration in the major field of study. The faculty recommends that majors take several courses in disciplines closely related to their specific area of interest in geography. Those interested in physical geography might register for associated courses in physics, agricultural sciences, botany or other allied disciplines. If one is interested in human geography, course work in sociology, economics, history, political science or foreign language or some other social science might be considered. For technical geography, computer science and mathematics courses are recommended. Qualified students may also enhance their academic experience with participation in the Undergraduate Scholars Program.

Program Emphases

  • The Planning Emphasis stresses research techniques and is oriented toward future employment in governmental, industrial, military, or planning positions.
  • The Environmental Planning and Management Emphasis is designed to prepare students for careers in governmental, industrial, managerial, recreational areas, and commercial corporations.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates with a major in Geography will:

  • acquire foundational and specialized knowledge in both the physical and human worlds and their interconnectedness at different scales;
  • acquire proficiency in the basic use and application of geographical technologies and techniques;
  • effectively communicate geographical ideas using common media from the discipline (submitted samples might include maps, oral presentations, text, photos, illustrations, flowcharts, tables, graphs, graphics);
  • engage in applied learning, laboratory, and/or field experiences;
  • demonstrate the ability to collect, organize, analyze, and synthesize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial-temporal context.

Academic Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 18 upper division credits in major courses and earn at least a “C” in each course used to meet the major requirements.

Course Delivery Format

Geography is not only a classroom subject but one that also includes laboratory research, fieldwork, and travel, as well as limited online coursework.

Requirements for Geography Major: 120 Credits

Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences 

System General Education Requirements

Department of Geography Requirements

Bachelor of Science Requirements: 13+

  • Natural Sciences  Credits: 10+
    • Any two lab sciences.
    • Coursework must include 2 prefixes.
    • MATH and STAT courses do not count toward the science requirement.
  • AHSS 111 - Introduction to Global Citizenship and Diversity Credits: 3  
  • One declared minor outside of the major prefix OR a second major OR a teaching specialization. The minor may be a traditional minor within one department or it may be interdisciplinary involving more than one department. The minor can be in a different college. The minor must be declared no later than the student’s third semester of enrollment.
  • Capstone course in the major discipline
  • Upper division coursework Credits: 33

System General Education and/or major coursework may satisfy some or all of the above requirements. Consult program advisor for details.

Advanced Physical Geography and Human-Earth Relationships

Select 3 credits from the following courses.  Credits: 3

Geography Electives


Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Total Required Credits: 120

Summary of Program Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences

System General Education Requirements* 30 Credit Hours
Department of Geography Requirements* 13+ Credit Hours
Major Requirements 35 Credit Hours
Electives** 50 Credit Hours

*System General Education Requirements, Major Requirements, and Supporting Coursework may satisfy some or all of the above requirements.  
**Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Academic Advising Guide Sheet

The goal of the academic advising guide sheets and sample plans of study is to promote undergraduate student success by guiding all students to timely completion of an undergraduate degree. Students are not limited to the course sequence provided for their academic program. Instead, the sample plan of study is one possible path to completing your degree and is meant to be used as a guide for planning purposes in consultation with an academic advisor. The plans also help students prepare for meetings with their academic advisor and track their progress in their selected academic program.

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