Degrees & Courses

The degree of Bachelor of Science in Geography requires successful completion of 120 semester hours, including (1) the General Education Program; (2) the Geography program listed below; and (3) a program of electives or a minor as worked out with the student’s advisor.  Students are encouraged to enroll in foreign language courses. Junior/Senior students may also complete a 3-to-6-hour internship subject to the approval of the Geography faculty.






45-47 HOURS

Introductory Courses

Note: GEOG 101 and 200 are prerequisites for all other courses in Geography.

101 Human Geography. (3)
A survey course covering the culture regions of the world. Emphasis is placed on the geographic themes of place, location, movement, regions, human/environment interaction and landscape. (F, S, Su)
200 Physical Geography. (3) 
An introductory course that examines the reciprocal relationships between Earth systems and humans, emphasizing the spatial and temporal patterns of climates, landforms, vegetation, soils, and water resources. (F, S, Su)

Regional Geography

250 Regional Studies. (3)
Regional studies focus on selected portions of the Earth’s surface and the interdependency of nations. Regional geography courses prepare students to be aware of and understand people culturally different from themselves. Courses include the following: Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, Russia, Southeast Asia, The Appalachians, Latin America, the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, North America, and Mountain Geography. Regional courses may be taken repeatedly for credit, so long as there is no duplication of the area studied. Region of study will be reported on the student’s transcript. (F, S)

Human-Cultural Geography

240 Popular Culture. (3)
Examines elements of popular American culture such as icons, heroes, myths, and rituals, which reflect the ideas, beliefs, and values of the culture. Particular emphasis will be placed on the role of contemporary technologies, such as gaming, social networking and the Internet.
300 Sustainable Development. (3)
A study of the need for conservation, its practice and philosophy. Emphasis on the interaction of people and the environment they inhabit.
301 Economic Geography. (3)
A study of the nature, distribution, and spatial dynamics of economic activities.
320 Geopolitics. (3)
A study of the role of geographic conditions and considerations in local, national, and international politics. Special attention is given to political problems and topics of current interest.
321 Advanced Cultural Geography. (3)
A systematic survey of culture through the topics of human origins, demographics, agriculture, politics, language, religion, folk societies, ethnicity, and urban life. There is an emphasis on popular culture. Advanced Cultural Geography is also listed as SOC 310.
330 Geography of Tourism and Outdoor Recreation. (3)
A study of the patterns of pleasure travel and processes of recreation, with emphasis on the geographic factors which influence demand, usage, and development of recreation areas and facilities. (Also listed as RTM 340.) 
385 American Indians and Indigenous Cultures. (3)
This course explores American Indian and indigenous cultures beginning with the Pleistocene settlement of the Americas and the Hawaiian Islands. It follows native cultures through the period of European contact, treaty system, and removal to reservations. It ends with contemporary issues of casinos, and other social issues such as alcoholism, education, and suicide. 

390 Geography Goes to the Movies. (3)
The purpose of this course is to provide graphic representation of the geographic concepts of Place and Location, Society and Environment, Landscape, Diffusion, Perception, and Regions. It demonstrates through video, that places, settings, and human environments are crucial to an understanding of the human condition. The course focuses on American and International cinema.

410 Urban Geography. (3)
Examines the historical, social, economic, and political processes shaping the urban landscape. Studies geographical models of urban land use. The course also covers contemporary issues facing North American cities.
420 Transnational Migration. (3)
This course invites students to situate current transnational migration with specific historical circumstances which have continued to determine social processes both within the postcolonial South and postcolonial North. The goal is to make students come to an understanding and appreciation of both the interconnectedness of the world's peoples and crucially, the world's histories.

Physical-Environmental Geography

210 Natural Disasters. (3)
An examination of the risks, underlying causes, social and environmental impacts, and mitigation of natural disasters.  Special attention is given to temporal trends and spatial patterns of natural disasters such as those associated with drought, hurricanes, flooding, landslides, wildfires, earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis.
260 Applied Meteorology. (3)
Prerequisites: GEOG 200 or instructor consent. Examines meteorological phenomena, including extreme weather events, using case studies and relevant instrumentation.  Emphasis is placed on applied aspects of meteorology such as weather forecasting.
340 Geography of Soils. (4)
Prerequisites: GEOG 200 or instructor consent. A study of the physical, biological, and chemical properties of soils. Particular attention is given to the geographic variation of these properties. A significant portion of the course is dedicated to a research project, which includes field sampling, data analysis, and presentation of results. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory. 

360 Meteorology and Climatology. (4)
Prerequisites: GEOG 200 or instructor consent. A study of the earth-atmosphere system’s energy flows, dynamic climatology, the principles that produce the climate patterns of the past and the present, and of the climate change forcing mechanisms that will generate the climates of the future. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory.

380 Biogeography and Environmental Change. (4)
Prerequisites: GEOG 200 or BIOL 101; or instructor consent. The objectives of this course are to examine patterns and processes in the biosphere using a multi-scale approach and through the application of theoretical, field, and laboratory methods. Emphasis is placed on understanding past environments in the context of rapid, human-induced environmental change. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory. 

Mapping and Data Analysis

311 GIS and Cartography. (3)
An introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and cartographic theory, technique, and application. Emphasis is placed on the construction, interpretation, and analysis of maps as a visual form of communication.
312 Geographic Data Analysis. (3) 
This course introduces methods used in the analysis, interpretation, and display of geographic data that are relevant to the subfields of human and physical geography and related disciplines. Computer software applications and example datasets are used to accomplish course objectives.
411 GIS Design and Application. (3) 
Prerequisite: GEOG 311. This project-based course builds upon the topics and concepts covered in GEOG 311 (GIS and Cartography).  Emphasis is placed on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in solving real-world problems. 
412 Advanced Methods in Geospatial Analysis. (3)
Prerequisites: GEOG 311, 312; and 411. An advanced course in the methods used to collect, analyze, and model geospatial data.  Course topics may include spatial statistics, terrain/watershed analysis, or remote sensing applications, including drone technology. 

Special Courses

450 Field Methods, Internships, and Research in Geography. (3-6) 
Prerequisites: Upper-class standing and permission of instructor. Classroom, field, and library experience in the tools and methodology of geographic research. A faculty approved internship may be substituted in lieu of the above. Students will develop a topic and present a formal paper based on their research.
460 Special Topics in Geography. (3)
Advanced study in specific geographic topics. May be taken repeatedly for credit. Topic of study will be included on student’s transcript.
465 Geography Capstone. (3)
Prerequisites: GEOG 101, GEOG 200. The course is intended to provide students with an integrated overview of the discipline of geography and to prepare students for careers in geography.
4601 Special Studies in Geography. (1)
Provides concentrated study on a specific topic. It may be repeated for credit, and the title of the special study will be included on the student’s transcript. Examples of special studies include: Introduction to Geographic Thought, GPS Applications in GIS, and Readings in Geography.