Why Study Geography?

Geography Students
 
At first glance, you might think geography has little to do with your day-to-day life and even less to do with your career. You might think that studying geography is nothing more than memorizing state capitals or learning to plot points on a map. But geography is much more than that. While historians study events through time, geographers study where and why. The keys are location and interaction across horizontal space. Maps are crucial for showing geographic information. Another focus of geography is the relationship between human beings and their environment. The truth is that may be one of the most useful subjects offered in any school.

The world is changing rapidly. Where people once focused on their neighborhood, their town, their country, they are now adopting a more global perspective. They are learning that the earth’s resources are not limitless and that the impact of human beings on the environment is far greater than had been anticipated as little as a decade ago.

In its 1988 publication Geography: Making Sense of Where We Are, the National Geographic Society Society makes the following statement:

Geography for its own sake offers a fascinating realm of knowledge that can enrich our lives. Conversely, a lack of geographic understanding can diminish us as individuals, blunt the success of our international economic and political ventures, and dilute our strength as a nation.

(Source: Careers in Geography, National Geographic Society, 1996.)

The Major

The Geography Major consists of a minimum of 40 credits and must include one of the three options listed below. Each option integrates course offerings from several departments. A common core of introductory courses is required of all majors as a foundation for more specialized work in a particular option.

First Year

​Fall Semester
​Credits
Geography 101 ​5
​General Education/Electives ​10
​TOTAL 15

First Year

​Spring Semester ​Credits
​Geography 120 ​3
​General Education/Electives ​12
​TOTAL 15

Second Year

​Fall Semester ​Credits
​Geography 276 ​3
​Geography 280 ​3
​General Education/Electives ​9
​TOTAL 15

Second Year

​Spring Semester ​Credits
​Geography 279 ​2
​Geography Option Requirements
​3
​General Education/Electives ​10
​TOTAL 15

Third Year

​Fall Semester
​Credits
Geography Option Requirements 6
​Electives ​9
​TOTAL 15

Third Year

​Spring Semester
​Credits
​Geography 390 ​3
​Geography Option Requirements
​3
​Electives ​9
​TOTAL 15

Fourth Year

​Fall Semester ​Credits
​Geography Option Requirements
​3*
​Electives ​12
​TOTAL 15

Fourth Year

​Spring Semester
​Credits
Geography 480 or 485 or 490 or 491 or 496 (Urban Planning Requirement) ​3
​Electives ​12
​TOTAL 15

* Urban Planning Option

The Geography Major Options are:

The Minors:

In addition to the provided majors, the department also offers the following options for minors.