Undergraduate Major and Minors
Thanks for your interest in the Department of Geography’s undergraduate major and minors! Geography is a growing field that offers a wide range of career options, or can be a useful addition as a minor to other. We offer a major and minor in geography, a minor in Geographic Information Science (GIS), a minor in climatology, and a minor in urban studies and planning.
What’s geography? Geographers study both natural science (spatial patterns of rocks, soils, animals, plants, climate and weather) and social science (spatial patterns of sociology, culture, politics, conflict, demographics, economics, resources, waste), with an emphasis on the intersection of human activity and environmental processes. We use data (statistics, interviews, documents) to describe the natural and social patterns we see and then we use our knowledge of human and environmental processes to analyze why these patterns exist. Basically, we ask “Where?” and then we ask “Why?” For this reason, many of us are a “jack-of-all-trades,” and know a lot about a combination of topics including: economics, sociology, and environmental sciences and how these vary across space. We also often have spatial analysis and mapping skills using ESRI’s ArcGIS software.
What do geographers do? As a geography major, you’ll have a vast array of career options available to you. In fact, there are few positions called “geographer.” Instead, we work in environmental, social and GIS fields, where we use our spatial skillsets to solve problems and produce solutions. Below is a visualization of many of the jobs available to geographers (click on image to enlarge).
What courses can I take? We offer introductory courses (many of which fulfill Core requirements), as well as advanced classes in environmental, social, and GIS topics. See the schedule below for when we expect these courses will be offered.
For more information on careers in geography, course scheduling, and internships, contact Undergraduate Coordinator Dr. Jennifer Mapes.