1.) How many semester hours are required for graduation?
A major needs to take a minimum of 32 semester hours in geography. Three courses are required of all majors: 101 Cultural Geography, 310 Research Methods, and either 304 Cartography or 305 Air Photo and Map Interpretation. It is advised that once a student has chosen geography as a major, he or she work closely with their faculty advisor. By working with a faculty advisor, the student will be better able to plan their curriculum based on their professional and personal goals. A student can choose between one of three tracks in geography: Environmental, Regional, and Urban Planning. A minor in geography requires a minimum of 20 semester hours of geography coursework. A geography minor can choose between one of three tracks: General Education, Environmental, and Urban Planning. It is strongly recommended that a geography minor consult with a geography faculty member in deciding what coursework to take.
2.) What special features does the department offer to students?
The geography department offers the student the world. No other major on campus is so holistic. Because geography bridges the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities, geography is the ultimate (and arguably, best) liberal arts major. The geography faculty is deeply committed to the development of a student's professional and scholastic goals. The geography faculty enjoys and actively solicits student participation in research projects. We (the geography department) believe that one of the most enriching endeavors is making a new discovery that is beneficial to society. We allow every opportunity for independent student research projects, so that students will also experience this love of discovery.
3.) How feasible is the study abroad program within a geography major?
Geographers study the world. Participating in a study abroad program is not required, but it is recommended. Living in another culture will enrich a student's experience in geography. If a student chooses to attend a study abroad program, it is strongly recommended that the student consult closely with a faculty advisor to plan their coursework carefully so that all requirements for the major will be met by the end of their senior year. The geography faculty conduct research in Indonesia, Russia, Guatemala, and India. Opportunities may exist for student research projects abroad. The geography faculty have taken a number of students abroad for travel and research. If you are interested in research or travel opportunities abroad, contact a faculty member in the department.
4.) What can someone do with a geography major?
Geographers develop several skills while taking coursework. Because geography is inherently interdisciplinary, employers look for geographers with holistic problem-solving skills. Geographers, unlike other disciplines, study human society and the physical environment. Geographers are valued employees because we are trained to understand the complexity and interconnections between society and the environment. Additionally, geographers learn skills in geographic information systems and cartography. Employers seek geographers for their unique analytical and technical problem-solving abilities. Geographers are employed by government agencies (EPA, Department of State, United Nations, CIA, etc.), academic institutions, non-governmental organizations (Nature Conservancy, Oxfam America, CARE, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, etc.), and business. For more information on careers in geography, surf the web at www.aag.org .
5.) How many subdisciplines are represented in the geography major?
Students have the opportunity to choose one of three tracks in geography: Environmental, Regional, and Urban Planning. These 3 tracks correspond to the broad professional interests of geographers in the workforce today. Geography majors have the opportunity to shape their professional career by choosing a track which best suits their goals.