Director of Undergraduate Studiesnina

Nina Martin
Associate Professor
Office: Carolina 224
work(919) 962-3916 (phone)


Undergraduate Handbook


Geography studies the changing processes and patterns that shape the Earth’s surface, mold its environments, and make the places in which we live, and how human systems, institutions, and practices in turn remake the earth, alter its climatic and bio-physical processes, shape its landscapes, and create the built environment around us.  Geography students participate in our faculty and peer mentoring programs, they can join our student research or service learning activities, engage with faculty and other researchers in the classroom, laboratory, and through fieldwork, or join the Geography Club. Undergraduates in Geography learn the science of earth systems, how to study and apply the effects of social, economic, and political processes in shaping social spaces and nature, and how to use mapping, GIS, GPS, remote sensing, and other geographic information techniques. Many geography students pursue careers in research, teaching, environment policy, international development, or public service.

For administrative questions regarding courses, scheduling, or enrollment, contact

Student Services Manager

Nell Phillips
Office: 205A Carolina Hall
Telephone: (919)962-8902

BA Program Description and Requirements

We offer courses in three major areas of the discipline. Most of our courses fall into one, or sometimes two of these areas. [As of 2017 the structure of the program has changed and students no longer choose between these concentrations]

▪   Earth Environmental Systems (EES)

▪   Geographic Information Sciences (GISci)

▪   Geographies of Human Activity (GHA)

Students are encouraged to focus their coursework around one of the major themes and strengths in the Department.  These include:

▪   Climatology

▪   Culture, Society, and Space

▪   Environmental Systems

▪   Geography of Health and Disease

▪   Geospatial Analysis

▪   International Development and Globalization

▪   Political Ecology

▪   Urban Geography, Planning, and Development

Diversity and Justice


The official listing of degree requirements for geography is published in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

All Majors Take ONE OF:

Geography 110: Geography of Environmental Systems

Geography 111: Weather and Climate

AND ONE OF:                        

Geography 120: World Regional

Geography 121: People and Places

Geography 130: Geographic Issues in the Developing World

AND All Majors Take ALL OF:

Geography 370: Introduction to Geographic Information

Geography 391(Spring): Quantitative Methods in Geography

Geography 392(Fall): Research Methods in Geography

Geography 697 (Spring): Capstone Seminar in Geographic Research

AND ALL Majors take 12 additional credit hours (4 courses) in Geography.

It is strongly recommended that at least 3 of the elective courses be at or above the 400-level.

Minoring in Geography

To earn a minor in geography, a student must pass a minimum of five courses, including any two of the foundation courses and three elective courses


Geography Department Undergraduate Advising

The role of the department adviser is to help with geography course advising, to give geography career advice, and to provide other advice related to the major and minor (e.g., help with decisions about dual majors, minors, study abroad programs).

If you are interested in majoring or minoring in geography, please contact the undergraduate director (hotlink ‘undergraduate director’ to main undergraduate page). The Director of Undergraduate Studies will then set up an initial advising appointment. Your major or minor can be confirmed by your academic advisor in Steele Building.

For more information about the geography major requirements see the geography section of the UNC Undergraduate Bulletin, or our description here (link ‘here’ to ‘BA program description and requirements’ page).

Advising for issues that do not involve the geography major or geography courses is provided by the UNC College of Arts and Sciences Academic Advising Program. College of Arts and Sciences Advisers are responsible for all non-major related advising including providing information about general education requirements and conducting degree audits.

If you have administrative questions about geography advising then please contact the Geography Student Services Manager (Nell Phillips) in the Department of Geography Office (205A Carolina Hall).

Advising resources outside of the Geography Department:

▪   Contact the UNC Career Services Office for career counseling and other resources for job seeking.

▪   For more information about UNC study abroad programs see the UNC Study Abroad Office website.

▪   The Writing Center

▪   The Learning Center

▪   Counseling and Wellness Services