Major or Minor in Geography
Geography is the science of space, place, and environment. The department offers classes spanning the social and natural sciences and offering students training in qualitative, quantitative, spatial analysis and modelling, and laboratory methodologies. Human geographers study the spatial aspects of human activity and physical geographers study patterns of climate, land forms, soils and water. Geographic tools and techniques—including Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing, and online and interactive mapping technologies—are among the most important for exploring and understanding our complex world. Geographic inquiry is global and local, inherently interdisciplinary, and offers skills that enable insights into pressing issues valued by employers and policy makers. For example, how does climate change impact the way we build cities? How does globalization influence where your jeans are made? How can health disparities between people be overcome through policy change? By synthesizing this knowledge, geographers create unique understandings of our complex world.
Career opportunities for geographers are wide ranging in the public, private, and nongovernmental sectors. Geographers work in the areas of social, health, and environmental policy; energy, transportation, economic, development, and tourism planning; urban and regional planning; research and education; community development; resource management; and environmental regulation and modeling.
BA Program Requirements
Majoring in Geography
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 following: 110, 111, 120, 121, 130, 370, 391, 392, and 697, as well as three elective courses
Students are invited (but not required) to navigate through the major using a pathway, which reflects various subfields of geography:
- Culture, Society, and Space
- Diversity and Justice
- Environmental Systems
- Geography of Health and Disease
- Geospatial Analysis
- International Development and Globalization
- Political Ecology
- Urban Geography, Planning, and Development
The complete and official listing of degree requirements for geography is published in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
Geography Department Undergraduate Advising
Director of Undergraduate Studies
If you are interested in majoring or minoring in geography, please contact the undergraduate director to set up an initial advising appointment. 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).
For administrative questions regarding courses, scheduling, or enrollment, contact the Student Services Manager:
Office: Carolina Hall 205A
Your major or minor can be confirmed by your academic advisor in Steele Building.
The Undergraduate Handbook provides more details about the department:
Advising resources outside of the Geography Department:
- 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.
- 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