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.

Four GEOG elective courses, at least three of which must be at the 400-level or above.

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 and 697, as well as three elective courses.

Pathways 2018

Students are invited (but not required) to navigate through the major using a pathway, which reflects various subfields of geography:

  • Climatology
  • 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.

The Department’s Undergraduate Handbook provides more details about the department and the major. Please take time to peruse it.

Undergraduate Handbook


Geography Department Undergraduate Advising

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Nina Martin
Associate Professor
Office: Carolina Hall 224
(919) 962-3916
Office hours during Fall 2017: Wednesdays 1:15-3:15

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:

Nell Phillips
Office: Carolina Hall 205A

Your major or minor can be confirmed by your academic advisor in Steele Building.

Advising resources outside of the Geography Department: