Undergraduate

Major in Geography

The Department of Geography offers undergraduate programs of study in three primary areas of geography.

Students who would like to declare or change to a Major in Geography should email Harriet Gunter (hgunter@uga.edu). The email must be from your UGA email address and include the following information:

  1. Full legal name
  2. 810 number
  3. Current major
  4. Major you want to change to or add (please specify)
  • Human Geography combines economic and cultural geography to explore the relationships between humans and their natural environment, and to track the broad social patterns that shape human societies.
  • Physical Geography is the study of the natural processes that shape the surface of the Earth and life on it; the characteristics of the natural features of some portion of the Earth's surface; the study of physical features of the earth's surface.
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are computer programs linking features commonly seen on maps (such as roads, town boundaries, water bodies) with related information not usually presented on maps, such as type of road surface, population, type of agriculture, type of vegetation, or water quality information. A GIS is a unique information system in which individual observations can be spatially referenced to each other.

We offer both Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees. Students who seek the B.S. degree typically have interests in geosciences, landforms, weather/meteorology, climate change, plant geography or related topics. Those who pursue the A.B. degree typically have interest in international development, population and demographics, migration, urban studies, globalization, and related issues.

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Degree requirements for Bachelor of Arts (A.B.)

Core Curriculum

Area II: GEOG 1111& 1111L – Introduction to Physical Geography or GEOG 1112 & 1112L –Introduction to Weather and Climate and GEOG 1113 & 1113L – Introduction to Landforms. (Students who have completed GEOG 1111 may enroll in GEOG 1112 and/or 1113. Students who have completed GEOG 1112 or 1113 may not enroll in GEOG 1111. It must be taken as a general elective if not taken under Area II.)

Area IV: GEOG 1101 – Introduction to Human Geography. (Must be taken as a general elective if not taken under Area IV.)

Area V: GEOG 1103 or GEOG 1125 (preferred, not required)

Area VI: Students must take the equivalent of 18 semester hours of lower-division (1000- and 2000-level) courses that are related to (in some cases prerequisite to) advanced coursework in geography. These must

include:

  1. STAT 2000 Elementary Statistics or GEOG 2300 Geographic Data Analysis
  2. The third semester of a foreign language.
  3. Four courses selected from the following (and not taken under Area V):
  • AFAM 2000 Introduction to African-American Studies
  • ECON 2105 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 2106 Principles of Microeconomics
  • PHIL 1500 or 2020 Logic and Critical Thinking
  • SOCI 2600 Social Problems
  • WMST 2010 Introduction to Women's Studies

No more than one of the following:

  • The fourth semester of a foreign language.
  • One 2000-level SOCI course not listed above.
  • One 2000-level HIST course beyond the course taken in Area V.

No more than two of the following:

  • GEOG 1103 Cultural Geography
  • GEOG 1125 Resources, Society, and the Environment
  • GEOG(ANTH)(CMLT)(HIST)(SOCI) 2100 Introduction to Africa
  • GEOG 2610 Geography of GeorgiaRevised 9/14/2011

4. If items 1 or 2 above have been satisfied elsewhere in the core, students may make up their 18 semester hours with additional options listed under item 3.

Major Requirements

A minimum of 24 semester hours of coursework must be taken in geography at the 3000-level or above. This upper-division coursework must include the following:

  • GEOG 3510 & 3510L Cartography and Graphics
  • At least two courses from the list of human geography courses (see "Human Geography" under the heading "Upper-division Curriculum Structure" below).
  • At least one course from the list of physical geography courses (see "Physical Geography" under the heading "Upper-division Curriculum Structure" below).
  • Four additional upper-division geography courses.

At least two of the seven selected geography courses taken at the upper-division must be 4000-level courses in human geography or geographic techniques (see "Geographic Techniques" under the heading "Upper-division Curriculum Structure" below).

A minimum grade of C must be earned in each upper-division course

Degree requirements for Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Core Curriculum

Area II:  GEOG 1111& 1111L – Introduction to Physical Geography or GEOG 1112 & 1112L –Introduction to Weather and Climate and GEOG 1113 & 1113L – Introduction to Landforms.  (Students who have completed GEOG 1111 may enroll in GEOG 1112 and/or 1113. Students who have completed GEOG 1112 or 1113 may not enroll in GEOG 1111. It must be taken as a general elective if not taken under Area II.)

Area IV:   GEOG 1101 – Introduction to Human Geography.  (It must be taken as a general elective if not taken under Area IV.)

Area V: GEOG 1103 or 1125 (preferred, not required)

Area VI:  Students must take the equivalent of 18 semester hours of lower-division (1000- and 2000- level) courses that are related to (in some cases prerequisite to) advanced coursework in geography.  These must include:

  1. STAT 2000 Elementary Statistics or  GEOG 2300 Geographic Data Analysis
  2. MATH 2200 & 2200L Analytic Geometry and Calculus or MATH 2210 & 2210L Integral Calculus or MATH 2250 & 2250L  Calculus I for Science and Engineering  or MATH 2260 & 2260L  Calculus II for Science and Engineering  (Note:  MATH 2250 & 2250L are strongly encouraged for an atmospheric science focus.)
  3. CSCI 1100 & 1100L Introduction to Personal Computing or CSCI 1210  Introduction to Computational Science or CSCI 1301 & 1301L Introduction to Computing and Programming (Note: CSCI 1301 & 1301L is required for the certificates in geographic information science and atmospheric science.)
  4. Two lab science courses, beyond those required under Area II, in BIOL, CHEM, GEOG, GEOL, or PHYS (both courses can be from the same department).
  5. If items 1, 2, or 3 above have been satisfied elsewhere in the core, students may make up the remainder of their 18 semester hours with 1000/2000-level courses in ANTH (physical), BIOL, CHEM, CSCI, ECOL, GEOG, GEOL, MATH, PHYS, or STAT. Revised 9/15/2011

Major Requirements

A minimum of 24 semester hours of coursework must be taken in geography at the 3000-level or above. This upper-division coursework must include the following:

  • GEOG 3510 & 3510L   Cartography and Graphics
  • At least two courses from the list of physical geography courses (see “Physical Geography” under the heading “Upper-division Curriculum Structure” below).
  • At least one course from the list of human geography courses (see “Human Geography” under the heading “Upper-division Curriculum Structure” below).
  • Four additional upper-division geography courses.

At least two of the seven selected geography courses taken at the upper-division must be 4000-level courses in physical geography or geographic techniques (see “Geographic Techniques” under the heading “Upper-division Curriculum Structure” below). A minimum grade of C must be earned in each upper-division course.

Agro-Food Systems and Food Security Area of Emphasis

Students may choose an Area of Emphasis below. However, an Area of Emphasis is NOT required to complete the major.  Courses completed in the Area of Emphasis can count toward the degree requirements listed above. 

Agro-Food Systems and Food Security Area of Emphasis

The Agro-Food Systems and Food Security area of emphasis focusses on the structure and dynamics of the industrial agro-food system, as well as the many and varied critiques leveraged against that system. Emphasis is given to understanding the ways in which alternative food systems and networks seek to address the weaknesses of the industrial system. Themes include globalization, hunger and food insecurity, sustainable farming, local and regional food systems, food safety, food justice, and food sovereignty. This area of emphasis relates to careers in the rapidly growing alternative food networks sector, as well as shaping food policy at multiple levels of governance. This Area of Emphasis is designed for the A.B. major.

Upper-division requirements: Students must complete a total of eight upper-division courses in Geography, including GEOG 3510-3510L.

Core: Complete three of the following: GEOG 3660, GEOG 4670, GEOG 4860, GEOG 4890

Electives: Select three additional courses from the following: GEOG 3290, GEOG 3620, GEOG 3630, GEOG 3640, GEOG 3690, GEOG 4620, GEOG 4630, GEOG 4640, GEOG 4680, GEOG 4690, CRSS(HORT)(ANTH)(ECOL)(GEOG) 4930, GEOG 3990, GEOG(CRSS) 4375, GEOG 4890.

Physical Geography: Select one 3000- or 4000-level physical geography course.

Earth System Science Area of Emphasis

Students may choose an Area of Emphasis below.  However, an Area of Emphasis is NOT required to complete the major.  Courses completed in the Area of Emphasis can count toward the degree requirements listed above.

Earth System Science

The Earth System Science area of emphasis incorporates an integrated systems approach which is more quantitative than the Environmental Geography area of emphasis. It involves digital analysis of earth and atmospheric systems through use of remote sensing and/or geographic information systems. Students are prepared for careers with scientific agencies and companies concerned with physical systems of the environment and resource management, particularly in situations that call for knowledge of computerized techniques. This Area of Emphasis is designed for the B.S. major.

Prerequisite: CSCI 1210 OR CSCI 1301-1301L or MARS 1010-1010L

Upper-division courses: Students will take a total of eight-upper division courses in Geography, including GEOG 3510-3510L.

Core: Select four courses in Physical Geography (GEOG 3010, GEOG 4020, GEOG 4030, GEOG 4040, GEOG 4060, GEOG 4070, GEOG 4700L, GEOG 3110, GEOG 3120-3120L, GEOG 3130, GEOG 3180, GEOG 4111-4111L, GEOG 4112, GEOG 4114, GEOG 4120, GEOG 4140, GEOG 4150, GEOG 4160, GEOG 4170-4170L, GEOG 4180, GEOG 4911, GEOG 3210, GEOG 3290, GEOG 4220, GEOG 4240) and two courses from GIS/Remote Sensing/Image Analysis (GEOG 4140, GEOG 4330, GEOG 4350, GEOG 4370, GEOG 4430).

Human Geography: Select one 3000- or 4000-level human geography course.

Environmental Geography Area of Emphasis

Students may choose an Area of Emphasis below. However, an Area of Emphasis is NOT required to complete the major.  Courses completed in the Area of Emphasis can count toward the degree requirements listed above.

Environmental Geography Area of Emphasis

The Environmental Geography area of emphasis provides students with a well-rounded education of the earth's physical and biological systems and settings. It prepares students for careers related to environmental planning, environmental consulting, resource management, and various areas dealing with stewardship of public and private lands.

Prerequisite: GEOG 1125 or GEOG 2250H

Upper-division courses: Students must complete a total of eight upper-division courses in Geography, including GEOG 3510-3510L.
    
Core: Select two courses from each of the following three areas (six total courses): Geomorphology (GEOG 3010, GEOG 4020, GEOG 4030, GEOG 4040, GEOG 4060, GEOG 4070,GEOG 4700L); Atmospheric Science (GEOG 3110, GEOG 3120-3120L, GEOG 3130, GEOG 3180, ENGR 4111-4111L, GEOG 4112, GEOG 4114, GEOG 4120, GEOG 4140, GEOG 4150, GEOG 4160, GEOG 4170-4170L, GEOG 4161-4161L, GEOG 4180, GEOG 4911); Biogeography (GEOG 3210, GEOG 3290, GEOG 4220, GEOG 4240, GEOG 4810, GEOG 4930, GEOG 4931).

Human Geography: Students in the B.S. major must select one 3000- or 4000-level human geography course; students in the A.B. major select two human geography courses.
 

Geospatial Analysis and Visualization Area of Emphasis

Students may choose an Area of Emphasis below. However, an Area of Emphasis is NOT required to complete the major.  Courses completed in the Area of Emphasis can count toward the degree requirements listed above.

Geospatial Analysis and Visualization

The Geospatial Analysis and Visualization area of emphasis provdes students with concepts, principles and techniques of geographic information science (GIScience) that focus on spatial analysis, modeling and cartographic mapping, including interactive and animated visualizations. This area of emphasis will prepare students for careers related to cultural and resource management, planning, enviornmental design and sustainable development that require geographic data analysis and display. This Area of Emphasis is designed for the B.S. major.

Upper-division courses: Students must complete a total of eight upper division courses in Geography.

Core: Students must complete GEOG 3510-3510L, GEOG 4370-4370L, GEOG 4410-4410L, and GEOG 4470-4470L.

Elective: Select one course from GEOG 4300/6300GEOG 4350/6350-4350L/6350LGEOG 4380-4380L, GEOG 4330-4330L, GEOG 4570-4570L, or GEOG 4590-4590L.

Human Geography: Select one 3000- or 4000-level human geography course.

Physical Geography: Select two 3000- or 4000-level physical geography courses.

Additional Information: Students who achieve a 3.0 GPA in required and elective courses of Geospatial Analysis and Visualization area of emphasis may be qualified for a GIScience certificate. Please check UGA's GIScience Certificate Program for details.

Global Environmental Change Area of Emphasis

Students may choose an Area of Emphasis below.  However, an Area of Emphasis is NOT required to complete the major.  Courses completed in the Area of Emphasis can count toward the degree requirements listed above.

Global Environmental Change Area of Emphasis

The Global Environmental Change area of emphasis focuses on dynamic elements of earth's systems that operate at continental to global scales and change on timescales of decades to millions of years. It prepares students for careers broadly related to global environmental change and associated aspects of resource management. This Area of Emphasis is designed for the A.B. or B.S. major.

Upper-division courses: Students will take a total of eight upper-division courses in Geography, including GEOG 3510-3510L.

Core: GEOG 3180, GEOG 4040.

Electives: Select at least one course from each of the four categories: Geomorphology (GEOG 3010, GEOG 4020, GEOG 4030, GEOG 4060, GEOG 4070, GEOG 4700L/6700L); Climatology (GEOG 3110, GEOG 3120-3120L, GEOG 3130, GEOG 4120, GEOG 4150, GEOG 4160), Biogeography (GEOG 3210, GEOG 3290, GEOG 4220, GEOG 4240, GEOG 4810), and
Remote Sensing (GEOG 4140, GEOG 4350-4350L).

Human Geography: Students in the B.S. major select one 3000- or 4000-level human geography course; an additional human geography course (total of two) is needed in the A.B. major.

Globalization, Politics and Economy Area of Emphasis

Students may choose an Area of Emphasis below. However, an Area of Emphasis is NOT required to complete the major.  Courses completed in the Area of Emphasis can count toward the degree requirements listed above.

Globalization, Politics and Economy Area of Emphasis

The Globalization, Politics and Economy area of emphasis provides an understanding of the macro- and micro-economic factors and political relationships shaping the interdependent world system today. Political and economic perspectives of the core intersect with electives to frame more specific areas of human geography. This area of emphasis relates to careers in international business, the government sector (local to international levels), international development organizations, labor organizations, and the non-profit sector. This Area of Emphasis is designed for the A.B. major.

Prerequisite: GEOG 1103 (Use this course to satisfy either Area V or Area VI general studies requirements.)

Upper-division courses: Students must complete a total of eight upper-division courses in Geography, including GEOG 3510-3510L.

Core: Select three courses from the following: GEOG 3620, GEOG 3640, GEOG 3690, GEOG 4620, GEOG 4690 (courses not selected for the Area of Emphasis Core can be used for the Area of Emphasis Elective).

Electives: Select three additional courses from the following: GEOG 3290, GEOG 3630, GEOG 3660, GEOG 4630, GEOG 4640, GEOG 4660, GEOG 4670, GEOG 4680, GEOG 4720, GEOG 4860, GEOG 4890, GEOG 3650, GEOG 3990, GEOG 4710.  

Physical Geography: Select one 3000- or 4000-level physical geography course.

Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Area of Emphasis

Students may choose an Area of Emphasis below. However, an Area of Emphasis is NOT required to complete the major.  Courses completed in the Area of Emphasis can count toward the degree requirements listed above.

Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry

The Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry area of emphasis will provide students with principles and practice in the use of remote sensing data, sensors and applications including optical, radar and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technologies. Students will study photogrammetry, which is the science of making measurements from traditional aerial photographs and images from digital cameras. This area of emphasis will prepare students for careers in fields such as natural and cultural resource monitoring., geospatial intelligence, planning and disaster response. This Area of Emphasis is designed for the B.S. major.

Upper-division courses: Students will take a total of eight upper-division courses in Geography.

Core: Students must complete GEOG 3510-3510L, GEOG 4370-4370L, GEOG 4330-4330L, and GEOG 4350-4350L.

Elective: Select one course from GEOG 4140, GEOG 4410-4410L, GEOG 4430-4430L, GEOG 4470-4470L, GEOG 4570-4570L, or GEOG 4590-4590L.

Human Geography: Select one 3000- or 4000-level human geography course.

Physical Geography: Select two 3000- or 4000-level physical geography courses.

Additional Information: Students who achieve a 3.0 GPA in required and elective courses of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry area of emphasis may be qualified for a GIScience certificate. Please check UGA's GIScience Certificate Program for details.

Urban and Community Studies Area of Emphasis

Students may choose an Area of Emphasis below.  However, an Area of Emphasis is NOT required to complete the major.  Courses completed in the Area of Emphasis can count toward the degree requirements listed above. 

Urban and Community Studies Area of Emphasis

The Urban and Community Studies areas of emphasis focuses on the economic, cultural and political factors shaping cities, as well as the experiences of living and building different kinds of communities in and near cities. This area of emphasis relates to careers in urban planning, metropolitan government, economic development, and the non-profit sector. This Area of Emphasis is designed for the A.B. major.

Prerequisite: GEOG 1103 (This course can satisfy either Area V or Area VI general studies requirements)

Upper-division requirements: Students must complete eight upper-division courses in Geography, including GEOG 3510-3510L.

Core: All students in the Urban and Community Studies Area of Emphasis must complete GEOG 3630 and select two of the following: GEOG 4630, GEOG 4631, GEOG 4632, or GEOG 4633

Electives: Select three additional courses from the following: GEOG 3290, GEOG 3620, GEOG 3640, GEOG 3660, GEOG 3690, GEOG 4160, GEOG 4620, GEOG 4640, GEOG 4680, GEOG 4690, GEOG 4890, GEOG 3990, GEOG 4370-4370L, GEOG 4380-4380L

Physical Geography: Select one 3000- or 4000-level physical geography course.

Upper-division Curriculum Structure

UPPER-DIVISION CURRICULUM STRUCTURE

Coursework in geography can be divided into three general areas: human geography, physical geography, and geographic techniques.

Human Geography

  • Systematic focus:
    • GEOG 3620 — Introduction to Economic Geography
    • GEOG 3630 — Introduction to Urban Geography
    • GEOG 3640 — Geography of Human Rights
    • GEOG 3660 — Geography of Food Commodities
    • GEOG 4305 — Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
    • GEOG 4610 — Location Analysis
    • GEOG 4620 — Advanced Economic Geography
    • GEOG 4630 — Advanced Urban Geography
    • GEOG 4640 — Population Geography
    • GEOG 4650 — Industrial Geography
    • GEOG 4660 — Urban and Regional Development
    • GEOG 4670 — Geography of Development
    • GEOG 4680 — Gender and Geography
    • GEOG 4690 — Advanced Topics in Political Geography
    • GEOG 4860 — The Industrial Agro-Food System and Its Alternatives
    • GEOG 4890 — Athens Urban Food Collective (AUFC) Service Learning
  • Regional focus:
    • GEOG 3290 — Introduction to Mountain Geoecology
    • GEOG(AFST) 3650 Africa in the Global Economy
    • GEOG 4290 — Neotropical Mountain Geoecology
    • GEOG 4710 — Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa
    • GEOG 4720 — Geography of Latin America
    • GEOG 4730 — Geography of China
    • GEOG 4740 — Geography of East and Southeast Asia
    • GEOG 4750 — Geography of Europe
    • GEOG 4920 — Special Problems in Area Analysis

Physical Geography

  • Geomorphology:
    • GEOG 3010 — General Geomorphology
    • GEOG 4020 — Fluvial Geomorphology
    • GEOG 4030 — Geomorphology and Environmental Change in Karst and Arid Environments
    • GEOG 4040 — Global Environmental Change During the Quaternary
    • GEOG 4050 — The Environment of Egypt
    • GEOG 4060 — Field and Laboratory Methods in Physical Geography
    • (GEOG)(CRSS)(ECOL)(ENGR)WASR(GEOL) 4700LRevised 9/15/2011 —Hydrology, Geology, and Soils of Georgia
    • (GEOG)(ECOL)FORS 4250 — International Forest Management
    • (GEOG)(AAEC)(ANTH)(ECOL)FORS(INTL)(RLST) 4271 — Field Studies in Natural Resources
  • Climatology/Meteorology:
    • GEOG 3110 Climatology
    • GEOG 3120 & 3120L Weather Analysis and Forecasting
    • GEOG 3130 — Atmospheric Hazards
    • (GEOG)ENGR 4111 & 4111L Atmospheric Thermodynamics
    • GEOG(ENGR) 4112 Atmospheric Dynamics
    • GEOG 4114/6114 Atmospheric Dynamics II
    • GEOG 4120 Synoptic Meteorology/Climatology
    • GEOG 4121/6121 Weather Forecasting Seminar (variable credit)
    • GEOG 4140 Satellite Meteorology/Climatology
    • GEOG 4150 Physical Climatology
    • GEOG 4160 Applied Climatology in the Urban Environment
    • GEOG 4170 Mesoscale and Radar Meteorology /Climatology (pending)
    • (GEOG)ENGR 4161 & 4161L Environmental Microclimatology
    • (GEOG)ENGR 4180 Special Topics in Atmospheric Science
    • GEOG 4911/6911 Collaborative Research in Atmospheric Sciences
  • Biogeography:
    • GEOG 3210 — Biogeography
    • GEOG 3290 — Introduction to Mountain Geoecology
    • GEOG(PBIO) 4220 — Ecological Biogeography
    • GEOG(PBIO) 4240 — Plant Geography
    • (GEOG)(ANTH)FORS(RLST) 4261 — Field Study in Natural Resources
    • GEOG 4290 — Neotropical Mountain Geoecology
    • GEOG 4810 — Conservation Ecology and Resource Management
    • (GEOG)(ANTH)CRSS(ECOL)(HORT) 4930 — Agroecology of Tropical America
    • (GEOG)(ANTH)CRSS(ECOL)(HORT) 4931 — Agroecology of Tropical America Field Trip

Geographic Information Science

  • GEOG 3990 — Internship in Geography
  • GEOG 4300 — Introductory Spatial Analysis
  • GEOG 4305 — Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
  • GEOG 4310 & 4310L — Cartographic Design and Reproduction
  • GEOG 4330 & 4330L — Aerial Photographs and Image Interpretation
  • GEOG 4350 & 4350L — Remote Sensing of Environment
  • GEOG 4370 & 4370L — Geographic Information Science
  • GEOG(CRSS) 4375 GIS Applications in Agriculture
  • GEOG 4380/4380L Transportation Modeling and GIS
  • GEOG 4410 & 4410L — Cartographic Visualization Methods Revised 9/15/2011
  • GEOG 4430 & 4430L — Advanced Image Analysis and Photogrammetry
  • GEOG 4470 & 4470L — Geospatial Analysis
  • GEOG 4570 & 4570L Advanced Geographic Information Science
  • GEOG 4590 & 4590L Programming for Geographic Information Science
  • GEOG 4920 — Special Problems in Area Analysis
  • GEOG 4921 — Directed Topics in Independent Research
  • GEOG 4970H — Directed Reading and/or Projects
  • GEOG 4980H — Directed Reading and/or Projects
  • GEOG 4990H — Honors Thesis

Internships and Independent Study

Geography majors who wish to gain practical work experience with firms or organizations that employ geographers can earn from 3 to 9 semester hours in GEOG 3990 — Internship in Geography. For more information, contact Dr. Fausto Sarmiento. In addition, students who wish to engage in independent reading or research activities with individual professors can pursue this opportunity and earn from 1 to 3 semester hours in GEOG 4920 — Special Problems in Area Analysis. This course is repeatable to a maximum of 9 semester hours

Need help mapping it out?

Gunter, Harriet

Academic Advisor II

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Sarmiento, Fausto O.

Professor, Undergraduate Coordinator

Research Interests

Neotropical mountains, biogeography, political ecology and cultural landscapes

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