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Geography - Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

About this Degree

Infographic of Process of Bachelor of Science

Geography opens doors to a wide variety of careers, such as an environmental specialist, business location/allocation expert, market researcher, community development and planning specialist, cartographer, satellite image analyst, weather forecaster, or teacher. In fact, almost any career would benefit from a better understanding of geography. Since Geography is the study of the relationship between the planet earth and its inhabitants, it can be considered both a natural and a social science.  Geographers look at all interactions and distributions in both the natural and human realms.  They also examine how these interactions vary spatially. Geography is the science of place and space. Geographers ask where things are located on the surface of the earth, why they are located where they are, how places differ from one another, and how people interact with the environment.

The major in geography requires at least 24 hours of geography courses at the 3000-4000 level and must include GEOG 2011-2011L. A minimum grade of "C" (2.0) must be earned in each course. For the A.B. degree, 3000-4000-level course work in the major must include 6 hours of human geography courses, 3 hours of physical geography courses, and 12 additional elective hours in geography; at least 6 hours must comprise 4000-level courses in human geography or techniques. For the B.S. degree, 3000-4000-level course work in the major must include 6 hours of physical geography courses, 3 hours of human geography courses, and 12 additional elective hours in geography; at least 6 hours must be 4000-level courses in physical geography or techniques.


ENGL 1101 or ENGL 1101E or ENGL 1101S 
ENGL 1102 or ENGL 1102E or ENGL 1103 or ENGL 1050H or ENGL 1060H  
MATH 1101 or MATH 1113 or MATH 2200 or MATH 2250 or MATH 2300H or MATH 2400 or MATH 2400H or MATH 2410 or MATH 2410H 
or STAT 2000


At least one of the physical science or life science courses must include a laboratory.

Physical Sciences (3-4 hours)

Preferred Course(s): (GEOG 1111 and GEOG 1111L) or (GEOG 2110H and GEOG 1111L) or (GEOG(ATSC) 1112 and GEOG(ATSC) 1112L) or (GEOG 2120H and GEOG(ATSC) 1112L) or (GEOG 1113 and GEOG 1113L

Life Sciences (3-4 hours)

Please consider the Franklin College's Biological Sciences requirement when selecting courses from the Core Curriculum. Some courses approved for the core curriculum do not satisfy the Franklin College requirement. 


Preferred Course(s): GEOG 2011-2011L 


Note: Course credit received as a result of a score on a departmental foreign language placement test will not satisfy the General Education Core Curriculum requirements in Area IV, World Languages and Culture, Humanities and the Arts.

World Languages and Culture (9 hours)

Preferred Course(s): GEOG 1101 or GEOG 1130 or GEOG 2010H

Humanities and the Arts (3 hours)

No preferred courses for this area. See Core Curriculum view.


  • Students who have not met the Georgia and U.S. Constitution requirement by examination should enroll in POLS 1101 or POLS 1101E or POLS 1105H.
  • A passing grade on an examination on the history of the United States and Georgia is required to satisfy the United States and Georgia History Requirement for all persons receiving a baccalaureate degree from the University, unless exempted by one of the following courses: HIST 2111HIST 2111EHIST 2111HHIST 2112HIST 2112EHIST 2112HHIST 3080H. Examinations are given at University Testing Services. Reexamination is permitted. Contact University Testing Services at (706) 542-3183 for information.
Preferred Course(s): GEOG 1101 or GEOG 1103 or GEOG 1125 or GEOG 2010H or GEOG 2130H or GEOG 2250H


1. GEOG 1101 or GEOG 1130 or GEOG 2010H

2. (GEOG 1111 and GEOG 1111L) or (GEOG(ATSC) 1112 and GEOG(ATSC) 1112L) or (GEOG 1113 and GEOG 1113L) or (GEOG 2110H and GEOG 1111L) or (GEOG 2120H and GEOG(ATSC) 1112L)

3. GEOG 2011-2011L

4. STAT 2000 or STAT 2100H

5. One lab science course (4 hours) beyond those required under Area II in BIOLCHEMGEOGGEOL, or PHYS.

If any of the courses in Area VI have been used to satisfy Areas II-V of the Core Curriculum, General Electives may be taken here. (Refer to College-wide requirements when selecting General Electives) 

Entrance Requirements
Completion of MATH 2250   


A baccalaureate degree program must require at least 21 semester hours of upper division courses in the major field and at least 39 semester hours of upper division work overall.
Students in the Franklin College must earn a grade of "C" (2.0) or better in major required courses.

Required Courses (25-27 hours)

GEOG 4910
Choose one course from Group A below

Choose two courses from Group B below

Choose either a third course from Group A or one course from Group C below 

Choose four courses from any of the four groups listed below 
(At least three of the eight selected courses must be 4000-level courses from Group B and/or Group C; no more than six (6) credit hours from Group D may be counted towards satisfying the major requirements.)

Group A -- Human/Regional Geography

Systematic Focus       Regional Focus  
3000-level 4000-level     3000-level 4000-level
GEOG 3620 GEOG 4610 GEOG 4650   GEOG(AFST) 3650 ANTH(GEOG) 4275
GEOG 3630 / GEOG 3630E GEOG 4620 GEOG 4660     CMLT(AFAM)(AFST)(GEOG)(LACS) 4260
GEOG 3640 GEOG 4630 GEOG 4670     GEOG 4290
GEOG 3660 GEOG 4631 GEOG 4680     GEOG 4710
GEOG 3690 GEOG 4632 GEOG 4690     GEOG(LACS) 4720
  GEOG 4633 GEOG(INTL) 4694 -- this is a UGA á Paris course and must be taken in Paris     GEOG 4730
  GEOG(INTL)(HIST) 4634 -- this is a UGA á Paris course and must be taken in Paris GEOG 4860     GEOG 4740
  GEOG 4640 GEOG 4890     GEOG 4750


Group B -- Physical Geography

Geomorphology Climatology Biogeography
GEOG 3010 ATSC(GEOG) 3110 GEOG 3210
GEOG 4020 ATSC(GEOG) 3120-3120L GEOG 3290
GEOG 4030 ATSC(GEOG) 3130 GEOG(PBIO) 4220
GEOG 4040 GEOG(ATSC) 3180 GEOG(PBIO) 4240
GEOG 4060 ENGR(ATSC) 4111-4111L FORS(ECOL)(GEOG) 4250 (minimum 3 hours)
WASR(CRSS)(ECOL)(ENGR)(GEOG)(GEOL) 4700L ATSC(GEOG)(ENGR) 4112 FANR(ANTH)(ECOL)(GEOG)(INTL) 4271 (minimum 3 hours)
  ATSC 4114 GEOG 4290
  ATSC 4116-4116L GEOG 4810
  ATSC(GEOG) 4140  
  ATSC(GEOG) 4150  
  ATSC(GEOG) 4160  
  ENGR(ATSC)(GEOG) 4161-4161L  
  ATSC(GEOG) 4170-4170L  
  ENGR(GEOG) 4180  
  GEOG 4911  


Group C -- Geographic Techniques

3000-level 4000-level  
GEOG 3990 GEOG 4300 GEOG 4430-4430L
  GEOG 4305 GEOG 4450
  GEOG 4330-4330L GEOG 4460
  GEOG 4350-4350L GEOG 4470-4470L
  GEOG 4370-4370L / GEOG 4370E GEOG 4570-4570L
  GEOG(CRSS) 4375 GEOG 4571-4571L
  GEOG 4380-4380L GEOG 4590-4590L
  GEOG 4385S GEOG 4610
  GEOG 4410-4410L GEOG 4920 (minimum 3 hours)

Group D -- Miscellaneous Geography Courses

*Note: These are all variable hour courses that require a faculty mentor to supervise the course. Please consult your advisor and/or a professor in the department about registering for these courses.
GEOG 3990 - Internship in Geography
GEOG 4921/6921 (minimum 3 hours) -- Directed Topics in Independent Research
GEOG 4960R -- Faculty-Mentored Undergraduate Research I
GEOG 4970R -- Faculty-Mentored Undergraduate Research II
GEOG 4980R -- Faculty-Mentored Undergraduate Research III
GEOG 4990R -- Undergraduate Research Thesis (or Final Project)


What you will learn

The Department of Geography at UGA has been a leading center of scholarship about earth's landscapes and human relationships to the environment. Our inquiries encompass a wide range of topics, from the economies of cities and cultures of built landscapes, to tropical climates and the flow of polar ice sheets. We combine rigorous empirical work with deeply conceptual theoretical analyses, always recognizing the importance of both spatial processes and accumulated histories. We use geographic analyses to illuminate the abiding problems of the modern world.

The Earth and its environment represent a complex and dynamic system that has undergone change for millions of years. For most of this time, changes to Earth's physical environment could be attributed to natural processes, but in the era of human activity, anthropogenic processes have become more important. Current direction for earth and environmental research is to study past, current, and future interactions among the continents, oceans, and atmosphere.

Work in GIScience seeks to redefine geographic concepts and their use in the context of geographic information systems (GIS). GIScience draws from and overlaps with more specialized research fields such as computer science, statistics, mathematics, and psychology, while it also contributes to further developments in those fields. The GIScience area is open to both B.S. and A.B. students.

Please provide a general description of your research.

There are no relevant accrediting bodies in Geography. 


Common employers of Geography graduates include various federal agencies, such as the U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Local and state governments employ many geography graduates in emergency management, environmental impact specialists, waste management, naturalists/interpreters, urban/regional planning, housing specialists, convention/tourism planning, and community development specialists. Private employers include broadcast media, real estate development firms, industrial location consultants, environmental consulting firms, electric utilities, transportation companies, Geographic Information Systems software firms, among others.

Possible Job Titles:
  • Atmospheric Scientist
  • CAD Editor
  • Cartographer
  • Climatologist
  • Data Analyst
  • Ecologist
  • Education Policy Advisor
  • Emergency Management Officer
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Geographic Specialist
  • GIS Analyst
  • GIS Program Coordinator
  • GIS Specialist
  • Location Analyst
  • Mapping Technician
  • Meteorologist
  • Naturalist
  • Photogrammetrist
  • Physical Geographer
  • Research Analyst
  • Regional Planner
  • Research Technician
  • Special Projects Coordinator
  • Specialist
  • Tour Guide
  • Traveling Consultant
  • Transportation Planner
  • Waste Management Specialist
  • Water Planning Manager
  • Water Policy Analyst
  • Wildlife Interpreter

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