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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

Penn State University Park

Geography

University Park, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (GEOBS)

PROFESSOR CYNTHIA A. BREWER, Head 

The Department of Geography in Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences offers a strong mix of human, physical, and methodological components that comprise the core of the geography major. Combining geography with other areas of study allows students to choose from a broad range of topics in order to suit their individual interests. Undergraduate degrees in geography are offered in the Bachelor of Science (BS) and in the Bachelor of Arts (BA). Both programs offer an integrated course of study in which students learn fundamental concepts in physical and human geography while developing methodological proficiency in qualitative analysis, spatial analysis, and/or geospatial technologies.

In contrast to the broader liberal arts-oriented B.A., the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) major is a more disciplinary-focused program, emphasizing technical skills and preparation across the human/physical spectrum of geography. It includes rigorous training in the use of geographic tools and technologies as well as core and advanced courses on the ways people use environmental resources and how they arrange themselves and their economic, social, and political activities on the Earth's surface. 

In both the B.S. and B.A., students can customize and specialize their programs through the completion of undergraduate certificates. The Geography major can provide preparation for a career in business, industry, or government. Geographers with bachelor's degrees are currently being placed in federal, state, and local administrative and planning agencies and in private firms that specialize in planning and development or in environmental, socioeconomic, or location analysis.

Program Learning Objectives:
1. Majors in Geography will demonstrate knowledge of fundamental geographic skills and concepts and apply them to complex spatial relationships (interactions, patterns, processes) within the human socio-cultural and natural environments at global, regional, and local scales.
2. Majors in Geography will engage in spatial and environmental critical thinking by analyzing, discussing and synthesizing geographical information that may include professional/technical documents, primary data, maps, graphics, and/or archival data.
3. Majors in Geography will communicate geographic information utilizing oral, written, and visual formats to effectively process and integrate facts, ideas, and research results.
4. Majors in Geography will develop research skills by locating, understanding, and explaining geographic challenges and opportunities related to human socio-cultural and/or environmental phenomena at global, regional, and local scales.

For the B.S. degree in Geography, a minimum of 120 credits is required.

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem: 1-2)

GENERAL EDUCATION: 45 credits
(9 of these 45 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
(See description of General Education in this bulletin.)

FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR:
(Included in REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

UNITED STATES CULTURES AND INTERNATIONAL CULTURES:
(Included in ELECTIVES, GENERAL EDUCATION course selection, or REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM:
(Included in REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

ELECTIVES: 9 credits

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR: 75 credits
(This includes 9 credits of General Education courses: 6 credits of GQ courses; 3 credits of GWS courses.)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (29 credits)
EMSC 100 GWS(3)[71] (Sem: 1-2)
GEOG 210(3), GEOG 220(3), GEOG 230(3), GEOG 260(3) (Sem: 1-4)
STAT 200 GQ(4) (Sem: 1-4)
GEOG 364(3) (Sem: 3-6)
GEOG 390(1) (Sem: 3-8)
GEOG 301(3) (Sem: 4-8)
GEOG 464(3) (Sem: 4-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (34 credits)

Calculus: Select 4 credits: MATH 83 GQ(4); MATH 110 GQ(4); MATH 140 GQ(4) (Sem: 1-4)

Engaged scholarship: Select 3 credits: GEOG 493(1-3); GEOG 494(1-3); GEOG 494H(1-3); GEOG 495(1-3); GEOG 495B(1-3); GEOG 495G(1-3); GEOG 499 IL(1-3) (Sem: 5-8)

Geographic Information Science skills: Select 6 credits: GEOG 361(3); GEOG 362(3); GEOG 363(3); GEOG 365(3) (Sem: 3-6))

300-level geography: Select 9 credits not taken above: GEOG 308(3); GEOG 310(3); GEOG 310W WAC(3)[1]; GEOG 314(3); GEOG 315(3); GEOG 320 US; IL(3); GEOG 324(3); GEOG 326(3); GEOG 328(3); GEOG 330(3); GEOG 333(3)

400-level geography: Select 12 credits not taken above: GEOG 410(3); GEOG 411(3); GEOG 411W WAC(3); GEOG 412W WAC(3); GEOG 414(3); GEOG 420 US; IL;WAC(3); GEOG 421(3); GEOG 422W WAC(3); GEOG 424 US; IL(3); GEOG 424W WAC(3); GEOG 425 US(3); GEOG 426 US; IL; WAC(3); GEOG 428Y US; IL;WAC(3); GEOG 430(3); GEOG 431(3); GEOG 432(3); GEOG 433(3); GEOG 434(3); GEOG 436(3); GEOG 438 WAC(3); GEOG 439(3); GEOG 444(3); GEOG 461 WAC(3); GEOG 462(3); GEOG 463(3); GEOG 465(3); GEOG 467(3); GEOG 481(3); GEOG 485(3); GEOG 493(1-3); GEOG 494(1-3); GEOG 494H(1-3); GEOG 495(1-3); GEOG 495B(1-3); GEOG 495G(1-3); GEOG 496(1-3); GEOG 497(1-9); GEOG 498(1-9); GEOG 499 IL(1-6) (Sem: 4-8)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (12 credits)
Select 12 credits in geography or related areas (not used above) in consultation with advisor.

[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.
[71] The following substitutions are allowed for students attending campuses where the indicated course is not offered: CAS 100 GWS or ENGL 202C GWS can be substituted for EMSC 100 GWS.

Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2017

Blue Sheet Item #: 46-03-014

Review Date: 11/14/2017

EM

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