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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Geography

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

PROFESSOR KARL S. ZIMMERER, Head

Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences offers a strong mix of human, physical, and technical components that comprise the core of the geography major. 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 technical proficiency.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) stresses the social and behavioral aspects of geography; the Bachelor of Science (BS) major stresses the discipline's environmental and technical perspectives. Both majors provide training in descriptive and analytical skills such as mapping and spatial analysis. Substantive course work in the Bachelor of Arts major focuses on the ways people have arranged themselves and their economic, social and political activities on the surface of the Earth. Combining geography with other areas of study allows students to choose from a broad range of topics in order to suit their individual interests. The BA Geography major is especially appropriate for students seeking a deeper understanding of the human experience and for students intending to pursue post-graduate work in geography or related disciplines.

Bachelor's degree program graduates may find employment in federal, state, and local administrative and planning agencies or in private firms that specialize in marketing and environmental research. Geographers make careers doing planning, environmental consulting, policy analysis, demographics, cartography, remote sensing, and geovisualization. They work for government agencies, non-profit and educational institutions, and industry.

Those students seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography may choose one of three areas of concentration:

GENERAL OPTION: This option is designed to serve the needs of students who want to learn about the various topics and perspectives that comprise the discipline of geography, with emphasis on social and behavioral components. The General option is appropriate both for students who intend to pursue postgraduate degrees and for students who want to emphasize a topic for which no option exists.

HUMAN GEOGRAPHY OPTION: This option offers a program for students interested in a well-rounded education in geography that stresses the social and behavioral aspects of the discipline, including economic geography and political economy; urban/regional development and planning; and cultural/historical geography. The Human Geography option is appropriate both for students who intend to pursue postgraduate degrees and for students who wish to enter careers related to planning, policy, and development.

NATURE-SOCIETY GEOGRAPHY OPTION: This option offers a program for students interested in the interactions between people and their environment that emphasized the complex linkages and multi-scalar processes between the biophysical environment and human societies. The Nature-Society Geography option is appropriate both for students who intend to pursue postgraduate degrees and for students who wish to enter careers related to environmental governance, human dimensions of global change, including climate change, livelihood and ecological sustainability, and ecosystem service provision.

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

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

GENERAL EDUCATION: 45 credits
(See description of General Education in this bulletin.)

FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR:
(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

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

WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM:
(Included in ELECTIVES, GENERAL EDUCATION course selection, or REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

ELECTIVES: 9 credits

BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: 24 credits
(3 of these 24 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR, GENERAL EDUCATION, or ELECTIVES and 0-12 credits are included in ELECTIVES if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.)
(See description of Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements in this bulletin.)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR: 52 credits[1]
(This includes 10 credits of General Education courses: 4 credits of GQ courses; 6 credits of GWS courses.)

COMMON REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (ALL OPTIONS): 31 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (25 credits)
EM SC 100S GWS(3)[71] (Sem: 1-2)
GEOG 010 GN(3), GEOG 020 GS;US;IL(3), GEOG 030 GS;IL(3), GEOG 160 GS(3), STAT 200 GQ(4) (Sem: 1-4)
GEOG 301(3), GEOG 364(3) (Sem: 5-6)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (6 credits)
ENGL 015 GWS(3) or ENGL 030 GWS(3) (Sem: 1-2)
Select 3 credits from GEOG 493(3), GEOG 494(3), or GEOG 495(3) (Sem: 5-8)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE OPTION: 21 credits

GENERAL OPTION: (21 credits)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (21 credits)

PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
Select 3 credits from GEOG 110 GN(3), GEOG 111 GN(3), GEOG 115 GN(3),GEOG 310W(3), GEOG 311(3), GEOG 313(3), or GEOG 333(3) (Sem: 3-6)
Select 3 credits from GEOG 411(3), GEOG 411W(3), GEOG 412W(3), or GEOG 417(3) (Sem: 5-8)

HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
Select 3 credits from GEOG 120 GS;US;IL(3), GEOG 122 GH;US(3), GEOG 123 GS;IL(3), GEOG 124 GS;IL(3), GEOG 126 GS;US;IL(3), GEOG 128 GS;IL(3), or GEOG 130 GS(3) (Sem: 3-6)
Select 3 credits from GEOG 420Y US;IL(3),GEOG 423Y US(3), GEOG 424 US;IL(3), GEOG 425 US(3), GEOG 426Y US;IL(3), GEOG 427 US;IL(3), GEOG 428 US(3), GEOG 429 US;IL(3) (Sem: 5-8)

NATURE-SOCIETY GEOGRAPHY
Select 3 credits from GEOG 430(3), GEOG 431(3), GEOG 434(3), GEOG 436(3), GEOG 438W(3), GEOG 439(3), GEOG 444(3) (Sem: 5-8)

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SCIENCE
Select 3 credits from GEOG 361(3), GEOG 362(3), GEOG 363(3), GEOG 364(3) (Sem: 3-6)
Select 3 credits from GEOG 461W(3), GEOG 463(3), GEOG 464(3), GEOG 467(3), GEOG 468(3) (Sem: 5-8)

HUMAN GEOGRAPHY OPTION: (21 credits)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (21 credits)
Select 9 credits from GEOG 120 GS;US;IL(3), GEOG 122 GH;US(3), GEOG 123 GS;IL(3), GEOG 124 GS;IL(3), GEOG 126 GS;US;IL(3), GEOG 128 GS;IL(3), or GEOG 130 GS(3) (Sem: 3-6)
Select 12 credits from GEOG 420Y US;IL(3), GEOG 423Y US(3), GEOG 424 US;IL(3), GEOG 425 US(3), GEOG 426Y US;IL(3), GEOG 427 US;IL(3), GEOG 428 US(3), or GEOG 429 US(3) (Sem: 5-8)

NATURE-SOCIETY GEOGRAPHY OPTION: (21 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (9 credits)
GEOG 130 GS(3), GEOG 333(3) (Sem: 3-6)
GEOG 430(3) (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (12 credits)
Select 12 credits from GEOG 431(3), GEOG 434(3), GEOG 436(3), GEOG 438W(3), GEOG 439(3), GEOG 444(3) (Sem: 5-8)

[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 EM SC 100S GWS.

Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2011

Blue Sheet Item #: 40-02-003

Review Date: 09/27/2011

EM (Transferred from the College of the Liberal Arts--effective FA2006)

Publications updated department head: 9/2/08