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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Geography

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

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. 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 technical proficiency.

The Bachelor of Science (BS) major stresses the discipline's environmental perspectives, while the Bachelor of Arts (BA) stresses the social and behavioral aspects of geography. Both majors provide training in descriptive and analytical skills such as map reading, cartography, and statistics. Substantive course work in the Bachelor of Science major focuses on the ways people use environmental resources and how they arrange themselves and their economic, social, and political activities on the Earth's surface. 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 and socioeconomic analysis.

Those students seeking a Bachelor of Science degree have a choice of 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. 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.

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SCIENCE OPTION: This option helps prepare students for entry-level positions in public and private mapping/remote sensing agencies and firms. The student may specialize in one or all of the areas covered in the option. This option is appropriate for students intending to pursue advanced degrees with specialization in these fields.

PHYSICAL/ENVIRONMENTAL GEOGRAPHY OPTION: This option is appropriate for students who want a broad understanding of the earth and environmental sciences in preparation for careers in industry, commerce, and government. The option is designed to develop competence in description, analysis, explanation, and management of problems arising from human use of natural resources and natural systems.

Geography courses satisfying the United States Cultures and International Cultures requirement: GEOG 020 GS;US;IL(3), GEOG 040 GS;IL(3), GEOG 120 GS;US;IL(3), GEOG 123 GS;IL(3), GEOG 124 GS;IL(3), GEOG 126 GS;US;IL(3), GEOG 128 GS;IL(3), GEOG 420Y US;IL(3), GEOG 424Y US;IL(3), GEOG 426 IL(3), and GEOG 427 US;IL(3).

Geography courses satisfying the Writing requirement: GEOG 310W(3), GEOG 411W(3), GEOG 412W(3), GEOG 420Y US(3), GEOG 423Y US;IL(3), GEOG 424Y US;IL(3), GEOG 438W(3), and GEOG 461W(3). All students must satisfactorily complete at least one writing-intensive course in Geography.

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
(12 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: 10 credits

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR: 77 credits
(This includes 12 credits of General Education courses: 6 credits of GQ courses; 6 credits of GWS courses.)

COMMON REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (ALL OPTIONS): 47 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (28 credits)
EM SC 100S GWS(3)[71] (Sem: 1-2)
GEOG 010 GN(3)[1], GEOG 020 GS;US;IL(3)[1], GEOG 030 GS;IL(3)[1], GEOG 130 GS(3)[1], GEOG 160 GS(3)[1], STAT 200 GQ(4) (Sem: 1-4)
GEOG 301(3)[1], GEOG 364(3)[1] (Sem: 5-6)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (19 credits)
ENGL 015 GWS(3) or ENGL 030 GWS(3) (Sem: 1-2)
Select 4 credits from: MATH 083 GQ(4), MATH 110 GQ(4), or MATH 140 GQ(4) (Sem: 1-4)

PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
Select 3 credits from: GEOG 110 GN(3)[1], GEOG 111 GN(3)[1], or GEOG 115 GN(3)[1] (Sem: 3-6)

HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
Select 3 credits from: GEOG 120 GS;US;IL(3)[1], GEOG 122 GH;US(3)[1], GEOG 123 GS;IL(3)[1], GEOG 124 GS;IL(3)[1], GEOG 126 GS;US;IL(3)[1], or GEOG 128 GS;IL(3)[1] (Sem: 3-6)

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SCIENCE
Select 3 credits from GEOG 361(3)[1], GEOG 362(3)[1], or GEOG 363(3)[1] (Sem: 3-6)

PROFESSIONALISM
Select 3 credits from : GEOG 493(3)[1], GEOG 494(3)[1], GEOG 495(3)[1], GEOG 495B(3)[1], or GEOG 495G(3)[1] (Sem: 5-8)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE OPTION: 30 credits [1]

GENERAL OPTION: (30 credits) [1]

ADDITIONAL COURSES (30 credits)
Select 12 credits of 400-level courses from the following categories in the option

PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
Select 3 credits from GEOG 310W(3), GEOG 311(3), GEOG 313(3), GEOG 411(3), GEOG 411W(3), GEOG 412W(3), or GEOG 417(3) (Sem: 5-8)

HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
Select 3 credits from GEOG 420Y US;IL(3), GEOG 423Y US(3), GEOG 424 US;IL(3), GEOG 425(3),GEOG 426 US;IL(3), GEOG 427 U;IL(3), GEOG 428 US(3), or GEOG 429 US;IL(3) (Sem: 5-8)

NATURE-SOCIETY GEOGRAPHY
Select 3 credits from GEOG 333(3), GEOG 430(3), GEOG 434(3), GEOG 436(3), GEOG 438W(3), GEOG 439(3), or GEOG 444(3) (Sem: 5-8)

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SCIENCE
Select 3 credits from GEOG 361(3), GEOG 362(3), or GEOG 363(3) (Sem: 3-6)

Select 15 credits from all remaining 300- and 400-level GEOG courses (Sem: 5-8)

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SCIENCE OPTION: (30 credits)[1]

PRESCRIBED COURSES (12 credits)
GEOG 361(3), GEOG 362(3), GEOG 363(3) (Sem: 3-6)
GEOG 464(3) (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (18 credits)
Select 18 credits from GEOG 313(3), GEOG 417(3), GEOG 461W, GEOG 463(3), GEOG 467(3), GEOG 468(3), GEOG 485(3), or GEOG 495G(3) (Sem: 5-8)

PHYSICAL/ENVIRONMENTAL GEOGRAPHY OPTION: (30 credits) [1]

PRESCRIBED COURSES (3 credits)
GEOG 313(3) (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (27 credits)
Select 6 credits from GEOG 110 GN(3), GEOG 111 GN(3), or GEOG 115 GN(3) (Sem: 3-6)
Select 9 credits from GEOG 310W(30, GEOG 311(3), GEOG 333(3), or GEOSC 340(3) (Sem: 5-8)
Select 12 credits from GEOG 411(3), GEOG 412W(3), GEOG 417(3), GEOG 430(3), GEOG 431(3), GEOG 434(3), GEOG 438W(3), or GEOG 493(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 #: 40-02-004

Review Date: 09/27/2011

EM

Publications updated department head: 9/2/08