Feb 27, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geography Major, B.A.

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 Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences  

 College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): In-Person  

About the Program

Geographers are among the government officials, community leaders, activists, researchers, and business people who use data-driven research to develop solutions to complex environmental, social, economic, and political problems. Geography is unique in bridging the social sciences and the natural sciences, and in providing geospatial analyses of environmental and socio-economic problems. The program provides a foundation for understanding problems and implementing equitable solutions to improve the quality of human-environment dynamics. Engagement in environmental, social justice and ethical issues is facilitated through applied research and learning in the Denver Metropolitan Area. The Geography curriculum combines fundamental courses in natural and social systems and geospatial science with specialized electives within four disciplinary sub-fields - Political Economy Approaches to Sustainability, Geographic Information Science, Physical Geography, and Planning. Students have flexibility in choosing courses and pursuing their areas of interest. The major prepares students for professional careers in both the private and public sectors as well as for graduate studies.

Student Outcomes

  1. Examine the relationships between human and physical systems.  
  2. Demonstrate competency in both writing and oral presentation of geographic information.  
  3. Evaluate geographical information for its appropriateness for practical uses, such as decision-making and problem solving. 
  4. Select and apply analytic tools to examine spatial issues, problems, and conflicts.  
  5. Design, plan, and evaluate solutions for complex multi-dimensional geographical problems.

General Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements.

Program Requirements

  • A total of 120 semester hours are required for graduation.
  • A grade of C- or better is required for each course in this program to count toward the bachelor’s degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required.
  • A minor is required for this program. Any minor may be chosen.

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements  for degree completion.


** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences.

Multicultural Requirement: 0 or 3 credits

  • Students should consult the Multicultural Graduation Requirements for a list of courses that fulfill the Multicultural Requirement for degree completion. .
  • Many programs include courses that meet this requirement. Students should consult with their advisor to determine what program courses may fulfill this requirement.


Recommended Prerequisite Courses

For students interested in upper division coursework or graduate study in Geographic Information Science or Physical Geography: At least one algebra course ( MTH 1110 - College Algebra for Calculus  or higher) and one statistics course ( MTH 1210 - Introduction to Statistics  or higher) are recommended. Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor to discuss upper division course prerequisites, optional courses, minors, and electives which support their interests.

Required Courses: 13 credits

Students should select one course from each area listed below. These courses provide an introduction to the main sub-fields of Geography, and methods of geographic inquiry. Four courses are required. All courses must be passed with at least a “C-” to count towards the major.

Geographic Information Science: 4 credits

Theory and Research Methods: 3 credits

Geography Electives: 24 credits

Students are required to select a minimum of 24 credits of elective courses in Geography (GEG) or Geographic Information Science (GIS) from any of the core geographical knowledge areas listed below. Students may take courses from multiple areas towards the major. At least 22 credits must be from upper division courses (3000- and 4000-level). All courses must be passed with at least a “C-” to count towards the major.

1. Political Economy Approaches to Sustainability

Courses integrate physical and social sciences with planning and spatial analysis as a foundation for understanding problems and implementing solutions to improve the quality of the built environment, economies, and policies to promote sustainability and social justice.

2. Geographic Information Science

Courses develop theoretical knowledge and technical training in Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing, cartography and database systems in order to define and solve problems in the management, conservation, and improvement of natural and human environments.

3. Physical Geography

Courses examine natural processes and phenomena at the Earth surface, and their connections with human activities.

4. Urban and Regional Processes and Planning

Courses provide students with the skills to address the social, economic, environmental, and spatial relationships that shape urban regions.

5. Independent Research and Individualized Experience

This core area allows students to pursue individual interests via directed study or internship experiences, and to explore additional coursework in Geography, as opportunities arise.

Senior Experience: 3 credits

All Geography majors are required to take the Geography capstone course, which culminates the degree by providing an opportunity for hands-on geographic inquiry. This course must be passed with at least a “C-” to count towards the major.

Summary of Geography Major Requirements

General Studies Requirement 33 credits
Multicultural Requirement 0-3 credits
Major Requirements 13 credits
Geography Electives 24 credits
Minor and Unrestricted Electives 43-47 credits
Senior Experience Course 3 credits
Total for Geography Major, B.A. 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and Multicultural requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.

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