Return to: 3290 Department of Geosciences
Students earning the B.A. degree in Geosciences must choose one of two concentrations: either Geography or Urban Studies.
The Geography concentration develops a broad understanding of social and environmental issues, attains depth in a specialized area within the geography discipline, and provides students with skills needed to gain employment and engage in lifelong learning. An undergraduate degree in Geosciences with a Geography concentration affords many opportunities for employment in both the public and private sectors. Geographers generally find employment as cartographers, city/regional planners, conservationists, environmental managers, environmental regulators, Geographic Information System (GIS) specialists, historic preservationists, location analysts, and as physical scientists working for the government. In addition, with their broad liberal arts training, geographers also qualify for professional management positions as well as teachers.
The Geography concentration also provides a solid intellectual foundation for students getting advanced degrees in either the social or natural sciences. In addition to having substantial flexibility of course selections, students in the Geography concentration are required to take multiple upper-division courses in human geography, physical geography, and geospatial techniques. Finally, the Geography concentration enables majors interested in geography to find their intellectual niche within geography. Pursuing a certificate in GIS, water science, or sustainability provides a complementary suite of courses for students to further specialize in their areas of interest.
The Urban Studies concentration enables students to focus on the study of cities including urban development and economics, urban politics and institutions, the urban built environment, social and environmental disparities in cities, and the changing physical and social dynamics of urbanization processes. This interdisciplinary approach allows students to draw from a variety of courses to solve some of the most pressing challenges of the twenty-first century city. The Urban Studies concentration draws from classes in other complementary departments, enabling the student to develop specific interests within the concentration.
In addition to course content focused on different aspects of urban problems and solutions, students will gain a skill set to address such issues, including a holistic approach to understanding urban dynamics, critical thinking and writing skills to express the complexity of urban issues, and a tool kit of data collection and analysis skills, which may include Geographic Information Systems (GIS), quantitative spatial analysis, and/or qualitative analysis. Students graduating with this concentration will be well poised to enter jobs and graduate study in urban planning, urban policy work, non-governmental organization administration, community-based work, and in urban public health, among many others. Pursuing a certificate in GIS, water science, or sustainability provides a complementary suite of courses for students to further specialize in their areas of interest.
Students interested in any geography or urban studies course, or in enrolling in these concentrations within the B.A. degree in Geosciences or pursuing a minor in Geosciences, are invited to contact the Undergraduate Director in the department to discuss how this degree program may best help make their college experience positive and productive. Note that additional course options may be available to receive course credit by working directly with a faculty member such as through offerings of Topics (GEOG 4097 ) or Independent Research (GEOG 4098 ). The department encourages our students and prospective majors to attend the weekly colloquium series (and/or enroll in the affiliated one credit hour course GEOL 4095 /GEOG 4095 ) to learn more about the range of opportunities in the discipline both at the university and after graduation. All students are required to complete an entry level class early on in the major GEOL 3000 /GEOG 3000 , an internship by enrolling in GEOL 4832 GEOG 4832 or other course that includes experiential learning (field-, lab-, or research-based work), and a senior CTW capstone course GEOL 4830 /GEOG 4830 to help prepare them for their career goals in geosciences after graduation.