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College of Arts and Sciences

The Faculty of Social Sciences

Science and Technology Center, Room 232


Associate Professors:

Jeffrey Hardy (

Shixiong Hu, Chair (

Geography Minor

Course Descriptions

  • GEOG 110 GE: Cultural Geography (3)

    • This course offers a systematic approach to the understanding of human patterns on the Earth's surface. The course analyzes the form, cause, and interrelationship of economic, political, social, cultural, and urban landscapes.

  • GEOG 120 GE: Physical Geography (3)

    • This course is a concentrated study of the physical aspects of the environment. Emphasis is placed on understanding the Earth and its planetary relations, the fundamentals of weather, climate, soils, and landforms, and the principles of map projections and interpretations. The course is of particular interest to Earth Science majors.

  • GEOG 121 GE: Physical Geology (3)

    • This course focuses on a description and interpretation of the Earth's rock and mineral formations and study of their constant change under the influence of streams, wind, glaciers, volcanism, and other forces.

  • GEOG 130 GE: World Regional Geography (3)

    • This course is a regional overview of the countries of the world combined with an introduction to geographic methodology. The course investigates the interaction between physical phenomena and human activity, the distribution of economic development, and the uniqueness of the world's regions.

  • GEOG 210 GE: Economic Geography (3)

    • This course examines and analyzes the spatial patterns of primary, secondary, and tertiary economic activities around the world. The problems of these economies and their relationship to the developing world are emphasized as are the problems and methods of measurement of the developing world. Prerequisite: GEOG 110.

  • GEOG 212 GE: Political Geography (3)

    • This course is a systematic treatment of the geographic patterns of political phenomena at the local, national and multinational levels with an emphasis on territorial control, definition, integrity, and diffusion. Prerequisite: GEOG 110.

  • GEOG 220 GE: Meteorology (3)

    • This course is a descriptive study of the atmosphere providing the student an opportunity to understand the underlying principles of atmospheric change, to become familiar with weather instruments, to observe and record weather data, and to read and interpret weather maps. Prerequisite: GEOG 120.

  • GEOG 230 GE: Geography of the United States and Canada (3)

    • This course is the study of the geographic regions of the United States and Canada. Physiography, climate, resources, and industry are reviewed and applied to the various provinces of North America. Special emphasis is placed on the physical and cultural differences among regions.

  • GEOG 231 GE: Historical Geography of the United States (3)

    • This course is a study of the spatial patterns of the historical development of the United States from Pre-Columbian times to the present with emphasis on regional development of various cultural phenomena. Prerequisite: GEOG 110.

  • GEOG 232 GE: Geography of Africa (3)

    • This course is a regional geographical study of the African continent with a primary focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. The spatial relationships between the physical environment, cultures, economy, and politics of this region will be examined in this course. Prerequisite: GEOG 110 or 130.

  • GEOG 234 GE: Geography of Europe (3)

    • The course is a regional analysis of Europe designed to develop spatial relationships underlying economic problems, land utilization, boundary disputes, and dominant international issues. Prerequisite: GEOG 110.

  • GEOG 290 Special Topics (Semester hours arranged)

    • These courses are designed to meet specific needs of groups of students or are offered on a trial basis in order to determine the demand for and value of introducing them as a part of the curriculum.

  • GEOG 310 GE: Population Geography (3)

    • This course examines the growth, diffusion, and distribution of population throughout the world; it forms a bridge between economic and cultural geography as a means for exploring ideas and methods concerning a problem of increasing interest. Prerequisite: GEOG 110.

  • GEOG 311 GE: Urban Geography (3)

    • This course is a spatial treatment of the origins of urban growth, the economic, social and technological evolution of urban centers, and the design and functions of cities. Prerequisite: GEOG 110.

  • GEOG 320 GE: Climatology (3)

    • This course is a review of climate controls and the regional characteristics of climate and the relation of climate to human activities. Prerequisite: GEOG 120.

  • GEOG 321 GE: Geomorphology (3)

    • This course is an advanced treatment of the processes that shape the Earth's surface and the classification of their resulting landforms; it includes a study of the historical development of major theories through selected reading from classic works. Special attention is given to evolution of landscapes in the geological provinces of North America and other world areas. Prerequisite: GEOG 121.

  • GEOG 330 GE: Geography of Eastern Asia (3)

    • This course is an intensive investigation of geographic, economic and political regions of eastern Asia with an emphasis on geographic background, natural resources, land utilization, population concentrations, and industrialization of countries. Prerequisite: GEOG 110.

  • GEOG 333 GE: The Geography of Australasia (3)

    • This course is a regional geographic study of Australia and the countries of the southern Pacific. The course will emphasize distinctive regional characteristics, physical geographic phenomena, exploration, and the diffusion of cultural geographic phenomena. Prerequisite: GEOG 110.

  • GEOG 340 Cartography (3)

    • This course focuses on the use and interpretation of various map projections from a geographical point of view, the history of mapping, development of map symbols and scales, the construction of selected projections, and the construction and use of maps and diagrams. Prerequisite: GEOG 120.

  • GEOG 341 Geographic Information Systems (3)

    • The course will examine the basics of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology using the Arc View program. Students will learn the principles of GIS and produce simple maps from a variety of data sources. Prerequisite: GEOG 110 or 120.

  • GEOG 421 Marine Geology (3)

    • This course is an analysis of the structural and sedimentary environment of the continental shelf, slope, and ocean basin. The techniques and findings of recent geophysical and geochemical research are used to gain an insight into the genesis of ocean basins and their features. Emphasis is on laboratory and field problems. Offered periodically during summer sessions at the Marine Science field station at Wallops Island, Virginia. Prerequisites: GEOG 120, 121.

  • GEOG 422 Watershed Hydrology (3)

    • This course is designed to provide an introduction to different components of the hydrologic cycle at the watershed scale. The emphases will be on surface processes and watershed responses to perturbations such as climate change and land use/land cover change. This course will cover the fundamental principles of hydrology and their applied uses. The ultimate goal of this course is to help students understand and learn how to mitigate water-related environmental problems, such as floods, droughts and water pollution. Prerequisites: MATH 110; GEOG 120 or 121; GEOG 220 or BIOL 210.

  • GEOG 440 Field Techniques in Geography (3)

    • This course is an introduction to methods of collecting field data; it includes recognition of features of the physical or cultural environment or a combination of the two, interview procedures, field mapping, preparation of geographical reports and finished maps based on field work, and experience in use of field equipment and aerial photographs. Emphasis on cultural or physical geography depends on class interest. Prerequisites: GEOG 110, 120 and 340.

  • GEOG 485 Independent Study (Semester hours arranged)

    • This course, offered by a faculty member to a student, does not properly fall within the scope of other courses listed in the catalog. Students will receive a reading list which will be accomplished on a set schedule and will meet periodically with the instructor for discussion and examination. The student will also prepare a paper or complete an exercise or workbook. Evaluation will be from discussion, examinations, papers, and/or exercises.

  • GEOG 486 Field Experiences and Internship (Semester hours arranged)

  • GEOG 495 Seminar (3)

    • This course is an in-depth study of the history and philosophy of geography, an introduction to professional associations and their periodicals, and presentations of student research papers based on library or fieldwork. Prerequisites: GEOG 110, 120, 340.