Program Coordinator: Dr. Mace Bentley
Phone: (540) 568-6260
The Geographic Science Program empowers, inspires and motivates students to become competent critical thinkers prepared for lifelong learning, who will respond to intellectual challenges with interest, excitement and competence, and who will see themselves as global citizens actively involved in the world around them. The Geographic Sciences Program prepares students who are confident in their abilities as geographers. Graduates have the skills to make a professional contribution to the field, and to compete in graduate programs and the job market. They are highly qualified for careers in research and development and are equipped for long term success as professionals in the field of geography.
Through the study of geography students will:
- Understand and properly use the terminology and concepts that are central to the discipline of geography, and explain how these concepts evolved over time.
- Effectively use appropriate geospatial technologies to address questions about human interactions within the built or natural environments.
- Be productive participants in research efforts aimed at measuring, describing, analyzing, and explaining the underlying processes giving rise to geographic phenomena.
- Work effectively in multidisciplinary teams.
- Evaluate human-environment interactions from holistic point of view that addresses geographic, as well as political, social, economic and ethical factors affecting those interactions.
- Demonstrate civic responsibility and appreciation for culture and physical diversity from local global scales.
The geography major is divided into two concentration areas. Each of these offers a unique set of career opportunities.
Applied Geographic Infromation Science (AGIS) Concentration
JMU Geographic Science graduates with an AGIS concentration are prepared to gain professional employment with government and industry or go on to graduate programs. Public agencies where they find employment include local and regional planning agencies, mapping organizations such as the U.S. Geological Survey, intelligence agencies such as the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and, also in the environmental science field with the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies.
JMU AGIS graduates find opportunities in industry with companies such as ESRI, Digital Global, Lockheed, BAE Systems, Astrium, SAIC, Sanborn and many others.
Co-curricular Activities and Organizations
- Geography Club
- Gama Theta Upsilon (International Geographical Honor Society)
Degree and Major Requirements
- General Education 41 Credit Hours 1
- Foreign Language classes (intermediate level required) 0-14 Credit Hours 2
- Philosophy course(s) (in addition to General Education courses) 3 Credit Hours
- Major requirements 53 Credit Hours
- Electives 18-22 Credit Hours
1 For Honors students, the advanced sequence is GEOG 499 A, B, C .
2 Students may opt for a capstone experience that entails three or six hours of independent research (GEOG 490 ), with the approval of and in close consultation with a project adviser.
In addition to the geography core courses, students must choose one of two concentrations, listed in the “Concentrations” section. All courses for the major must be taken on a graded basis. Students must earn a “C” or better in each of the core courses as they are prerequisites to most concentration courses.
In addition to the geography core requirements, students in the AGIS concentration must complete the following course work.
Cognate Course: 3 Credit Hours
(three credit hours selected from the following)