Students complete a common core that gives a firm foundation in essential geographical knowledge which includes human geography, physical geography, geospatial techniques, statistics, and human/land relations.
Beyond the core, concentrations encourage a deeper understanding of the discipline and the relevant skills to address critical problems faced by humanity. These concentrations can be customized to the student’s interests (Custom) or focus on a particular area within Geography (Applied GIS, Environment, Conservation, Sustainability, and Development).
Degree and Major Requirements
|General Education 1||41|
|Foreign Language classes (intermediate level required) 2||0-14|
|Philosophy course(s) (in addition to General Education courses)||3|
In addition to the geography core courses, students must choose a concentration, listed in the “Concentrations” section. All courses for the major must be taken on a graded basis. Students must earn a minimum grade of “C” in each of the core courses as they are prerequisites to most concentration courses.
Choose One Statistics Course: 3 Credit Hours
Choose One Environment Course: 3 Credit Hours
Major Requirements Total: 46-49 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.
Applied Geographic Information Science (AGIS) Concentration
JMU geography 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, Maxar, Lockheed, BAE Systems, Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC, Sanborn and many others.
In addition to the geography core requirements, students in the AGIS concentration must complete the following course work.
Choose nine credit hours from the following electives: 9 Credit Hours
Up to one concentration-related course from another program may be used as an elective with the approval of the student’s adviser.
AGIS Cognate Course: 3 Credit Hours
AGIS Concentration Total: 24 Credit Hours
Geography Custom Concentration
In addition to the geography core requirements, students in the customized concentration must complete one of the following methods courses:
Students will choose from a set of courses, approved by a program adviser, on the basis of how they fit together thematically and support the educational objectives of the geography program. Students must take a minimum of 18 credit hours at the 300 level or above (in addition to the methods course). At least 6 of these credit hours must be at the 400 level or above.
Geography Custom Concentration Total: 21 Credit Hours
Environmental Conservation, Sustainability and Development Concentration
The Environmental Conservation, Sustainability and Development (ECSD) concentration focuses on the geographical contexts within which people and places interact. Required and elective course work allows students to explore spatial and temporal patterning between human communities and the natural environment at multiple scales. The curriculum addresses global issues such as global climate change and globalization; environment and human interactions including political, economic, physical and ethical factors; human and ecological aspects of sustainable development; natural resource management including energy, forests, wildlife and biodiversity; cultural ecology; regional geography; and population issues.
In addition to the geography core requirements, students in the Environmental Conservation, Sustainability and Development concentration must complete the following course work.
Senior Seminar Course: 3 Credit Hours
Select three credit hours from the following:
ECSD Electives: 15 Credit Hours
Select 15 credit hours from the following.
These 300-level courses are identified on the concentration form, which will be reviewed and approved by the student’s academic adviser.
In consultation with the academic adviser, a student may select one non-geography course as an elective.
Cognate Course: 3 Credit Hours
Select three credit hours from the following:
ECSD Concentration Total: 21 Credit Hours
Program Total: 120 Credit Hours