May 27, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Geography, B.S.


Program Description


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 Geographic Information Science; Environment, Conservation, Sustainability and Development).

Degree and Major Requirements


Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
General Education  141
Quantitative requirement (in addition to General Education )3
Scientific Literacy requirement (in addition to General Education )3-4
Major requirements50
Electives

Total

22-23

120

Footnotes


1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. Some credits may be fulfilled by courses required within the major. ISAT 251  for the math requirement in The Natural World  is strongly recommended, as is GEOG 200  in American and Global Perspectives .

Major Requirements


Minimum Grades

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


Major Requirements Total: 50 Credit Hours


Footnotes


1 For Honors students, the advanced sequence is GEOG 499A GEOG 499B GEOG 499C .

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 advisor.

Geography Concentrations


Applied Geographic Information Science (AGIS) Concentration


JMU geography graduates with an AGIS concentration are prepared to gain professional employment in government and industry, and to go on to graduate programs. Public agencies where they find employment include local and regional planning agencies, mapping organizations, intelligence agencies, and agencies focused on the environment and public land management. JMU AGIS graduates find opportunities in industry with many companies, including federal and local government contractors, geospatial software companies, companies that collect and process geospatial data such as satellite imagery and street map data, and environmental consulting firms. Multiple top graduate programs have accepted AGIS graduates to continue their studies in geography and other fields that relate to geospatial technologies.

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 advisor.

AGIS Cognate Course: 3 Credit Hours


AGIS Concentration Total: 24 Credit Hours


Geography Custom Concentration


Methods Course: 3 Credit Hours

In addition to the geography core requirements, students in the customized concentration must complete one of the following methods courses:

Declared Pathway


Students will choose from a set of courses, approved by a program advisor, 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 18 credit hours must be at the 400 level or above.

Geography Custom Concentration Total: 24 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. JMU geography graduates with an ECSD concentration are prepared to gain professional employment and to go on to graduate programs.

In addition to the geography core requirements, students in the Environmental Conservation, Sustainability and Development concentration must complete the following course work.

ECSD Electives: 18 Credit Hours


Select 18 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 advisor.

In consultation with the academic advisor, 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: 24 Credit Hours


Recommended Schedule for Majors


First Year Total: 30 Credit Hours


Second Year


Second Year Total: 30 Credit Hours


Third Year


Third Year Total: 30 Credit Hours


Fourth Year


  • Advanced sequence GEOG 400-level courses Credits: 6.00
  • Concentration and minor  requirements: Credits: 21.00
  • Electives Credits: 3.00

Fourth Year Total: 30 Credit Hours


Program Total: 120 Credit Hours


Footnotes


1 It is recommended that GEOG 210  and GEOG 216  not be taken during a student’s first semester. 

Enroll in MATH 105  if the ALEKS score is <46. If score placed the student into MATH 220 , MATH 220  may be taken as early as the spring of the first year. Alternatively, ISAT 251  can be taken during the sophomore year.

3 It is recommended that GEOG 365  and GEOG 366  not be taken in the same semester.