BA in Geography

Geography seniors on a trip to Pohick Bay, Virginia

Geography majors complete required courses in physical and human geography, techniques, nature and society as well as electives.

Coursework spans continents and cultures, covering everything from environmental sustainability to city planning to computer-assisted map creation. All geography majors also complete a geography capstone course in the spring of their senior year, which includes a group field project and a portfolio.



"I had the opportunity to assist a professor to map a one-mile section of the Klingle Valley Trail in D.C. We spent four days from sunrise to sunset surveying the creek. It was the hardest work I’ve ever done, but it was really fun to challenge myself."

Hannah Ellingson
BA ’20

Undergraduate Departmental Honors

To be considered for graduation with special honors, students must meet the general university requirements and have a minimum grade point average of 3.75 in geography courses and a 3.5 average overall.

BA Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

For the major, 37 credits, including 16 credits in required courses, 18 credits in courses taken from among three subject groups, and one 3-credit elective course.

GEOG 1001Introduction to Human Geography
GEOG 1002Introduction to Physical Geography
GEOG 2104Introduction to Cartography and GIS
GEOG 3106Intermediate Geographic Information Systems
GEOG 4195Proseminar in Geographic Thought *
Group A: Physical Geography
At least two courses from the following, one of which must be taken at the 3000 level.
GEOG 2129Biogeography
GEOG 2134Energy Resources
GEOG 2136Water Resources
GEOG 2137Environmental Hazards
GEOG 3108Weather and Climate
GEOG 3128Geomorphology and Natural Hazards
GEOG 3194Special Topics in Physical Geography
Group B: Human Geography
At least two courses from the following, one of which must be taken at the 3000 level.
GEOG 2124Urban Transportation
GEOG 2125Transportation Systems and Networks
GEOG 2127Population Geography
GEOG 2133People, Land, and Food
GEOG 2140Cities and Societies
GEOG 2141Cities in the Developing World
GEOG 2144Explorations in Historical Geography
GEOG 2147Military Geography
GEOG 2148Economic Geography
GEOG 3145Cultural Geography
GEOG 3146Political Geography
GEOG 3195Special Topics in Human Geography
GEOG 3810Planning Cities
Group C: Techniques **
GEOG 2196Field Methods in Geography
GEOG 3105Techniques of Spatial Analysis
GEOG 3107Introduction to Remote Sensing
GEOG 3196Special Topics in Techniques
GEOG 4307Digital Image Processing and Analysis
GEOG 4308Programming for Geospatial Applications I
GEOG 4309GIS for Emergency Management
GEOG 4310Geovisualization and Cartography
GEOG 4311Open Source Solutions for Geospatial Project Management
Group D: Nature and Society
At least two courses from the following, one of which must be taken at the 3000 level.
GEOG 1003Society and Environment
GEOG 2120World Regional Geography
GEOG 3132Environmental Quality and Management
GEOG 3133Social-Ecological Systems
GEOG 3143Urban Sustainability
GEOG 3154Geography of the Middle East and North Africa
GEOG 3161Geography of Latin America
GEOG 3164The Geography of Africa
GEOG 3165Geography of South Asia
GEOG 3193Environmental Law and Policy
GEOG 3197Special Topics in Regional Geography
GEOG 3218Arctic Systems
Any one course selected from Group A, B, C, or D.


Offered in the fall semester only.


All students take two techniques courses, GEOG 2104 and GEOG 3106, as part of the required major curriculum. Their elective course selection may be an additional techniques course or a course from one of the other three groups.