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Duluth Campus

Geography B.A.

Geography, Urban, Environmental & Sustain Studies
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2016
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 41
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Geography is distinctive in that it bridges the social sciences and the natural sciences. The two main branches of geography are human geography and physical geography. Human geography is concerned with the spatial aspects of human existence, while physical geography focuses on patterns of climate, landforms, vegetation, soils and water. Our Geography program trains students for employment in careers requiring knowledge of geography or the use of geographic techniques, and it prepares them for graduate studies. Career opportunities for students with a degree in geography include environmental assessment, public and private sector planning, geographic education, travel and tourism, cartography and geo-visualization, business and industrial research, location analysis, community activism, geographic information sciences, and a variety of other activities requiring geographic expertise. Honors Requirements: Candidates must have a 3.00 overall GPA and a 3.30 in the major. An honors project and paper must be completed in GEOG 4999. Students who wish to have such work considered for honors must complete a departmental form prior to the second semester of their senior year. Completed projects and papers must be approved by the sponsoring faculty member and other members of the department.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
Required prerequisites
Introductory Requirement (1 cr)
Transfer students with 24 or more credits and current UMD students who change colleges to CLA are exempt from this requirement. New first-year students with 24 or more PSEO credits may request to be waived from this requirement.
UST 1000 - UMD Seminar (1.0-2.0 cr)
General Requirements
The Board of Regents, on recommendation of the faculty, grants degrees from the University of Minnesota. Requirements for an undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota Duluth include the following:
  1. Students must meet all course and credit requirements of the departments and colleges or schools in which they are enrolled including an advanced writing course. Students seeking two degrees must fulfill the requirements of both degrees. However, two degrees cannot be awarded for the same major.
  2. Students must complete all requirements of the Liberal Education Program.
  3. Students must complete a minimum of 120 semester credits.
  4. At least 30 of the last 60 degree credits earned immediately before graduation must be awarded by UMD.
  5. Students must complete at least half of their courses at the 3xxx-level and higher at UMD. Study-abroad credits earned through courses taught by UM faculty and at institutions with which UMD has international exchange programs may be used to fulfill this requirement.
  6. If a minor is required, students must take at least three upper division credits in their minor field from UMD.
  7. The minimum cumulative UM GPA required for graduation will be 2.00 and will include only University of Minnesota coursework. A minimum UM GPA of 2.00 is required in each UMD undergraduate major and minor. No academic unit may impose higher grade point standards to graduate.
  8. Diploma, transcripts, and certification will be withheld until all financial obligations to the University have been met.
Program Requirements
1. A second field of study (either a minor or another major). 2. Foreign language study is recommended, but not required, for all geography students, especially those interested in cultural geography or considering graduate study. Students interested in the technical/techniques aspects of geography should consult with their adviser about elective courses that would support their focus in geography.
Lower Division Core (13 cr)
GEOG 1202 - World Regional Geography [LE CAT8, LEIP CAT08, GLOBAL PER] (3.0 cr)
GEOG 1304 - Human Geography [LE CAT6, LECD CAT06, SOC SCI] (3.0 cr)
GEOG 2552 - Introduction to Maps and Geospatial Information [LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR] (3.0 cr)
GEOG 1414 - Physical Geography [LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN] (4.0 cr)
or GEOL 1110 - Geology and Earth Systems [LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN] (4.0 cr)
Upper Division Core (12 cr)
GEOG 3532 - Map Design and Geographic Visualization (4.0 cr)
GEOG 4612 - Field Techniques (4.0 cr)
GEOG 4803 - Geographic Thought (3.0 cr)
GEOG 4990 - Geography Seminar (1.0 cr)
Electives (12 cr)
Take at least 4 different GEOG courses for a minimum total of 12 credits. Only 6 credits from the following will count towards the major: GEOG 3991, 3995, 3997, 4999, 5991. (Other GEOG 1xxx-5xxx level courses may apply here.)
Take 4 or more course(s) totaling 12 or more credit(s) from the following:
· GEOG 2305 - Geography of Cultural Diversity [CDIVERSITY] (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 2306 - Environmental Conservation [LE CAT8, SUSTAIN] (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 2313 - Economic Geography [LE CAT6, SOC SCI] (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 3334 - Urban Geography (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 3335 - Urban Planning (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 3370 - Geographies of Development (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 3401 - Weather and Climate (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 3422 - Natural Hazards (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 3461 - Geography of Global Resources [SUSTAIN] (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 3481 - Urban Ecology (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 3712 - Geography of Latin America (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 4393 - Political Geography (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 4446 - Water Processes and Management (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 4451 - The Geography of Soils (4.0 cr)
· FORS 3167 - GEOG 3167 Cultural Geography of Iceland (3.0 cr)
· FORS 3205 - GEOG 3205 Mapping in Belize (3.0 cr)
· FORS 3800 - COMM 3800/GEOG 3800 Grassroots Activism in India (4.0 cr)
· Optional Elective
Take at most 6 credit(s) from the following:
· GEOG 3991 - Independent Study in Geography (1.0-4.0 cr)
· GEOG 3995 - Special Topics: (Various Titles to be Assigned) (1.0-4.0 cr)
· GEOG 3997 - Internship in Geography (1.0-6.0 cr)
· GEOG 4999 - Honors Project Geography (3.0 cr)
· GEOG 5991 - Independent Study in Geography (1.0-4.0 cr)
Advanced Writing Requirement (3 cr)
WRIT 31xx - Adv Writing (3 cr)
 
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UST 1000 - UMD Seminar
Credits: 1.0 -2.0 [max 2.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02403 - EHS 1000/UST 1000
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Facilitates the successful transition into college learning and student life at UMD. Credit will not be granted if already received for EHS 1000.
GEOG 1202 - World Regional Geography (LE CAT8, LEIP CAT08, GLOBAL PER)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
World Regional Geography offers an overview of the different regions which comprise the world. This course analyzes the relationship between the environment, economic development, culture and politics. In terms of the weekly pacing of the course, we will focus on a different world region each week. However, in a more general sense, we will focus on the root causes of global problems, not the specifics of each world region. In this way, a central goal of this class is to challenge the notion that world regions exists in isolation from other spaces. Instead, we will analyze how regions develop and change based on how they manage their relationships with other spaces.
GEOG 1304 - Human Geography (LE CAT6, LECD CAT06, SOC SCI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Human geography is a social science that examines the world, its people, and their communities, economies, politics, and interactions with the environment. This course introduces core concepts such as space, place, and scale, and applies them to understand human society. Topics from the spread of humans around the globe, to colonialism, the geography of agriculture, urbanization, geopolitics, and racial and ethnic difference are explored.
GEOG 2552 - Introduction to Maps and Geospatial Information (LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course starts with the definition of what a map is and considers maps as tools for communication. Students are led to explore the effects of scale, projection, cartographic symbolization and generalization on the mapping process and resulting digital databases. Students are introduced to spatial data models, types of spatial data and representation, and study alternative or non-tradition map representations provided by GIS and Remote Sensing. The course includes hands-on map activities; map reading/interpretation, map use, and map production where students will use their laptops to create online web mapping services.
GEOG 1414 - Physical Geography (LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
The environment is highly dynamic and is continually modified by human and environmental processes. This course examines these processes to better understand how the Earth’s landscapes were formed and how they are currently being transformed. Specifically, students will understand the fundamental processes that govern the physical environment including Earth-sun relations, water resources, landforms, weather and climate, natural vegetation, and soils.
GEOL 1110 - Geology and Earth Systems (LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Comprehensive survey of Earth's composition, structure, and dynamics to develop an understanding of internal processes, plate tectonics, and surface processes as a framework for geological history and development of life.
GEOG 3532 - Map Design and Geographic Visualization
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Thematic mapping of qualitative and quantitative data. Data measurement levels and their relationships to geographic phenomena and map symbols. Appropriate treatment (both statistical and representational) of map data. Designing and creating maps using computers. (2 hrs lect, 4 hrs lab) prereq: 2552 or instructor consent; Stat 1411 recommended
GEOG 4612 - Field Techniques
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course trains students in field research methods including methods of observation, recording, analysis, and presentation of field data. The course includes a four day field research experience in Minnesota. prereq: Minimum 60 credits or grad student or instructor consent
GEOG 4803 - Geographic Thought
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Development and significance of geographic concepts and thought. History and intellectual roots of contemporary geography, geographers, and geographic institutions. prereq: 60 credits or grad student or instructor consent
GEOG 4990 - Geography Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Presentation and discussion of current geographic research, including but not limited to human/physical geography, environments and sustainability, urban geography and planning, and GIS applications. prereq: Geography major or minor and minimum 90 credits; no grad credit, credit will not be granted if already received for Geog 5999.
GEOG 2305 - Geography of Cultural Diversity (CDIVERSITY)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
This course utilizes social scientific approaches to cultural diversity in the United States to develop a critical understanding of the geography of our unequal society. We examine why humans spatially segregate themselves into racial, ethnic, and cultural groups, how meaning is constructed around these differences, and how the politics of difference are expressed geographically. Credit will not be granted if already received for GEOG 2405
GEOG 2306 - Environmental Conservation (LE CAT8, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
In order to adapt to and mitigate environmental challenges that are predicted to occur in the future, we must have a clear understanding of the physical, economic, societal, and political contexts that brought us to the present. This course examines the complexity of coupled social-ecological systems and the role that humans have played in changing the face of the Earth.
GEOG 2313 - Economic Geography (LE CAT6, SOC SCI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Contemporary geographic pattern analysis of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Development of geographic theories and models that attempt to explain spatial variations of economic activities such as agriculture, manufacturing, and trades and services.
GEOG 3334 - Urban Geography
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
As the world becomes more urbanized there seems to be less distinction between global problems and urban problems. Analysis of the relationship between urbanization and other aspects of our modern world such as economic globalization, increased levels of international migration, and warfare. Examine how global dilemmas can be seen in the national and international issues. Pay particular attention to the everyday struggles that occur in the households and neighborhoods of cities as people attempt to care for themselves and their families in this rapidly changing world. prereq: Minimum 30 credits or instructor consent
GEOG 3335 - Urban Planning
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Urban planning explores the purpose, practice, and theories of modern community planning for the promotion of social and economic well-being. The causes of urban problems, and the tools planners can use to solve them will be investigated. Special focus will be paid to citizen participation and how the voices of community members can be heard in the planning process. prereq: Minimum 30 credits
GEOG 3370 - Geographies of Development
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
This class examines the global geography of wealth and poverty, i.e., why some places are very rich while others are very poor. The impacts of colonialism, the Cold War, globalization, overpopulation, and ecological and climate change are explained, and the prospects for a more just future are considered. prereq: Minimum 30 credits
GEOG 3401 - Weather and Climate
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Weather and climate are critical to both Earth systems and human societies, yet they are frequently misunderstood. The goal of this course is to develop a scientific understanding of atmospheric processes and how they are responsible for weather events and climatic patterns. Atmospheric composition, structure, and motion are studied, along with precipitation processes, air masses, fronts, cyclonic storms, and the the distribution and classification of climates. prereq: 1414, minimum 30 credits or instructor consent
GEOG 3422 - Natural Hazards
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Geography of natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and droughts; human-physical environment interrelationships under extrem geophysical conditions; causes, characteristics, and consequeences of natural hazards; human adjustment to natural hazards. Prereq: 1414 or Geol 1110, minimum 30 credits or instructor consent.
GEOG 3461 - Geography of Global Resources (SUSTAIN)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Spatial distribution and uses of global natural resources addressed through models of resource management, focusing on energy, non-fuel minerals, population, food, and technology. Theoretical approach and political perspective applied to trade, international economic development, and environmental issues. prereq: Minimum 30 credits or instructor consent
GEOG 3481 - Urban Ecology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to theoretical, practical and policy aspects of urban ecology. Discusses methods of sustainable cities and ecologically responsible planning. Includes study of relevant field techniques and policy issues, including public participation in planning process and development of sustainable growth strategies. prereq: Minimum 30 credits or instructor consent
GEOG 3712 - Geography of Latin America
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Considers the social, physical and political landscapes of Latin America and the Caribbean before, during and after the European invasion and colonial times. Examines contemporary dynamics in the region from a political ecology perspective. prereq: Minimum 30 credits or instructor consent
GEOG 4393 - Political Geography
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course examines the geography of social power from international geopolitics, to protest politics in public space, to theories of hetero-normativity and patriarchy. The central focus of this course is the spatial organization of politics, i.e., how people organize themselves into groups, and how those groups police themselves and vie with each other in various places and at multiple scales. prereq: Minimum 60 credits including or instructor consent
GEOG 4446 - Water Processes and Management
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to the surface water processes and water resources management, including precipitation, runoff generation, channel processes, spatial and temporal variations in water distribution, aspects of water quantity and quality, and watershed management problems. Prereq: Geog 1414 or Geol 1110 or Graduate students or Instructor consent.
GEOG 4451 - The Geography of Soils
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Examines soil formation and processes in varied environments, with emphasis on soil as a dynamic system, integral to all terrestrial ecosystems. Human impact and use of soils is examined with regard to land degradation and soil erosion. prereq: 1414 or Geol 1110 or grad student or instructor consent
FORS 3167 - GEOG 3167 Cultural Geography of Iceland
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02252
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Taught in Iceland this course explores the changing cultural & political geography of Iceland and its relationship to the complex processes of globalization, regional politics and local economies. It examines the history of Iceland as a Viking settlement, a colony of Denmark, and an independent nation with a focus on the political and economic connection between Iceland and other places have influenced the country. Students will examine Iceland's position as part of the European Economic Community but not of the common currency or the European Union, contributed to the 2008 economic crisis and the responses to that crisis. Student will consider how geographic context, national culture and political economy impact the cultural geography of Iceland and is designed to give an intercultural experience with contemporary economic and political issues through a geographic perspective. Students will apply geographic theories of cultural difference, political economy, and resistance to develop an understanding of the multiple sites and scales of Icelandic identity, culture and politics. prereq: Admission to an approved study abroad program requires consent from the International Education Office.
FORS 3205 - GEOG 3205 Mapping in Belize
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02084 - GEOG 3205/FORS 3205
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Summer
Study abroad course; taught on site in Belize. Novice mappers to the geospatially proficient students will be exposed to a meaningful field experience and lab practicum where field data and satellite imagery will be combined to render valuable information about the Maya Gold landscape. Students will utilize Global Positioning System (GPS) and remote sensing techniques to create informative and cartographically derived outputs; a map. Through this international experience, students will be exposed to a unique cultural experience where they will learn what is important to Mayan culture by observing the dynamics of this landscape. Time spent in Belize will expose each student to the eclectic mingling of Mestizo, Mopan and Kekchi Maya, Garifuna, Creoles, Lebanese, East Indian and Chinese peoples. prereq: Admission to an approved study abroad program requires consent from the International Education Office.
FORS 3800 - COMM 3800/GEOG 3800 Grassroots Activism in India
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02244 - FORS 3800/COMM 3800/GEOG 3800
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Summer
Taught in Bangalore, India where students will examine the process of social change in Bangalore and witness firsthand how disempowered groups such as tribal communities and religious minorities are advocating for their social and economic rights. Bangalore has grown tremendously in the last 10 years, as the city has become the center of India's technology economy; however, the benefits of this growth have not been equally distributed. Students will examine the causes of disenfranchisement (including gender, caste, and colonialism) as well as how city has changed as a result of globalization and the liberalization of the Indian economy. This course has three goals: (1) Students understand the notions of community employment as theorized by scholars such as Paulo Freire, M.K. Gandhi, R.J. Ambedkar, as well as more contemporary Indian thinkers; (2) Students visit and learn about the cultural and historical forces that have shaped India, and (3) Students interact firsthand with activists and disenfranchised communities involved in struggles for human rights/empowerment. prereq: Minimum 2.5 GPA, minimum 30 credits, instructor consent. Admission to an approved study abroad program requires consent from the International Education Office.
GEOG 3991 - Independent Study in Geography
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
For students interested in doing advanced work in selected fields of geography. prereq: instructor consent
GEOG 3995 - Special Topics: (Various Titles to be Assigned)
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 8.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics in geography of current and special interest to students that are not offered in regular department curriculum. Topics may involve specialties of staff or visiting faculty.
GEOG 3997 - Internship in Geography
Credits: 1.0 -6.0 [max 8.0]
Prerequisites: Geography major, 60 credits, instructor consent
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Scheduled assignments with direct supervision in public agencies or relevant private firms. prereq: Geography major, 60 credits, instructor consent
GEOG 4999 - Honors Project Geography
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Advanced individual project in any area of Geography, GIScience, Urban and Regional Studies, or Environment and Sustainability demonstrating sound theoretical and research foundations and resulting in a written report. prereq: minimum 90 credits, approval by department honors program director; no grad credit
GEOG 5991 - Independent Study in Geography
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Independent problems for postbaccalaureate students interested in doing additional work in selected fields in geography. prereq: Maximum 4 credits can be applied to graduate program; instructor consent