ACADEMICS

  • Geography 

    Geography is a science that examines physical and social processes and their interrelationships through the integrative concept of space. Earth systems science analyzes the systems and processes that shape the earth’s surface including weather, climate, landforms and hydrology. Human geography analyzes social processes such as globalization, demographics, urbanization and the construction of cultural identities. Environmental geography examines the interactions between social and physical systems. Geographers explore these processes using such tools as maps, geographic information systems and remote sensing techniques.

    Membership in Gamma Theta Upsilon, the international geography honor society, is available to distinguished students. Prospective members must have completed a minimum of 3 geography or earth science courses, have a GPA of at least 3.3 overall in those courses, and shall have completed at least 3 semesters of college course work. A prospective member is not required to be a geography major or minor.

    Geography Honors Program:
    The Geography Honors Program is intended for outstanding majors interested in research as well as those who plan to pursue an advanced degree. Honors students will complete an original research project, defend the project before an approved review committee and present the project in at least one venue external to WSU. Applicants shall have completed the geography core courses through GE 315 and have 75 credits overall. Applicants should have a 3.5 GPA in the major although students with a 3.0 major GPA and a faculty sponsor may petition for admission. Application materials are available from the department chair.

    Requirements for a Major:
    Minimum requirement for the major is completion of a six course (20 credit) core curriculum and one of four concentrations. Students will declare a concentration in either General Geography, Environmental Studies, Geographic Information Systems or Earth System Science. Study Away/Study Abroad is strongly encouraged for geography majors.

    Core Courses:

    • GS 101 Physical Geography 3 or GS 110 Meteorology
    • GE 102 Human Geography 3
    • GS 140 Physical Geology 4
    • GS 216 GIS 4
    • GE 315 Research Methods 3
    • GE/GS 400 Geography Seminar 3

    Core Total Credits: 20

    Requirements for the Geography Minor

    Students will complete 19 credits including:

    • GS 101 Physical Geography (3 credits)
    • GE 102 Human Geography (3 credits)
    • GS 216 Geographic Information Systems I (4 credits)

    Three electives, 200 level or above, one each in physical and human geography and one in any category.

    Requirements for the Concentration in General Geography
    In addition to the six core courses, students will complete:
    At least 1 advanced course (200-400 level) in:

    • Physical Geography 3
    • Human Geography 3
    • 2 advanced courses in any category 6

    Concentration Total Credits: 12
    Major Total Credits: 32


    Requirements for the Concentration in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
    In addition to the six core courses, students will complete:
    Prerequisites:
    To be taken by the time the student has accumulated 21 credits in the major:

    • CS 135 Programming for Non-CS Majors
    • MA 150 Statistics I

    Required Courses:

    • GS 218 Remote Sensing (3 credits)
    • GS 318 GIS II (3 credits)

    Three Additional Courses (9 credits)
    Three 200-400 level courses in either physical or human Geography. Students are encouraged to focus on one area. Regional courses are not appropriate.
    One of the following: (3 credits)

    • GS/GE 410 Independent Study
    • GS/GE 450 Readings/Directed Research
    • GS/GE 460 Internship

    Concentration Total Credits: 18
    Major Total Credits: 38
     

    Requirements for the Concentration in Environmental Studies:
    In addition to the six core courses, students will complete:
    Required Courses:

    • GE 258 Global Environmental Change (3 credits)
    • Two courses in Physical Geography or GIS (200-400 level) (6 credits)

    Three of the following: ( 9 credits)

    • GE 240 Energy Conservation
    • GS 240 Coastal Environments
    • GS 285 Sustainable Communities
    • GE 307 American Public Lands: Environmental Issues
    • GE 308 Environment and Development
    • GE 312 Sustainable Food Systems
    • GE 341 Fundamentals of Renewable Energy or GE 342 Sustainable Housing
    • GE/GS 470 Selected Topics (with approval)

    One of the following: (4 credits)

    • GE/GS 460 Geography Internship
    • GE/GS 410 Independent Study in Geography
    • GE/GS 450 Readings and Directed Research

    Concentration Total Credits: 22
    Major Total Credits: 42
     

    Requirements for the Concentration in Earth System Science

    In addition to the six core courses, students will complete:
    Ancillary requirements (may apply to LASC requirements):

    • MA 190 Pre-Calculus (4 credits)
    • One of the following (4 credits)
    • CH 110 Introduction to General, Organic, and Biochemistry I
    • CH 120 General Chemistry I
    • PY 221 General Physics I
    • PY 241 Physics I

    Required core courses:

    • GS 210 Geomorphology (4 credits)
    • GS 224 Oceanography (3 credits)
    • GS 230 Biogeography (3 credits)

    Core electives: 12

    4 upper level courses at the 200+ level, including one earth science course at the 300+ level. No more than one geography (GE) or geospatial course can be counted toward this requirement

    Concentration Total Credits: 22
    Major Total Credits: 42