Geography Majors

Geography is simultaneously a social-behavioral and an environmental science. Geographers describe, analyze, and explain the arrangement of the human and physical features on Earth's surface. The Bachelor of  arts (B.A.) major stresses the social and behavioral aspects of geography; the bachelor of science (B.S.) major stresses the discipline's environmental perspectives. Both majors provide training in descriptive and analytical skills such as map reading, cartography, and statistics. For a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree in geography, 120 credits are required for graduation.


Bachelor of Arts in Geography

Focus: Substantive course work in the B.A. major focuses on the ways people have arranged themselves and their economic, social, and political activities on the surface of Earth.

Careers: Bachelor's degree program graduates may find employment in federal, state, and local administrative and planning agencies or in private firms that specialize in marketing and environmental research. 

Options: 

General option: Designed to serve the needs of students who want to learn about the various topics and perspectives that comprise the discipline of geography, this option is appropriate both for students who intend to pursue postgraduate degrees and for students who want to emphasize a topic for which no other articulated option exists.

Human Geography option: This option offers a program for students interested in a well-rounded education in geography that stresses the social and behavioral aspects of the discipline, including economic geography and political economy; urban/regional development and planning; and cultural/historical geography. The Human Geography option is appropriate both for students who intend to pursue postgraduate degrees and for students who wish to enter careers related to planning, policy, and development.

Nature/Society Geography option: This option offers a program for students interested in the interactions between people and their environment that emphasized the complex linkages and multi-scalar processes between the biophysical environment and human societies. The Nature-Society Geography option is appropriate both for students who intend to pursue postgraduate degrees and for students who wish to enter careers related to environmental governance, human dimensions of global change, including climate change, livelihood and ecological sustainability, and ecosystem service provision

 

Bachelor of Science in Geography

Focus: Substantive course work investigates the ways people use environmental resources and how they arrange themselves and their economic, social, and political activities on the Earth's surface.

Careers: The Geography major can provide preparation for a career in business, industry, or government. Geographers with bachelor's degrees are currently being placed in federal, state, and local administrative and planning agencies and in private firms that specialize in planning and development or in environmental and socioeconomic analysis.

Options:

General option: Designed to serve the needs of students who want to learn about the various topics and perspectives that comprise the discipline of geography, this option is appropriate both for students who intend to pursue postgraduate degrees and for students who want to emphasize a topic for which no other articulated option exists.

Geographic Information Science option: This option helps prepare students for entry-level positions in public and private mapping/remote sensing agencies and firms. The student may specialize in one or all of the areas covered in the option. This option is appropriate for students intending to pursue advanced degrees with specialization in these fields.

Physical/Environmental Geography option: This option is appropriate for students who want a broad understanding of the earth and environmental sciences in preparation for careers in industry, commerce, and government. The option is designed to develop competence in description, analysis, explanation, and management of problems arising from human use of natural resources and natural systems.


Undergraduate Program Expectations

Program Objectives & Outcomes

Recommended Academic Plans


If you have questions about the geography major or its options, contact undergraduate advising coordinator Jodi Vender at advising@geog.psu.edu or 814-863-5730.