Undergraduate Program Information

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.
Undergraduate Program Expectations

 

Majors

Penn State offers two baccalaureate degrees in geography, each with 3 concentrations called "options.":

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) major emphasizes the social and behavioral aspects of geography.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) major focuses on the discipline's environmental and technical perspectives.

Both majors provide training in descriptive and analytical skills such as thinking geographically and using geospatial technologies and statistics. For a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree in geography, 120 credits are required for graduation.

Program Objectives and Outcomes

Recommended Academic Plans - Please note that the recommended plans are "idealized" guides and should NOT replace regular consultation with an academic advisor in the geography department! Course sequencing may differ based on semesterly offerings and originating campus, and programs may be customized to better meet student goals.

 

Minors

The Geography Department administers 6 minors: Geography (GEOG), Geographic Information Science (G I S), Climatology (CLIMA), Environmental Inquiry (ENV I), Information Sciences & Technology for EMS (ISEMS), Watersheds & Water Resources (W W R). Students must use eLion to declare all minors except ISEMS, which requires consultation with geography advisor Jodi Vender.

Other minors complementary to a Geography degree  

Declaring a Minor
Use the eLion Minor Declaration application if a minor does not have entrance requirements (all minors above except ISEMS). The ISEMS minor is open only to students with an EMS major; you may apply for this minor by obtaining necessary signatures and submitting a completed entrance to minor application form to Jodi Vender in 305 Walker Building.

Deadline: Declarations of minors are accepted anytime after you have attained fifth semester classification (60 credits). To graduate with a minor, you must be accepted in the minor before the late drop deadline of your last semester.

After Graduation: You can be awarded a minor after you graduate if you met all the requirements for the minor prior to your graduation. To request retroactively one of the minors listed above, contact Jodi Vender.

Requirements for a minor may be completed at any campus location offering the specified courses for the minor. Declaring a minor does not guarantee:

  • Enrollment in those courses
  • Future availability of those courses
  • Completion of the minor

 

Still have questions? Contact Jodi Vender at advising@geog.psu.edu or 814-863-5730.

 

Advising

Advising is a priority in the Department of Geography. Undergraduate majors receive assistance from both a professional staff advisor and an assigned faculty advisor.  Students are strongly encouraged to be active participants in our geography community through co-curricular organizations, research, and department-sponsored speakers and events.

If you have questions about the majors, minors or advising, contact advising@geog.psu.edu.

 

Geography Undergraduate Student Handbook


Financial Aid & Scholarships

A limited number of scholarships are awarded to outstanding first-year and continuing geography undergraduates. Geography majors are eligible to apply for academic enrichment funding to support co-curricular research and travel. Students are encouraged to apply for funding through College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and Penn State sources. The University Fellowships Office is a wonderful resource for information on national scholarships as well as specialized opportunities. Students are also encouraged to submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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