Major & Minors

The discipline of geography seeks to understand the transformation of the earth in relationship to both human and environmental processes and serves as a bridge between the natural and social sciences. Spatial theories (scale, location, place, and connectivity) allow geographers to critically analyze change in the cultural, physical, and economic landscape.

Students find geography’s interdisciplinary nature combines well with other programs and fields of study such as global studies, environmental studies, biology, and economics.

The minor in Sustainability empowers students to shape a just and sustainable world through core concepts in (1) systems thinking, (2) justice, (3) sustainability knowledge, (4) integration, and (5) acting for positive change. The sustainability curriculum follows the structure of the Triple Bottom Line Approach (Society/Equity, Economy, Environment/Nature) and includes consideration of the impacts of our actions, personally and collectively, on others, as well as a sense of self-efficacy to work toward improving conditions that foster the well-being of people and the environment now and into the future.

  • Geography Major

    The Geography Major

    Note: Grade point average of coursework comprising the major must be no less than 2.00, with no course grade below C- (1.70).

    10 units, including:

    • SUST101 Introduction to Sustainability

    • GEOG210 Planet Earth: People and Place

    • GEOG250 Planet Earth: Wind, Water, Fire

    • GEOG260 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

    • DSST189 Introduction to Statistical Modeling (or equivalent research methods course, with approval of department)

    • GEOG401 Geography Capstone

    • Four units in electives plus an approved experiential learning component (internship, field work, study abroad). Three of the electives must be at the 300 level or higher.

  • Geography Minor

    The Geography Minor

    Note: Grade point average of coursework comprising the minor must be no less than 2.00, with no course grade below C- (1.70).

    Six units, including:

    • GEOG210 Planet Earth: People and Place

    • GEOG250 Planet Earth: Wind, Water, Fire

    • GEOG260 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

    • Three units of electives in geography, to include no more than one unit of GEOG390 nor more than a half unit of GEOG388.

  • Sustainability Minor

    Sustainability Minor

    Requirements

    The minor in Sustainability requires 5 Units, plus an Acting for Positive Change Requirement with embedded reflection. Grade point average of coursework comprising the minor must be no less than 2.00, with no course grade below C- (1.70). Units include:

    • SUST101 Introduction to Sustainability

    • 1 course in Economic Sustainability, chosen from:

      • ECON211 Economic Development in Asia, Africa, and Latin America

      • ENVR230 Environmental Economics

      • ECON234 Urban Economics

      • ECON330 Environmental and Resource Economic Theory

      • GEOG370 Global Climate Investment

      • MGMT348 Environmental Management

      • MGMT353 Sustainability and Accountability in Business

    • 1 course in Environmental Sustainability, chosen from:

      • BIOL109 Introduction to Ecology

      • BIOL111 Marine Biology of the Chesapeake Bay

      • BIOL199 Introduction to Biological Thinking

      • CHEM110 Pollutants in the Environment

      • ENVR201 Introduction to Environmental Studies

      • GEOG215 Geography of the James River Watershed

      • GEOG250 Planet Earth: Wind, Water, Fire

      • GEOG315 Landscape Ecology

    • 1 course in Social Sustainability, chosen from:

    • Capstone course:

      • GEOG345 Global Sustainability: Society, Economy, Nature

    Approved Acting for Positive Change experiential learning requirement.

    Electives in Economic, Environmental, and Social Sustainability cannot be double counted toward the Environmental Studies or Geography Majors or Minors. Sustainability Capstone course (SUST345) also cannot be double counted.

    Questions should be directed to the Chair of the Department of Geography, Environment, and Sustainability.