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Undergraduate Program in Geography

For more information about any of our undergraduate programs, please contact one of these undergraduate advisors: Dr. Godwin Djietror, Dr. Joshua Hagen, Dr. Kevin Law.

Online degree - You can earn your Geography degree completely online from Marshall University, with SREC course support and consultation with an adviser. Contact a Geography Department undergraduate adviser for more information.

Major BS or BA  | BS - Weather Broadcasting Emphasis  | BS - Meteorology Emphasis  |   Minors

  • Supportive, accomplished faculty
  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree option
  • Plenty of jobs in Geography

Our mission is to get you ready for professional employment or graduate school by mentoring you as you learn to:

  • communicate effectively,
  • interpret and construct maps,
  • recognize, analyze, and interpret earth processess,
  • recognize, analyze, and interpret the features and processes of human geography,
  • identify and critically evaluate world regional issues,
  • calculate and apply quantitative solutions to geographical problems, and
  • design, conduct, and present geographical research.

Major in Geography - BS or BA

Geography Major Course Checklist (2013-present)
Geography Major Course Checklist (2012-2013)
Geography Major Course Checklist (2010-2011)

Geography is the systematic study of the spatial aspects of human activity, the natural world, and human-environment interaction. The discipline of Geography occupies a unique position as a bridge between the social sciences (Human Geography), natural sciences (Physical Geography), and STEM fields (GIScience). As a result, the Geography Department offers both a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Both degrees offer students broad exposure to the various subfields of Geography and provide specialized career training and preparation. From this interdisciplinary perspective, Geography helps us understand and address numerous contemporary challenges ranging from economic development, urban planning, and ethnic conflict to climate change, environmental sustainability, and natural resource management. Geography is a rapidly expanding discipline with diverse career opportunities across the environmental sciences, social sciences, and technological fields in both the public and private sectors. Both the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predict that demand for trained Geographers will grow much faster than average over the next decade.

The Geography Department prepares students to succeed as professionals in today’s job market through an innovative curriculum focusing on building critical thinking, technical, and practical skills across a range of Human Geography, Physical Geography, and Geospatial Information Science (GIScience) courses. The curriculum includes a mixture of classroom and lab instruction, hands-on projects, and professional internship experiences that actively engage students in the learning process and provide the skills necessary for life-long learning. The Department maintains state-of-the-art facilities, including technology-enhanced classrooms, a Physical Geography lab, and a GIScience computer lab supporting students as they utilize the latest software and hardware. The Department provides a supportive learning environment where students work closely with faculty and peers while enjoying numerous opportunities to participate in campus, state, and national professional activities. Geography alumni have successfully applied their knowledge and practical skills in a variety of career paths in both the public and private sectors, including urban and regional planning, economic development, environmental planning, natural resource and energy management, weather forecasting, emergency response and homeland security, GIS analysis, and education. Other alumni have continued with Geography studies at the graduate level.

The B.A. in Geography has 6 required courses, culminating with the capstone course, for a total of 20 required credit hours. Students must complete an additional 15 credit hours of any Geography courses. Therefore, the B.A. in Geography degree requires a minimum total of 35 hours of geography coursework.

The B.S. in Geography has 6 required courses, culminating with the capstone course, for a total of 20 required credit hours. Students must complete an additional 22 credit hours from the list of Physical Geography and GlScience courses. Therefore, the B.S. in Geography requires a minimum total of 42 credit hours of Geography coursework. To compensate for the increased number of hours for the B.S. in Geography (including the Meteorology and Weather Broadcasting areas of emphasis), student are exempted from the College of Liberal Arts foreign language requirement.

Most Geography requirements and several electives are also offered online on a regular basis. All Geography majors are required to earn a C or better in their Geography coursework if those hours are to count toward graduation.

Core Undergraduate Requirements (BA and BS)
Required Courses (click for sample syllabus)Required Credit Hours
Physical Geography GEO101 (CT)* 4
Human Geography GEO100 (CT)** 3
Statistics, choose one: MTH225 (recommended), MGT 218, PSY223, SOC345/ANT301, or EDF417 3
World Regional Geography GEO317** 3
Principles of Geographic Information Systems GEO426 4
Capstone Research GEO4993
Total Required Core Courses20 hours

Geography Undergraduate Electives (click for sample syllabus)
Systematic Courses:
Historical Geography 401
Polilitical Geography 405
Population Geography 406
Urban Geography 410
Medical Geography 411
Principles and Methods of Planning 414
Urban Land Use Planning 415
Environmental Issues in Planning 416
Geography of Gender 419
Regional Courses:
Geography of West Virginia 206
Geography of North America 305**
Geography of Appalachia 402
Geography of Asia 403**
Geography of Europe 404**
Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa 407**
Geography of South and Middle America 408**
Geography of North Africa and the Middle East 409**
Geography of Russia 412**
GIScience Courses:
Basic GIS 110
Air Photos and Satellite Imagery 111
Introduction to GPS 112
GIS Vector Analysis 429
GIS Raster Analysis 430
Principles of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry 431
Enterprise GIS 432
GPS and Mobile Geospatial Technologies 433
Physical Courses:
Global Environmental Issues 222 (CT)**
Introduction to Meteorology 230 (CT)
Severe Local Storms and Natural Hazards 350
Weather Analysis 360
Environmental Geography 422**
Climatology 425
Total Electives = 15 hours minimum

*Physical Geography (CT) fulfills 4 hours of the College of Liberal Arts natural science requirement.
**Each of these courses fulfills 3 hours of the International Studies requirement of the university’s General Education requirement.

BS - Area of Emphasis in Weather Broadcasting

In addition to the Geography core, students must complete the following requirements:

  • GEO 230 Introduction to Meteorology (4 hrs.)
  • GEO 350 Severe Storms and Natural Hazards (4 hrs.)
  • GEO 360 Weather Analysis (3 hrs.)
  • GEO 425 Climatology (3 hrs.)
  • JMC 331 Announcing and Newscasting (3 hrs.)
  • JMC 332 Video Production (3 hrs.)

BS - Area of Emphasis total = 20 hours + Geography core 20 hours = 40 hours

Area of Emphasis in Meteorology

In addition to the Geography core, students must complete the following requirements:

  • GEO 230 – Intro to Meteorology (CT) (4 hrs.)
  • GEO 350 – Severe Storms and Natural Hazards (4 hrs.)
  • GEO 360 – Weather Analysis (3 hrs.)
  • GEO 425 – Climatology (3 hrs.)
  • GEO 431 – Principles of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry (3 hrs.)
  • *PHY 308 – Thermal Physics (3 hrs.)
  • *PHY 330 – Mechanics (3 hrs.)

Area of Emphasis total = 23 hours + Geography core 20 hours = 43 hours

*Requires that the student must have taken the following: PHY 211 and 202 (lab): General Physics and General Physics Laboratory, PHY 213 and 204 (lab): Principles of Physics and Laboratory Methods in Physics, MTH 229: Calculus with Analytic Geometry I, MTH 230: Calculus with Analytic Geometry II, MTH 231: Calculus with Analytic Geometry III

Minor in Geography

A minor in Geography requires at least 12 credit hours in Geography. Any GEO course is acceptable to fulfill the minor requirement. Several courses in Geography fulfill university General Education or college of Liberal Arts requirements.

It is possible to get a minor in Geography using online courses! We currently offer GEO100 Cultural Geography (CT), GEO101 Physical Geography (CT), GEO203 Economic Geography, GEO222 Global Environmental Issues (CT), GEO230 Intro Meteorology (CT), GEO305 Geography of North America, GEO317 World Regional Geography, and GEO404 Geography of Europe as online courses.

Minor in Meteorlogy

A minor in Meteorology requires at least 14 credit hours. Required courses: GEO230 Intro Meteorology, GEO350 Severe Local Storms and Natural Hazards, and GEO360 Weather Analysis. Optional courses: GEO101 Physical Geography, GEO425 Climatology, GEO483 Meteorology Special Topics, GLY150 Oceanography. Courses may not count for both a major and a minor.

Minor in GIScience

The Geography Department participates in an interdisciplinary minor in Geospatial Information Science. Please see the GIScience web site for more information. Courses may not count for both a major and a minor.

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