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Undergraduate Program


Geography explores the patterns and processes that shape the natural and human worlds. Geography majors can specialize in five areas: physical geography; environmental geography; culture, politics and place; geographic information science; and geographic education. This page provides you with information on the requirements for completing a major in geography at UO. It also suggests the types of employment offered in the field of geography. The Department of Geography offers a major that can lead to either a B.A. or a B.S. degree, and the choice depends on the individual interests of the student.

In addition to providing a broad background in the content, skills, and perspectives of the discipline, the geography major offers the opportunity to specialize in one of the following tracks:

  • Physical Geography (the physical processes that shape the environment)
  • Environmental Geography (the physical environment and human interactions with it)
  • Culture, Politics, and Place (cultural and political influences on geographical patterns and places)
  • Geographic Information Science (mapping and data analysis)
  • Geographic Education (preparation for teaching K-12 social studies)

Our lower division courses are open to any student at the University and none of our lower division classes have prerequisites or require particular high school preparation. Transfer students are encouraged to have completed these introductory classes at a community college or other college or university prior to declaring their major in geography. In addition, if you place high enough on the College Board exam in Advanced Placement Human Geography, you will be able to use this course to meet one of the classes required for the major.

A geography major at UO has led to employment in both the private and public sectors. Here are a few job titles of positions held by recent UO geographers:

Aerial Photo Interpreter, Cartographer, Climatologist, Community Development Specialist, Demographer, Ecologist, Economic Development Analyst, Editorial Assistant, Environmental Analyst, Environmental Planner, Geographic Information Systems Analyst, Health Planner, Land Economist, Land Use Planner, Map Analyst, Map Editor, Medical Geographer, Mortgage Investment Analyst, Political Analyst, Recreational Resources Manager, Regional Planner, Soil Conservationist, Surveyor, Teacher, Travel Agent, Transportation Planner, Trade Analyst, and Urban Planner.

For more information about employment in the field of geography, see the “Jobs & Careers” section on the web page of the Association of American Geographers ( Geographic Information Science careers are highlighted in this article in Occupational Outlook Quarterly.

Information for Majors and Minors

Add or make changes to your Geography major, minor or track
Fill out the interactive form, print, and sign and bring to the Geography Department office in 107 Condon or email an unsigned form to Sonja Anthone ( with subject line “GEOG change”. The subject line must read exactly as stated above to ensure accurate receipt.

Course offerings for the 2013-2014 academic year
Also called “The Pink Sheet”.

Major checklist (the “Green Sheet”) for planning your major.