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Geography Major

The Geography major requires a minimum of 46 credits in Geography (or specifically noted Environmental Studies, Conflict Resolution, or Asian Studies) courses.  At least 9 Geography courses must be taken for a letter grade. A grade of C- or better is required for any course applied towards the major, and a GPA of 2.25 or better is required in courses used for the major.

A major check sheet (affectionately known as the ‘Green Sheet’) summarizes the requirements below.

See our ‘Pink Sheet’ for course offerings for the academic year: Pink Sheet

Our Geography Course List breaks down the courses that satisfy each requirement category (see below)

For advising, you can make an appointment with Dr. Leslie McLees through the online scheduler or attend drop-in hours. For Fall 2017, those will be 11am-noon on Wednesdays. This will also be announced via weekly emails and on the department Facebook page once the 2016-2017 academic year begins. You can also contact her at geogadvr@uoregon.edu for a response generally within one business day or to make an appointment if drop-in hours or house on the scheduler are not available for you.

General Requirements for the B.A. or B.S. in Geography

Bachelor of Science

All Geography majors seeking a B.S. degree will be required to complete any math sequence that satisfies the University’s math requirement for a B.S. degree.  Math classes must be passed with a grade of at least C- or P.

  • For the Geographic Information Science Track, we recommend a computer programming sequence.
  • For students interested in biophysical geography we recommend either a statistics sequence or a calculus sequence based on your interests:
    • for geomorphology we recommend a calculus emphasis;
    • for biogeography we recommend a statistics emphasis; and
    • for climatology we recommend a calculus or computer programming emphasis.

Bachelor of Arts

All Geography majors seeking a B.A. degree must demonstrate proficiency in a second language either by passing the third quarter of a second-year university language course with a grade of C- or better or by an examination indicating an equivalent level of proficiency.

If you are considering applying to graduate school in the future, we strongly recommended that you complete both the math and language requirements.

Group Requirements

All undergraduates must satisfy group requirements. For details see Group Requirements in the Bachelors Requirements section of the UO Catalog. Geography majors should consult their advisor to determine which group-satisfying courses best support their major.

Please note that for students who have Geography is their first major can only use ONE course with the GEOG subject code to satisfy the Group Requirements.

Major Requirements

At least 9 Geography courses must be taken for a letter grade. A grade of C- or better is required for any course applied towards the major, and a GPA of 2.25 or better is required in courses used for the major.

Click here for a pdf of this checksheet

1. Fundamentals

Everyone needs the fundamentals. These introductory and advanced (both required) courses will stretch your horizon, sharpen your critical thinking skills, synthesize core principles, ignite a passion for learning, and might even surprise you. Let the discoveries begin.

1a Introductory Core (3 courses, 12 credits)

  • GEOG 141: The Natural Environment
  • GEOG 142: Introduction to Human Geography: Our Globalized World
  • GEOG 181: Our Digital World

1b Advanced Core (2 courses, 8 credits)

  • GEOG 391: Social Science Research & Inquiry (required for all students)

One of the following:

  • GEOG 201-214: Regional Course (pick one regional course)
  • GEOG 281: The World of Big Data

2. Breadth (3 courses, 12 upper division credits)

With roots in exploration and travel, Geographers traverse a wide range of topics and specialties. Here, students will gain the necessary breadth to put all the pieces together. Choose one course from each of the following:*

  • GIScience
  • Biophysical Geography
  • Human Geography

3. Concentration (3 courses, 12 upper division credits)

With this requirement, students gain greater depth of knowledge and skills. The concentration helps translate Geography for careers. Choose one of the following concentrations and take three courses:*

  • Culture, Politics & Place (BA): Social, economic, and political processes that shape and connect places
  • Environment, Economy & Sustainability (BA or BS): Human-environment interactions and sustainability
  • Geographic Education (BA or BS): Preparation for teaching K-12 courses
  • Water Science & Policy (BA or BS): The social, political and physical processes that shape water and its use
  • Environmental Systems (BS): The biological, climatological, and geomorphological processes that shape the earth’s surface
  • Geographic Information Science (BS): Using spatial data to understand processes that shape the earth

*Please see the Geography Class List found online at geography.uoregon.edu/undergrad/requirements/ or in the Geography Department office (Condon 107) for courses that fulfill breadth and concentration requirements.

4. The Launchpad (1 course, 2 credits)

What can Geography do for you, beyond the classroom? Here, students will gain tangible skills in research, professional development, leadership, and applying geographical concepts and skills beyond college. Chose one of the following:

GEOG 401: Research Experience
GEOG 403: Thesis (requires a GPA of 3.6 or higher)
GEOG 406: Field Studies
GEOG 409: Practicum/ Internship
GEOG 419: The Professional Geographer

To see descriptions of courses, see the UO Course Catalog

To add or drop the geography major or a change a concentration:

  • Fill out this interactive form.
    • To email it, don’t save the form, but print it as a pdf and email an unsigned form to the geography undergraduate advisor (geogadvr@uoregon.edu) with subject line “GEOG change” from your email address (which acts as a signature to verify you want this change).
    • The subject line must read exactly as stated above to ensure accurate receipt.
    • You may also print out a signed paper copy and bring it to the Geography office in Condon 107.
  • New majors are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with the Geography advisor, Dr. Leslie McLees, through this online scheduler or through email at geogadvr@uoregon.edu.