Majors, Minors, Certificate

The Geography program offers a major and minor in geography, as well as a geographic information systems (GIS) minor (for non-geography majors) and a concentration area in GIS for majors. The GIS minor is well-adapted to majors in the physical and social sciences and complements studies in education, marketing, real estate, and entrepreneurship.

GEOG Degree Planning Guide‌ - Major Field Guide

  • GEOG 111 Human Geography (4 credits)
  • GEOG 113 World Geography (4 credits)
  • GEOL 111 (Introductory Physical Geology) or GEOL 114 (The Science of Natural Disasters) or GEOL 115 (Environmental Geology) (4 credits)
  • GEOG 321 Geographic Information Systems (4 credits)
  • GEOG/ENVR 401 Field Seminar (4 credits)

Plus sixteen credits from the following courses:

  • GEOG/ENVR 151 Environmental Problems and Sustainable Solutions (4 credits)
  • GEOG 230 Weather and Climate (4 credits)
  • GEOG 322 Geographical Analysis (4 credits)
  • GEOG 330 Geography for Business and Planning (4 credits)
  • GEOG 331 Conservation Geography (4 credits)
  • GEOG 350 Geography of Global Health (4 credits)
  • GEOG 421 Applied Geographic Information Systems (4 credits)
  • GEOG 298 Special Topics in Geography (focus changes with each offering) (4 credits each)
  • GEOG 478 Experiential Learning (4 credits) or GEOG 491 Research (4 credits)

Note: At least twelve of the credits used to fulfill the major must be at the 298-level or above.

GEOG GIS Degree Planning Guide

  • GEOG 111 Human Geography (4 credits)
  • GEOG 113 World Geography (4 credits)
  • GEOL 111 (Introductory Physical Geology) or GEOL 114 (The Science of Natural Disasters) or GEOL 115 (Environmental Geology) (4 credits)
  • GEOG 321 Geographic Information Systems (4 credits)
  • GEOG 421 Applied Geographic Information Systems (4 credits)
  • GEOG/ENVR 401 Field Seminar (4 credits)

Plus twelve credits from the following courses:

  • GEOG 322 Geographical Analysis (4 credits)
  • GEOG 330 Geography for Business and Planning (4 credits)
  • GEOG 331 Conservation Geography (4 credits)
  • GEOG 350 Geography of Global Health (4 credits)
  • GEOG 478 Experiential Learning (4 credits) or GEOG 491 Research (4 credits)

Plus:

  • STAT 220 Statistics I (4 credits)

Five courses selected in consultation with the department Chair.

This minor is only available to non-geography majors.

  • GEOG 321 Geographic Information Systems (4 credits)
  • GEOG 421 Applied Geographic Information Systems (4 credits)

Plus twelve credits from the following courses:

  • GEOG 322 Geographical Analysis (4 credits)
  • GEOG 330 Geography for Business and Planning (4 credits)
  • GEOG 331 Conservation Geography (4 credits)
  • GEOG 350 Geography of Global Health (4 credits)
  • GEOG 478 Experiential Learning (4 credits) or GEOG 491 Research (4 credits)

This Certificate is a three-course, 12-credit certificate. One course is required, two are electives.

Required Course:

GEOG 321 Geographic Information Systems (4 credits)

The theme of this course is how to perform data analysis using Geographic Information Systems. Specific topics include spatial database operations, buffers, map overlay and address matching. The course illustrates the principles of Geographic Information Systems using a variety of real-world applications from demography to environmental studies.

Electives: 

Two of the following courses:

GEOG 223 Remote Sensing (4 credits)

The principles and techniques of remotely sensed data are presented including photographic and digital sensing. The applicability of these techniques to land use analysis and environmental studies will be emphasized. Students will become familiar with aerial photography and digital imagery interpretation through inquiry‐based learning and GIS.

GEOG 330 Geography for Business and Planning (4 credits)

Geographic techniques for business and planning applications include demographic analysis of customer characteristics, consumer's geographic behavior, trade areas, patterns of retailing, store location problems, site appraisals, optimal routing, and marketing.

GEOG 331 Conservation Geography (4 credits)

This course uses basic Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to study a wide range of conservation issues. GIS is ideal platform for exploring the relationships between the economic, political and environmental processes shaping our landscapes. Typical class projects include locating the best lands in Minnesota for carbon sequestration projects and helping the Minnesota Nature Conservancy target valuable forest habitat for conservation purchases.

GEOG 350 Geography of Global Health (4 credits)

This class introduces students to the concepts, theories and research techniques used by medical geographers. We study the underlying environmental, cultural and demographic processes that shape the distribution and spread of disease in an effort to achieve a deeper understanding of the factors influencing human health. Much of the semester is spent using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to help community partners analyze and address health care challenges in the Twin Cities.

GEOG 389 Research (with a GIS component) (4 credits)

Students interested in pursuing credit for research should discuss their plans with the appropriate faculty member. When the project has been determined, the student and faculty member should complete the Independent Study Form. The research contract must be approved by the supervising faculty member, the chair of the department, and the relevant dean and then submitted to the Office of Student Data and Registrar during the registration period.

GEOG 393 (with a GIS component) Individual Study (4 credits)

Individual study refers to a type of learning contract in which a registered student and/or faculty member have the responsibility for defining, organizing, and evaluating a special project of limited scope (limited in content and in the time designated for its completion). Individual study provides an opportunity for students to receive one-on-one instruction and guidance, while pursuing a subject of special interest. This work is completed independently under the faculty member’s personal direction.

GEOG 421 Applied GIS (4 credits)

This project-based course is designed around individual student interests to utilize advanced ArcGIS functions and analysis. Principles of geographic information systems will be implemented in a wide variety of applications. Prerequisite: 300 level GEOG course or consent of the instructor.

GEOG 478 Experiential Learning (with a GIS component) (4 credits)

These courses allow students to gain credit for certain non-classroom experiences. Permission of the department chair is required. Credit for experience is normally sought prior to its occurrence.