Jun 20, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog | 2018-2019 
Undergraduate Catalog | 2018-2019 Previous Edition

Geography, Comprehensive Social Studies Teacher Licensure, B.A.

The Department of Geography and Earth Sciences , in collaboration with the College of Education and the Department of Middle, Secondary, and K-12 Education , offers a program of geography and professional education courses to prepare students for a North Carolina (9-12) teaching license. Students interested in teaching social studies in the public schools should declare this interest during the first semester of the Sophomore year to obtain appropriate advising and prepare for formal admission to the Minor in Secondary Education . Students should contact the advisor for teacher education within the department, as well as the Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure (TEAL) in the College of Education, for information about the requirements for admission to teacher education, coursework, and the culminating student teaching experience. Additional information about teacher education may be found in the College of Education  section of this Catalog.


The Geography curriculum is oriented toward the concepts and methodologies of social science that stress the importance of location.  Geography is the study of spatial variation - of how things vary from place to place on the surface of the earth; how places are connected to each other, and the factors that shape how places interact and change over time.

Geography is studied at many levels, from the local to the global, and from many perspectives (i.e., social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental). Conceptual treatment of geographic issues deal with urbanization; globalization; migration; sustainability; patterns of land use; transportation systems; the flow of goods, services, and information; business location; planning for the natural and built environment; and human-environmental interaction in both urban and rural settings.  Special emphasis is placed on how these factors shape our world, the places where we live and work, and the ways in which we interact.  Geographic analysis involves information technology; mapping and statistical analysis; social area analysis; remote sensing and satellite imagery; and especially the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  A host of courses prepare students in both the concepts and methods of contemporary spatial analysis.  The department also leads the interdisciplinary Minor in Urban Studies.  Geography majors find careers in urban and regional planning, cartography, GIS applications and development, marketing research, transportation planning, real estate development, and teaching.  While a wide range of career options are available to undergraduate geography majors, graduate studies provide additional options.  For details, see the UNC Charlotte Graduate Catalog regarding the M.A. in Geography program.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen and Transfers

  • Minimum GPA:  2.0
  • Declaration of Major:  Major can be declared on a rolling basis throughout the year.  Students may declare the major at any time before graduation.
  • Transferable Credit Hours:  24

Degree Requirements

Students seeking teacher licensure in Comprehensive Social Studies must complete the requirements for the B.A. in Geography including 17 credit hours in required coursework and 19 elective credit hours.

General Education Courses (37-41 credit hours)

For details on required courses, refer to the General Education Program 

Foreign Language Requirement (0-8 credit hours)

For details on required courses, refer to the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Foreign Language Requirement .  

Comprehensive Social Studies Courses (18 credit hours)

Students seeking teacher licensure in Comprehensive Social Studies must complete the requirements for the B.A. in Geography, including 17 credit hours in required coursework and 19 elective credit hours. 

Restricted Elective Courses (19 credit hours)

Except for required courses, the B.A. degree requires 19 hours of elective coursework numbered 2000 or above, with at least six hours in coursework at the 4000-level.  Up to three elective courses may be selected from courses with the ESCI, GEOL, and METR prefix.  Students are encouraged to take additional coursework in related disciplines or to select a second major. 

Unrestricted Elective Courses

As needed to complete the credit hours required for graduation.

Degree Total = 120 Credit Hours

Cooperative Education Program

Students in the Geography and Earth Sciences programs may obtain practical work experience while pursuing their degrees by participating in the Cooperative Education program.  The work experience is approved by the department and is closely related to the student’s field of study.  The Cooperative Education Program allows qualified students either to alternate semesters of academic study with semesters of full-time work experience or to combine part-time academic study and part-time work during the same semester.  Students who are in good standing with the University, have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, and have completed 30 credit hours are eligible to apply.  Transfer students are required to complete 12 credit hours at the University prior to application. Students interested in learning more about participating in this program should contact the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences or the University Career Center.

Grade Requirements

In addition to requirements set by the College of Education, students must have earned a GPA of 2.5 or above in all social studies courses for admission to student teaching and ultimately for licensure.

Honors Program

For details about the Honors Program in Earth Sciences, Geography, Geology, or Metrology, visit the program page .