Feb 24, 2024
A Major in Geography leading to a B.S. degree consists of 49 credit hours of Geography and Earth Sciences and at least six credit hours of extra-departmental coursework (55 credit hours total).
Although students pursuing a B.S. in Geography are not required to declare a concentration, formal concentrations within the major include Urban, Social, and Economic Geography; Urban and Regional Planning; and GIScience and Technology. Other plans of study may be developed; students should contact their advisors to develop a program of study that matches their career objectives. Students should work closely with their academic advisors to ensure that their program of study is tailored to their career goals.
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.
Freshmen and Transfers
- Minimum GPA: 2.0
- Declaration of Major: Major can be declared on a rolling basis throughout the year.
- Transferable Credit Hours: 24
Major Courses (31 credit hours)
Restricted Elective Courses (18 credit hours)
Select 18 credit hours of elective GEOG coursework at the 3000 or above level. Up to three elective courses may be selected from courses with the ESCI, GEOL, and METR prefix.
Note: this Elective Course requirement does not apply to students in the Concentration in GIScience and Technology.
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.
For details about the Honors Program in Earth Sciences, Geography, Geology, or Metrology, visit the program page.