The undergraduate major in geography can be pursued from two different perspectives. People seeking a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) degree take a core of eighteen hours in regional, physical, human, and statistical geography plus another fifteen hours of electives. People electing the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) path have the option of three different foci: physical geography, geographic information science, and atmospheric science. These three each require solid backgrounds in mathematics and basic science.
At the graduate level the department offers the Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.S.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Geography and the Master of Science (M.S.) in Atmospheric Science. The M.A. is a thirty-hour degree that combines broad training in the field with a specialty. It also includes a thesis. The M.S. in Geography will aim to expand the student's knowledge of how earth systems work and how humans interact with its components. The Ph.D. program offers student concentrations in the following areas: cultural-regional geography of Africa, East Asia, Latin America, Russia/Eurasia, and the United States; geographic information science (including cartography and remote sensing); and physical/environmental geography. The M.S. is a thirty-hour degree that expands the student's knowledge of fundamental atmospheric processes and how the atmosphere interacts with other parts of the environment. It also includes a thesis.
It is highly recommended that students consult a faculty advisor when preparing their course of study. Members of the undergraduate committee are always available for advising and to help solve program and curriculum problems. We also recommend that, at the outset of their studies, students talk to a number of faculty members in the department about their interests. This will help in the selection of courses that best match individual interests. It will also help identify special courses or research opportunities that might enhance the overall educational experience at the University of Kansas. Finally, the University has special scholarships for undergraduate research programs, and we highly recommend you consider the Study Abroad Program for a semester or summer. You should consider this before your junior year.
The purpose of the program is to expand the student's knowledge of fundamental atmospheric processes and how the atmosphere interacts with other parts of the environment. Students become familiar with quantitative research methods and how these various approaches can be used to address different problems in atmospheric science. Students gain an in depth ability to learn specific skills and apply them toward his/her thesis work. These skills consist of, for example, statistical analysis techniques, numerical modeling, or work with atmospheric instrumentation. The breadth of the program and the diverse research topics explored by the faculty are able to accommodate students with a variety of interests.