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.
Bachelor of Science in Geography (B.S.)
A much more specialized degree, there are fewer general education requirements and a much more concentrated specialization in one of two aspects of Geography. There are two B.S. degree options:
Physical Geography Option. Students prepare for a career in environmental assessment and problem solving. Basic requirements include preparation in chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics. Advanced course work includes the study of the processes that affect the physical environment (soils, vegetation, climate and geomorphology), and techniques for performing statistical and computational analysis of these processes (statistics, GIS and remote sensing).
Geographical Information and Analysis Option. Students prepare for a career in the area of geographic information science and problem solving using a variety of spatial analysis techniques. Basic requirements include preparation in mathematics, science and computer science. Advanced course work includes work in cartography, GIS, remote sensing, spatial statistics, spatial analysis and data presentation and visualization. In addition, students are expected to take some coursework in one of the other areas of geography (physical, human, and regional).
Beyond the basic requirements listed under each option, both Geography B.S. degrees have a common set of general education requirements, including courses in English, mathematics, communications, humanities, social sciences and a history or philosophy of science course. Some courses are shared by the two options; however, different course selection menus apply for the remaining requirements. Specific requirements are shown in the worksheets for each option.