Major, Minor and Modifications

Designing Your Major

Our major requirements are not unlike many other departments on campus.  We ask the student to put together a coherent set of courses in collaboration with the department chair. The major consists of ten courses, of which three are prerequisites (Geography 1 or 3, and two techniques/spatial analysis courses). Majors take one course in each of the three core areas of geography, and culminate with Geography 90. See the table below for full details.

Since 1983, 70% of our majors have completed the major program without modification (although a number have completed double or even triple majors, some with multiple theses as well); 22% have modified Geography with a secondary discipline, and 7% have used Geography as a secondary modification to another discipline. The most common secondary modification is with Environmental Studies.

Requirements

The Major

  • Minimum number of courses: 10
  • Pre-requisites: G1 or G3 and any 2 from G11 or any course in the 50 range
  • Required courses: 1 from each from Nature-Society, Cultural-Social, Physical, plus 3 additional
  • G90 (culminating experience) required: Yes
  • Paperwork needed: Geography chair signature
  • Other requirements: None

Nature-Society Geography courses include: 6, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 40, 44, 45, 48, 65, 67.

Cultural-Social Geography courses include: 2, 4, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 41, 43, 47, 81, 82.

Physical Geography courses include: 5, 8, 9, 31, 32, 33, 35.

Examples of majors

There are three major streams within the Geography curriculum: (1) Physical and Human Dimensions of Global Change, (2) Critical Urban and Identity Studies, and (3) International Development. The following courses within the curriculum correspond to the streams:

Physical and Human Dimensions of Global Change

  • GEOG 3: The Natural Environment
  • GEOG 5: Global Climate Change
  • GEOG 8: Life in the Anthropocene
  • GEOG 9: Climate Change and the Future of Agriculture
  • GEOG 12: Wilderness, Culture, and Environmental Conservation
  • GEOG 13: Population, Culture, and the Environment
  • GEOG 14: Global Water Resources
  • GEOG 18: Urbanization and the Environment
  • GEOG 19: Gender, Space, and the Environment
  • GEOG 31: Forest Geography
  • GEOG 35: River Processes and Watershed Science
  • GEOG 45: Exploring Nature and Culture in New England

Critical Urban and Identity Studies

  • GEOG 21: The North American City
  • GEOG 23: Power, Territoriality, and Political Geography
  • GEOG 24: American Landscapes and Culture
  • GEOG 25: Social Justice and the City
  • GEOG 27: Race, Identity and Rights: Geographic Perspectives on Law
  • GEOG 28: Immigration, Race, and Identity
  • GEOG 51: Urban Applications of GIS
  • GEOG 56: Mapping Health and Disease

International Development

  • GEOG 6: Geographies of Development
  • GEOG 15: Food and Power
  • GEOG 16: Political Economy of Development
  • GEOG 17: Geopolitics of Third World Development
  • GEOG 26: Women, Gender and Development
  • GEOG 40: Africa: Ecology and Development
  • GEOG 42: Environment, Development & Inequality in South Asia
  • GEOG 41: Gender, Space and Islam
  • GEOG 43: Latin America
  • GEOG 44: Environment and Politics in Southeast Asia
  • GEOG 65: Catastrophe and Human Survival
  • GEOG 47: The Czech Republic in the New Europe
  • GEOG 81: Field Research in the Czech Republic
  • GEOG 82: Independent Study in the Czech Republic

Requirements

The Minor

  • Minimum number of courses: 7
  • Pre-requisites: G1 or G3 and any 1 from G11 or any course in the 50 range
  • Required courses: 5 courses. Note: If using FSP only G47 & 81 can be used
  • G90 (culminating experience) Recommended
  • Paperwork needed: Geography chair signature
  • Other requirements: None

Urban Studies Minor

  • Minimum number of courses: 6

Required

  • GEOG 22: Introduction to Urban Geography
  • GEOG 25: Social Justice and the City

Four other courses, two drawn from Geographic perspectives, and two drawn from Interdisciplinary perspectives:

Geographic Perspectives

  • GEOG 18: Urbanization and the Environment
  • GEOG 28: Immigration, Race and Ethnicity
  • GEOG 29: Global Cities
  • GEOG 32: The Physical City
  • GEOG 57: Urban Applications of GIS
  • GEOG 80.04/COCO 5: Visualizing American Cities, Creating "Modern" Identities

Multidisciplinary Perspectives
AMES 53: Discovering an Islamic City
ARTH 13: Rome: The Eternal City
ARTH 52: Building America: An Architectural and Social History
ANTH 58: Sustainable Cities
ECON 38: Urban and Land Use Economies
ENGS 44: Sustainable Design
HIST 32: The Life, Death and Rebirth of Great American Cities
PBPL 81.03: Urban Politics and Public Policymaking
REL 30: Sacred Cities
SART 65: Architecture 1

Requirements

Modifications

Geography modified with another major "primary modification"

  • Minimum number of courses: 8
  • Pre-requisites: G1 or G3 and any 2 from G11 or any course in the 50 range
  • Required courses: 1 from each from Nature-Society, Cultural-Social, Physical, plus 1 additional
  • G90 (culminating experience) required: Yes
  • Paperwork needed: Geography chair & other advisor signature, letter of intent
  • Other requirements: Four courses in other major in consultation with geography chair

Another major modified with geography "secondary modification"

  • Minimum number of courses: 5
  • Pre-requisites: G1 or G3
  • Required courses: Coherent set of courses devised in consultation with chair
  • G90 (culminating experience) required: No
  • Paperwork needed: Geography chair & other advisor signature, letter of intent
  • Other requirements: See other major's specific requirements

Nature-Society Geography courses include: 6, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 40, 44, 45, 48, 65.

Cultural-Social Geography courses include: 2, 4, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 41, 43, 47, 81, 82.

Physical Geography courses include: 5, 8, 9, 31, 32, 33, 35.

Geography Honors Program

Upon application to and approval by the Department, qualified majors will be accepted as members of a special Honors group. Requests for admission to the honors group will normally be considered at the close of the spring term of the junior year. No application for participation in the Honors Program will be accepted from students with less than two full terms remaining before their expected graduation. The Honors Program in Geography will consist of the regular major program with the following modifications:

  1. An Honors thesis (Geography 87) will be submitted.
  2. There will be an oral examination on the research.
  3. A special reading program related to the field of investigation covered by the research will be required.
  4. Honors students will be required to present their research ideas in at least one formal meeting to be determined by the Chair.

Read more about the senior Honors thesis program.

Preparation for Graduate Study

The Department encourages able students to continue work in the field of geography. To this end, the Department will give special assistance in planning a program and in helping with the arrangements for graduate study to those students wishing to go on to graduate work. Interested students should consult with a member of the faculty.