Degree: B.A., Geography
Department of Geography
The Geography Department hosts two majors and a certificate in Geographic Information Science. Majors in Geography and in Geospatial Analysis both lead to the Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography.
Geography is the study of the interaction between people and their environments, both natural and human. Geographers examine the places and regions resulting from such interaction and analyze the spatial characteristics of all manner of cultural, economic, political, and physical processes and relationships. Students in the Geography major select one of three areas for specialization:
Society and Politics
A focus on the geographies of people and power. Topics include planning, cities, race & place, globalization, and migration.
A focus on the geographies of how people live and make places meaningful. Topics include Latin America, the Middle East, sacred spaces, and development studies.
A focus on the geographies of natural and human environmental processes. Topics include biodiversity, natural hazards, climate change, and urban sustainability.
Through classroom and laboratory experience, field work, and community involvement, students gain the knowledge and skills required to appreciate the diversity of people and places, the integration and interrelationships of places, and the spatial processes that affect modern society.
Geography majors acquire spatial thinking skills by studying research methods appropriate for their area of specialization. These include: geographic information systems (GIS), cartography, remote sensing, field methods, quantitative, and qualitative methods. Majors are also encouraged to engage in internships, study abroad programs, and undergraduate research.
Facilities for geographic studies at Mary Washington include well-equipped laboratories for the study and practice of physical geography, GIS, cartography, and remote sensing. The department hosts a chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the International Geography Honorary Society.
During the senior year qualified students may pursue Honors in Geography by completing an independent research project and writing and defending a thesis.
Geography majors have pursued a wide variety of careers. These jobs include working for GIS and mapping companies, consulting and engineering firms, as well as numerous non-profit and government organizations. Majoring in geography prepares graduates for work in many different areas, as students have experience studying both the human and physical dimensions of the world. Many graduates also choose to continue their education in graduate schools, studying everything from meteorology to political geography.
A minimum of 35-37 credits in Geography and Geographic Information Science.
|Introduction to Human Geography|
|Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Cartography|
or GISC 200
|Introduction to GIS|
|Quantitative Methods in Geography|
|Qualitative Methods in Geography|
|Remote Sensing and Air Photo Interpretation|
|Mobile Geographic Information Systems and Global Positioning Systems|
|Select one course from each of the areas of specialization, at least one being at 300- or 400-level.|
|Take 3 additional courses from one of the areas of specialization, two of which are at 300- or 400-level.|
|Areas of Specialization|
|A. Society & Politics|
|Introduction to Planning|
|Globalization and Local Development|
|Race and Place in America|
|Migration Politics in a Globalizing World|
|The Nature of Cities 1|
|World Regional Geography|
|Geography of Eastern North America|
|Geography of Western North America|
|Geography of Latin America and the Caribbean|
|Geography of the Middle East|
|Grassroots Development in Guatemala|
|Introduction to Weather and Climate|
|Hazards and Resilience|
|Environment and Society|
|Glacial Processes and Landscapes|
|The Nature of Cities 1|
|For each area of specialization, 3 credits of one of the following may be included.|
|Geographic Study Abroad|
|Advanced Topics in Geography|
|Readings in Geography|
|Individual Study in Geography|
|Community Engaged Study in Geography|
|Senior Seminar in Geography|
GEOG 337 may be used in either Society & Politics or Environment, not both.
Certificate in Geographic Information Science can be found by using this link.
General Education Requirements
The general education requirements for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degrees apply to all students who are seeking to earn an undergraduate B.A., B.S. or B.S.Ed. degree.
Students seeking a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree have a separate set of BLS general education requirements.
Elective courses are those that are not needed to fulfill a general education requirement or major program requirement but are chosen by the student to complete the 120 credits required for graduation with a B.A./B.S./B.S.Ed. degree or the BLS degree. These courses may be taken graded or pass/fail (or S/U in the case of physical education and 100-level dance). No student in a regular B.A./B.S./B.S.Ed. program may count more than 60 credits in a single discipline toward the 120 credits required for graduation.
Total Credits Required for the Degree: 120 credits