Geography

major | UF Online

Geography is the science of place, space, and environment. Each place on earth is distinguished by a unique mix of natural resources, cultural practices, and socio-economic and political systems. Geographers study what makes each place unique, as well as the connections and interactions between places.

About this Program

To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college, and major requirements.

Department Information

The Geography Department offers a range of topics in contemporary geography and geospatial science, rich and lively cultural and learning environments, B.A. and B.S. undergraduate degrees, M.A., M.S., and PhD degrees, as well as the largest Medical Geography program in the United States.
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CONTACT

Email | 352.392.0494 (tel) | 352.392.8855 (fax)

P.O. Box 117315
330 Newell Drive
3141 TURLINGTON HALL
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-7315
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 Curriculum

Geography offers exciting undergraduate degrees at UF. Students learn from world-renowned faculty and award-winning mentors, and contribute to groundbreaking research, all while studying topics that have great environmental and social significance. Geography is an integrated and highly interdisciplinary field of study spanning the physical world and society. It is also a hands-on discipline, with a strong emphasis on computer-based tools and field studies.

Geographers can choose to study an enormous range of subjects, essentially anything that has a spatial component. Students who major in geography use the lens of space to examine issues as diverse as climate variability and change on the African continent, malaria outbreaks in Africa and South America, deforestation and land conflict in the Amazon, and the origin and spread of blues music in the Southeastern United States. Across the globe, geographers study tropical cyclones, river restoration, disease outbreaks, the role of parks and other protected areas, changes in land cover, forest management and fragmentation, community conservation, emerging infectious diseases, environmental influences on the elderly, and economic development.

Geography explores the relationship between human and biophysical systems and deals with some of the most critical issues of our time such as environmental hazards, climate change, sustainability of resource management systems, international development, and community and urban planning. Understanding the concept of place, including how and why places differ from each other, is a central concern. Students who have social and economic interests can enter into careers in international development, urban and regional planning, geographic information systems, and environmental consultancy. Students who combine the study of socioeconomic factors and the biophysical world can work in resource management, conservation, environmental assessment, and watershed and coastal planning.

Coursework for the Major

The UF Online Geography major has two different programs: the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Geosciences (a joint program with the Department of Geological Sciences). Coursework for the major will depend upon the program, which are all flexible. Students must earn a minimum grade of C in all coursework for the major.

Students who are uncertain of a program should contact the Department of Geography's undergraduate coordinator for information and curriculum planning.

Required Coursework

All majors take some techniques courses, including GEO 3162C and a minimum of two additional courses that involve working with data and computers. All majors take a regional course, focusing on the countries, cultures and landscapes of one region in the world. The systematic courses include specialized courses in human or environmental/physical geography, but majors can also take additional techniques courses as part of this requirement. Students can concentrate coursework in economic geography and planning, environmental/physical geography, geospatial technologies, medical geography, or natural resource management.

Coursework for the major will depend upon the degree program. Courses for each program are listed below under Critical Tracking and Model Semester Plan.

Bachelor of Arts in Geography

Best suited for students interested in careers in urban and regional planning, business geography, medical geography, and geographic education, or for students who want a broad overview of the discipline with a focus on human geography.

Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Geosciences

A joint program between the Department of Geography and the Department of Geological Sciences and is intended for students interested in land and water aspects of the environment. The degree focuses on human impacts, water and mineral resource exploitation and management, disasters, environmental planning, earth science education, or environmental law.


A major in geography enables students to know the earth’s physical environment, to learn social, cultural and economic concepts from spatial and regional perspectives, and to understand the relationship between environment and society. Students will learn how geographic techniques, skills and concepts are applied in the subfields of geography. Computer-based lab assignments teach students how to analyze geographic information and to apply an interpretation of data toward problem solving or modeling. They will be able to interpret and to effectively communicate information spatially, graphically and/or with statistics.

The Bachelor of Arts in geography enables students to learn how geographic techniques, skills and concepts are applied in various subfields of geography. The Bachelor of Science enables students to learn basic concepts in sciences related to the earth and its atmosphere.

Before Graduating Students Must

  • Complete a capstone exam in GEO 4930, as developed by geography faculty.
  • Complete a capstone portfolio in GEO 4930, evaluated by geography faculty.
  • Complete requirements for the baccalaureate degree, as determined by faculty.

Students in the Major Will Learn to

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Content

  1. Identify and describe the physical and human characteristics of Earth and its regions, the essentials of human‐environment interactions, and the techniques of geographic science.

Critical Thinking

  1. Analyze geographic information and apply interpretation of data toward problem solving or modeling.

Communication

  1. Interpret and effectively communicate information spatially, graphically and/or with statistics.

Curriculum Map

I = Introduced; R = Reinforced; A = Assessed

Courses SLO 1 SLO 2 SLO 3
GEA 2000-4000 level Regional Geography R
GEO 2000 level Human Geography I
GEO 2200 I
GEO 2200L R
GEO 3162C I I R
GEO 4930 R, A A A
GIS 3043 or GIS 4001C R R R
STA 2023 I
B.A. Only Plus 15 additional credits in the department R R R
B.S. Only Plus 12 additional credits in the department and 22 credits outside the department with CHM, GLY, MET, PHY, SWS prefixes R R R

Assessment Types

  • Capstone exam
  • Portfolio