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  • Geography

    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 Major

    Overview

    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, conservation, 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.

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    Coursework for the Major

    The geography major has three different programs: the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Science 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.

    The Bachelor of Arts in geography requires 33-35 credits of coursework in geography, plus 3 credits of STA 2023. It is 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.

    The Bachelor of Arts in environmental geosciences requires a minimum of 38 credits of coursework. This joint program between the Department of Geography and the Department of Geological Sciences 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.

    The Bachelor of Science in geography requires 30-32 credits of geography coursework and 24-25 credits of coursework in physics, chemistry, geology, and soils. This program is best suited for someone who wishes to pursue a career in environmental consulting or graduate work in physical geography or related natural sciences, including atmospheric science, geosciences, hydrologic sciences or meteorology.

    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 Recommended Semester Plan.

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    Bachelor of Arts

    Students must earn a minimum grade of C in all coursework for the major.

    Required Coursework

    • GEO 2200 and 2200L Physical Geography and Physical Geography Laboratory, 4 credits
    • One course from GEO 2410 Social Geography, GEO 2420 Introduction to Human Geography or GEO 2500 Global and Regional Economies, 3 credits
    • GEO 3162C Introduction to Quantitative Analysis for Geographers, 4 credits
    • Two courses from GEO 4167C Intermediate Quantitative Analysis, GIS 4001C Maps and Graphs, GIS 3043 Foundations of Geographic Information Systems, GIS 4021C Air Photo Interpretation, GIS 4037 Digital Image Processing, 6-8 credits
    • GEO 4930 Senior Seminar, 1 credit
    • One course from GEA 2210 Geography of the United States and Canada, GEA 2270 Geography of Florida, GEA 3223 Historical Geography of the United States, GEA 3405 Geography of Latin America, GEA 3500 Geography of Europe, GEA 3600 Geography of Africa, GEA 4465 Amazonia, 3 credits
    • Four courses, 12 credits minimum, from:
      • GEO 2201 Physical Landscapes
      • GEO 2242 Extreme Weather
      • GEO 2426 Popular Music and Culture: A Geographic Perspective
      • GEO 3250 Climatology
      • GEO 3280 Principles of Geographic Hydrology
      • GEO 3315 Geography of Crops Plants
      • GEO 3341 Extreme Floods
      • GEO 3352 The Human Footprint on Landscape
      • GEO 3372 Conservation of Resources
      • GEO 3427 Plants, Health, and Spirituality
      • GEO 3430 Population Geography
      • GEO 3452 Introduction to Medical Geography
      • GEO 3502 Economic Geography
      • GEO 3602 Urban and Business Geography
      • GEO 3611 Housing, People, and Places in a Spatially Diverse America
      • GEO 3803 Geography of Alcohol
      • GEO 3930 Special Topics
      • GEO 4167C Intermediate Quantitative Analysis for Geographers
      • GEO 4281 Fluvial Morphology and Processes
      • GEO 4285 Models in Geographic Hydrology
      • GEO 4300 Environmental Biogeography
      • GEO 4554 Regional Development
      • GEO 4612 Shelter and Care Options for U.S. Elderly
      • GEO 4620 Business Geography Integrating Theory
      • GEO 4970 Honors Thesis
      • GEO 4938 Selected Topics in Geography
      • GIS 3043 Foundations of Geographic Information System
      • GIS 3420C GIS Models for Public Health
      • GIS 4021C Air Photo Interpretation
      • GIS 4037 Digital Image Processing
      • GLY 4734 Coastal Morphology and Processes
      • MET 3503 Weather and Forecasting
      • MET 4532 Hurricanes
      • MET 4560 Atmospheric Teleconnections
      • MET 4750 Atmospheric Data Analysis

    The same course may not be used to satisfy requirements for more than one bulleted group.

    Related Coursework

    • STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1
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    Critical Tracking

    To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college and major requirements. For degree requirements outside of the major, refer to CLAS Degree Requirements: Structure of a CLAS Degree.

    Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students

    Semester 1

    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 2

    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 3

    • Complete 1 geography course (GEA 1000 not acceptable)
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 4

    • Complete 1 additional geography course (1 of the 2 must be GEO 2200; GEA 1000 not acceptable) or complete STA 2023 with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 5

    • Complete all critical-tracking courses (STA 2023 and 2 geography courses, 1 of which must be GEO 2200; GEA 1000 not acceptable) with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
    • 2.0 UF GPA required
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    Recommended Semester Plan

    Students are expected to complete the writing requirement while in the process of taking the courses below. Students are also expected to complete the general education international (GE-N) and diversity (GE-D) requirements concurrently with another general education requirement (typically, GE-C, H or S).

    Semester 1 Credits
    GEO 2410 Social Geography (GE-S and D) or
    GEO 2420 Introduction to Human Geography (GE-S and N) or
    GEO 2500 Global and Regional Economies (GE-S)
    3
    Biological or Physical Science (State Core GE-B or P) 3
    Composition (State Core GE-C) (WR) 3
    Foreign language 4-5
    Total 13-14
    Semester 2 Credits
    GEO 2200 and 2200L Physical Geography (3) and Physical Geography Laboratory (1) (GE-P) 4
    IUF 1000 What is the Good Life (GE-H)​ 3​
    STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1 (GE-M) 3
    Foreign language 3-5
    Total 13-15
    Semester 3 Credits
    GEO 3000 level (Systematic) 3
    Biological Science (GE-B) 3
    Composition (GE-C) (WR) 3
    ​Elective (or foreign language if 4-3-3 option) 3​
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (State Core GE-S) 3
    Total 15
    Semester 4 Credits
    GEO 3000/4000 level (Systematic) 3
    ​Elective 3​
    ​Elective (3000 level or above, not in major) 3​
    Humanities (State Core GE-H) 3
    Mathematics (State Core GE-M) 3
    Total 15
    Semester 5 Credits
    GEA 2000/4000 level (Regional)​ 3​
    GEO 3162 Introduction to Quantitative Analysis for Geographers (GE-P) 4
    ​Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) ​6
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (GE-S) 3
    Total 16
    Semester 6 Credits
    GEO 3000/4000 level (Systematic)​ 3​
    GIS 3043 Foundations of Geographic Information Systems or
    GIS 4001 Maps and Graphs
    4
    Elective 3
    Elective (3000 level or above, not in major) 3
    ​Humanities (GE-H) 3​
    Total 16
    Semester 7 Credits
    GEO 4930 Senior Seminar 1
    GEO/GIS 4000 level (Technique) * 3-4
    Electives 6
    Elective (3000 level or above, not in major)​ 3
    ​Social and Behavioral Sciences (GE-S) 3​
    Total 16-17
    Semester 8 Credits
    GEO 3000/4000 level (Systematic) 3
    Elective (3000 level or above, not in major) 3
    Electives * 10
    Total 16

    * Electives to reach the 120-credit minimum will vary depending on whether students select minimum or maximum credit course options.

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    Bachelor of Arts: Environmental Geosciences

    Students must earn a minimum grade of C in all coursework for the major.

    Required Coursework

    • GEO 2200 and GEO 2200L Physical Geography and Physical Geography Laboratory, 4 credits
    • GEO 4930 Senior Seminar, 1 credit
    • GIS 3043 Foundations of Geographical Information Systems, 4 credits
    • GLY 2010C Physical Geology, 4 credits
    • GLY 2100C Historical Geology or GLY 3105C Evolution of Earth and Life in America, 4 credits
    • GLY 3202C Earth Minerals, 3 credits
    • Three geography electives, 9 credits minimum, from:
      • GEO 3162C Introduction to Quantitative Analysis for Geographers
      • GEO 3250 Climatology
      • GEO 3280 Principles of Geographic Hydrology
      • GEO 3341 Extreme Floods
      • GEO 3352 The Human Footprint on Landscape
      • GEO 3372 Conservation Resources
      • GEO 4167C Intermediate Quantitative Analysis for Geographers
      • GEO 4281 Fluvial Morphology and Processes
      • GEO 4285 Models in Geographic Hydrology
      • GEO 4300 Environmental Biogeography
      • GIS 4021C Air Photo Interpretation
      • GIS 4037 Digital Image Processing
      • MET 3503 Weather and Forecasting
      • MET 4532 Hurricanes
      • MET4560 Atmospheric Teleconnections
      • MET 4750 Atmospheric Data Analysis
    • Two geology electives, 6 credits minimum, from:
      • GLY 3074 Oceans and Global Climate Change
      • GLY 3163 Geology of American and National Parks
      • GLY 3603C Paleontology
      • GLY 3882C Hydrology and Human Affairs
      • GLY 4155C Geology of Florida
      • GLY 4310C Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
      • GLY 4400C Structural Geology and Tectonics
      • GLY 4552C Sedimentary Geology
      • GLY 4734 Coastal Morphology and Processes
    • The same course may not be used to satisfy requirements for more than one bulleted group.

      Related Coursework

    • STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics
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    Critical Tracking

    To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college and major requirements. For degree requirements outside of the major, refer to CLAS Degree Requirements: Structure of a CLAS Degree.

    Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students

    Semester 1

    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 2

    • Complete one critical-tracking course with laboratory (GEO 2200/2200L or GLY 2010C) with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 3

    • Complete the other critical-tracking course with laboratory (GEO 2200/2200L or GLY 2010C) with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 4

    • Complete STA 2023 and maintain a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
    • 2.0 UF GPA required

    Semester 5

    • Complete two additional GLY or GEO courses with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA. Recommended GLY courses include GLY 2100C or GLY 3105C. Recommended GEO courses include GEO 3250, GEO 3280, GEO 3315, GEO 3341, GEO 3352, GEO 3372 or MET 3503.
    • 2.0 UF GPA required
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    Recommended Semester Plan

    Students are expected to complete the writing requirement while in the process of taking the courses below. Students are also expected to complete the general education international (GE-N) and diversity (GE-D) requirements concurrently with another general education requirement (typically, GE-C, H or S).

    Semester 1 Credits
    IUF 1000 What is the Good Life (GE-H)​ 3​
    Composition (State Core GE-C) (WR) 3
    ​​Elective * 3​
    ​Foreign language 4-5​
    Mathematics (State Core GE-M) 3
    Total 16-17
    Semester 2 Credits
    GEO 2200 and 2200L Physical Geography (3) (GE-P) and Physical Geography Laboratory (1) (GE-P) or
    GLY 2010C Physical Geology (4) (GE-P)
    4
    Biological or Physical Science (State Core GE-B or P) 3
    ​Foreign language 3-5​​
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (State Core GE-S) 3
    Total 13-15
    Semester 3 Credits
    GEO 2200 and 2200L Physical Geography (3) (GE-P) and Physical Geography Laboratory (1) (GE-P) or
    GLY 2010C Physical Geology (4) (GE-P)
    4
    Composition (GE-C) (WR) 3
    ​Elective (or foreign language if 4-3-3 option) 3​​
    Humanities (State Core GE-H) 3
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (GE-S) 3
    Total 16
    Semester 4 Credits
    STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1 (GE-M) 3
    Biological Science (GE-B) 3
    Elective​ 3​
    Humanities (GE-H) 3
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (GE-S) 3
    Total 15
    Semester 5 Credits
    GIS 3043 Foundations of Geographic Information Systems 4
    GLY 2100C Historical Geology or
    GLY 3105C Evolution of Earth and Life (both GE-P)
    4
    Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6
    Total 14
    Semester 6 Credits
    GLY 3202C Earth Materials 3
    Geography elective, from list 3-4
    Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 9
    Total 15-16
    Semester 7 Credits
    Geography elective, from list 3-4
    Geology elective, from list 3-4
    Electives * 6
    Elective (3000 level or above, not in major) 3
    Total 15-17
    Semester 8 Credits
    GEO 4930 Senior Seminar 1
    Geography elective, from list 3-4
    Geology elective, from list 3-4
    Electives * 9
    Total 16-18

    * Electives to reach the 120-credit minimum will vary depending on whether students select minimum or maximum credit course options.

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    Bachelor of Science

    Students must earn a minimum grade of C in all coursework for the major.

    Required Coursework

    • GEO 2200 and 2200L Physical Geography and Physical Geography Laboratory, 4 credits
    • GEO 3162C Introduction to Quantitative Analysis for Geographers, 4 credits
    • GEO 4930 Senior Seminar, 1 credit
    • One course from GEO 2410 Social Geography, GEO 2420 Introduction to Human Geography or GEO 2500 Global and Regional Economies, 3 credits
    • Two courses from GEO 4167C Intermediate Quantitative Analysis, GIS 3043 Foundations of Geographic Information Systems, GIS 4001C Maps and Graphs,
      GIS 4021C Air Photo Interpretation, GIS 4037 Digital Image Processing, 6-8 credits
    • One course from GEA 2210 Geography of the United States and Canada, GEA 2270 Geography of Florida, GEA 3223 Historical Geography of the United States, GEA 3405 Geography of Latin America, GEA 3500 Geography of Europe, GEA 3600 Geography of Africa, GEA 4465 Amazonia
    • Three courses, 9 credits minimum, from:
      • GEO 3250 Climatology
      • GEO 3280 Principles of Geographic Hydrology
      • GEO 3315 Geography of Crop Plants
      • GEO 3341 Extreme Floods
      • GEO 3352 Human Footprint on the Earth
      • GEO 3372 Conservation Resources
      • GEO 3452 Introduction to Medical Geography
      • GEO 4167C Intermediate Quantitative Analysis
      • GEO 4281 Fluvial Morphology and Processes
      • GEO 4285 Models in Geographic Hydrology
      • GEO 4938 Selected Topics
      • GEO 4970 Honors Thesis
      • GIS 3043 Foundations of Geographic Information Systems
      • GIS 3420C GIS Models for Public Health
      • GIS 4021C Air Photo Interpretation
      • GIS 4037 Digital Image Processing
      • MET 3503 Weather and Forecasting
      • MET 4532 Hurricanes
      • MET 4560 Atmospheric Teleconnections
      • MET 4750 Atmospheric Data Analysis
      • The same course may not be used to satisfy requirements for more than one bulleted group.

        Related Coursework

        • CHM 1025 Introduction to Chemistry or CHM 1030 Basic Chemistry Concepts and Applications, 2-3 credits
        • GLY 2010C Physical Geology, 4 credits
        • MET 1010 Introduction to Weather and Climate, 3 credits
        • PHY 2004 and 2004L Applied Physics 1 and laboratory, 4 credits
        • PHY 2005 and 2005L Applied Physics 2 and laboratory, 4 credits
        • STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics, 3 credits
        • SWS 3022 and 3022L Intro to Soils in the Environment and laboratory, 4 credits
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        Critical Tracking

        To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college and major requirements. For degree requirements outside of the major, refer to CLAS Degree Requirements: Structure of a CLAS Degree.

        Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students

        Semester 1

        • 2.0 UF GPA required

        Semester 2

        • Maintain 2.0 UF GPA
        • 2.0 UF GPA required

        Semester 3

        • Complete 1 geography course (GEA 1000 not acceptable)
        • 2.0 UF GPA required

        Semester 4

        • Complete 1 additional geography course (1 of the 2 must be GEO 2200; GEA 1000 not acceptable) or complete STA 2023 with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
        • 2.0 UF GPA required

        Semester 5

        • Complete all critical-tracking courses (STA 2023 and 2 geography courses, 1 of which must be GEO 2200; GEA 1000 not acceptable) with a 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
        • 2.0 UF GPA required
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        Recommended Semester Plan

        Students are expected to complete the writing requirement while in the process of taking the courses below. Students are also expected to complete the general education international (GE-N) and diversity (GE-D) requirements concurrently with another general education requirement (typically, GE-C, H or S).

        Semester 1 Credits
        GEO 2200 and 2200L Physical Geography (3) and Physical Geography Laboratory (1) (GE-P) 4
        MET 1010 Introduction to Weather and Climate (GE-P) 3
        Composition (State Core GE-C) (WR) 3
        Foreign language 5
        Total 15
        Semester 2 Credits
        CHM 1025 Introduction to Chemistry (2) or
        CHM 1030 Basic Chemistry Concepts and Applications 1 (3) (GE-P)
        2-3
        GEO 2410 Social Geography (GE-S and D) or
        GEO 2420 Introduction to Human Geography (GE-S and N) or
        GEO 2500 Global and Regional Economies (GE-S)
        3
        IUF 1000 What is the Good Life (GE-H) 3
        Foreign language 5
        Total 13-14
        Semester 3 Credits
        PHY 2004 and 2004L Applied Physics 1 (3) and Applied Physics 1 Laboratory (1) (GE-P) 4
        STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1 (GE-M) 3
        Elective 3
        Humanities (State Core GE-H) 3
        Total 13
        Semester 4 Credits
        GEO/MET 3000/4000 level (Systematic) 3
        PHY 2005 and 2005L Applied Physics 2 (3) and Applied Physics 2 Laboratory (1) (GE-P) 4
        Composition (GE-C) (WR) 3
        ​Elective 3​​
        Mathematics (State Core GE-M) 3
        Total 16
        Semester 5 Credits
        GEA 2000/4000 level (Regional)​ 3​
        GEO 3162C Introduction to Quantitative Analysis for Geographers (GE-P) 4
        Biological or Physical Science (State Core GE-B or P) 3
        ​Elective (3000 level or above, not in major) 3​​
        Social and Behavioral Sciences (State Core GE-S) 3
        Total 16
        Semester 6 Credits
        GEO/MET 3000/4000 level (Systematic) 3-4
        GIS 4001C Maps and Graphs (4) or
        GIS 3043 Foundations of Geographic Information Systems (Technique)
        4
        GLY 2010C Physical Geology (GE-P) 4
        Elective (3000 level or above, not in major) 3
        Humanities (GE-H) 3
        Total 17-18
        Semester 7 Credits
        GEO 4930 Senior Seminar 1
        GEO/MET 3000/4000 level (Systematic)​ 3​
        SWS 3022 and 3022L Introduction to Soils in the Environment (3) and Introduction to Soils in the Environment Laboratory (1) (GE-P) 4
        ​Elective * 1​
        Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6
        Total 15
        Semester 8 Credits
        GEO/GIS 3000 level or above (Technique)​ 3-4​
        Biological Science (GE-B) 3
        ​Electives (3000 level or above, not in major) 6​
        Social and Behavioral Sciences (GE-S, if needed) 3
        Total 15-16

        * Electives to reach the 120-credit minimum will vary depending on whether students select minimum or maximum credit course options.

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majors: geography