Minor or Integrative Studies Concentration only

Geography is an integrative discipline that focuses on the interrelationships between the physical and human environments.

Geographers investigate the physical landscape (e.g., landforms, climate, biosphere) and spatial patterns of human activity within the environment (e.g., urbanization, migration, spread of diseases, desertification, global change).  By integrating the physical and the human environments, Geographers bring a unique perspective to the study of pressing societal problems and issues, such as natural disaster relief and urban sprawl.  This perspective is strongly enhanced by a suite of spatial analytical tools (e.g., cartography, remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems).  With its spatial analytical tools and broad perspectives on the physical and cultural world, geography provides useful skills and knowledge for students in a variety of fields from urban and land use planning to business, resource management, and international development.

Geographic knowledge and thinking enables one to understand the constantly changing places, people, patterns, and connections in the world today.  There has never been a time of more mobility of people, information, and ideas, which makes understanding the spatial context of places and interactions very important. 

A student must complete the following requirements for the minor or concentration in geography:

Minor Requirements


Select one course from physical geography: 3
Weather and Climate
Physical Geology
Select one course from human geography:3
Cultural Geography
Geography of the United States
World Regional Geography
Total Credit Hours6

Required courses

12 credits from the following:

GEOG 302Mapping Our World3
Select nine credit hours from any of the following (CAGY):9
Physical Geography courses:
Global Climate Change
Field Methods
Environmental Science
Groundwater Hydrology
Human Geography courses:
Urban Economics
Urban Geography
Economic Geography
American City
Urban Politics
Regional Geography courses:
Geography of Western Europe
Michigan Geography
Geospatial Techniques courses:
Intro to GIS
Remote Sensing
Advanced GIS Applications
Other courses:
Topics in Geography
Independent Study
Total Credit Hours12

GEOG 201     Cultural Geography     3 Credit Hours

Overview of the major components of culture such as language, religion, agriculture, settlement patterns, and related landscape features in a spatial context. Emphasis on how various cultures perceive and interact with the environment. (F).

GEOG 203     Weather and Climate     3 Credit Hours

The controls and conditions of Earth's weather and climate including atmospheric circulation, precipitation processes, severe weather, climatic regions, and climatic change. (F).

GEOG 204     Landforms     3 Credit Hours

Processes and agents that shape the landscapes and landforms of the Earth's surface. The discussion of landforms is divided into two parts: (1) constructive processes and their spatial distribution and (2) gradational processes and their spatial distribution. (W).

GEOG 205     Geography of the United States     3 Credit Hours

A regional analysis of the United States that stresses the difference in the physical elements of landscapes that explain differences in economic development, cultural attainment, and land use and which, in turn, motivate regional interdependencies and interrelationships. (W).

GEOG 206     World Regional Geography     3 Credit Hours

World Regional Geography includes a systematic study of the world's geographic realms and regions, including Europe, Russia, Australia-New Zealand, East Asia, South Asia, Southwest Asia, N Africa, Subsaharan Africa, Middle and South America. Geographic concepts, such as map reading and spatial analysis, are first introduced. Then, the world is classified into geographic realms and regions using both physical and social criteria. Each region results from a unique interaction between the human societies and the physical environment. The physical, cultural, political, economic and social features of each region are studied, along with any special regional concerns or problems.

GEOG 300     Urban Geography     3 Credit Hours

The geography of human settlement and urbanization. Particular emphasis is placed on human transformation of the physical environment, and resource use throughout history from ancient civilizations to modern megalopolises. Universal urban challenges such as sprawl, pollution, congestion, crime, poverty, etc., are addressed.

GEOG 302     Mapping Our World     3 Credit Hours

Mapping our World provides an introduction to geospatial techniques and the important roles spatial data play in today?s world. This course introduces the students to basic concepts of geographic information systems, remote sensing and cartography. A focus of the course is on map analysis and map design.

GEOG 305     Intro to GIS     4 Credit Hours

The basic elements of geographic information systems, map interpretation and map design. Principles and methods of spatial data collection, analysis, and display are introduced. (W)

Prerequisite(s): GEOG 302

Corequisite(s): GEOG 305L

GEOG 305D     Intro to GIS & Cartogrphy Dis     0 Credit Hours

Required discussion session for GEOG 305.

Corequisite(s): GEOG 305

GEOG 307     Geography of Western Europe     3 Credit Hours

An analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, interrelationships, and interdependence of selected countries of this economically advanced region. (OC).

GEOG 310     Economic Geography     3 Credit Hours

Spatial aspects of the ways people make their living. Discussion of the spatial distribution of resources and wealth at various scales. Introduction of site selection and location analysis.

GEOG 315     Political Geography     3 Credit Hours

The spatial dimensions of political activity from the local to the global scale. Themes include: control of territory, relations among political entities, and political ideology.

GEOG 320     Global Climate Change     3 Credit Hours

This course explores concepts and current thinking on global climate change and environmental impacts. It covers the history of Earth's climate, causes of climate change and current research attempting to forecast change. The biotic, economic, and social implications of climate change are discussed. (AY)

Prerequisite(s): GEOG 203 or ENST 203

Can enroll if Class is Freshman or Sophomore or Junior or Senior

GEOG 325     Global Cities     3 Credit Hours

The course focuses on comparing the urban form, economies, and social life in cities around the world. The societies of the westernized, developed world are already highly urbanized. Cities outside of this sphere are generally growing much faster and experiencing greater social and economic upheaval as a result. Understanding non-North American urbanization is a vital part of understanding cities in general. (F)

GEOG 327     Michigan Geography     3 Credit Hours

A geographic study of landforms, waterways, natural resources, landmarks and economic activities that contribute to the physical and cultural landscapes of Michigan. Population, industry, agriculture, recreation and tourism will all be considered. (S, W, YR)

GEOG 390     Topics in Geography     1 to 3 Credit Hours

Selected topics to be announced. (OC).

GEOG 390B     Topics in Geography     1 to 3 Credit Hours

TOPIC TITLE: Global Climate Change. This course explores concepts and current thinking on global climate change and environmental impacts. It covers the history of Earth?s climate, causes of climate change and current research attempting to forecast change. The biotic, economic, and social implications of climate change are discussed.

GEOG 399     Independent Study     1 to 3 Credit Hours

Readings or analytical assignments in accordance with the needs and interests of those enrolled and agreed upon by the student and the advising instructor.


Frequency of Offering

The following abbreviations are used to denote the frequency of offering: (F) fall term; (W) winter term; (S) summer term; (F, W) fall and winter terms; (YR) once a year; (AY) alternating years; (OC) offered occasionally