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 or Integrative Studies Concentration Requirements

Required Course:4
Mapping Our World
Geography Electives12
Select 12 credits from the following:
Sustainable Cities
When Nature Strikes: Dealing with Natural Disasters
Urban Geography
Cultural Geography
Weather and Climate
Intro to GIS
World Regional Geography
Global Climate Change
Topics in Geography
Independent Study
Total Credit Hours16
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for the minor/concentration. The GPA is based on all coursework required within the minor (excluding prerequisites).
  • The use of transfer credit, field placements, internships, seminars, S/E graded courses, and independent study/research courses is limited to 3 credits in a 12 credit hour minor/concentration and 6 credits in a 15 credit hour and above minor/concentration.
  • Courses within a minor/concentration cannot be taken as Pass/Fail (P/F).
  • Minors requiring 12 credits may share one course with a major. Minors requiring 15 credits or more may share two courses with a major. This does not apply to concentrations for the Integrative Studies major.

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 300     Urban Geography     4 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. (YR).

GEOG 301     Cultural Geography     4 Credit Hours

This course is an overview of the major components of culture such as language, religion, agriculture, settlement patterns, and related landscape features in a spatial context. This course explores the idea of culture. Culture is not an intrinsic value that binds to people based on their physical features or the place in which they were born. Culture is a culmination of activities and practices that are celebrated, contested, and transform over time and place. Focus of the course emphasizes how various cultures perceive and interact with the environment. (F).

GEOG 302     Mapping Our World     4 Credit Hours

Mapping our World provides an introduction to the important role geographic data analysis can play in helping solve today’s pressing problems. Students learn about Geographic Information Systems and their applications, particularly in the social sciences and humanities. Sample topics of inquiry may include public health, population patterns, spatial inequities, and environmental vulnerabilities. (F).

GEOG 303     Weather and Climate     4 Credit Hours

This course will provide an understanding of the nature of atmospheric processes. The controls and conditions of Earth’s weather and climate are discussed. The impact of weather on our daily lives is examined. Areas of emphasis include severe weather and climatic change. (F).

GEOG 305     Intro to GIS     4 Credit Hours

An introductory course that examines the digital representation, manipulation, and analysis of geographic data, with the emphasis on the analytical capabilities that GIS brings solutions to geographic problems. Students will explore and learn GIS principles using ESRI's mapping software, as well as complete a major GIS project.

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 306     World Regional Geography     4 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, North Africa, Sub-Saharan 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. (W).

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 320     Global Climate Change     4 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. (F, AY).

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 the 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 4 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 4 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.

*An asterisk denotes that a course may be taken concurrently.

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