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Majors & Concentrations

  • Earth Science/Environmental Studies (BA) U167
  • Geographic Information Science (BA) U164
  • Geography (BA) U163
  • Geography (BA) (High Sch Lic) U169
  • Urban Planning (BA) U165

About the Major

  • The Bachelor of Arts in Geography applies geographic concepts and methods to understanding Earth’s physical and human environments and the interactions among them. A general geography major provides a solid foundation for advanced graduate work or professional employment in a wide variety of government, nonprofit agencies, and corporate fields.
  • The Urban Planning concentration focuses on transportation systems, economic development, and urban growth in the context of the planning professions. Professional planning jobs are in demand at local, state, national, and international levels.
  • The Earth Science/Environmental Studies concentration allows students to apply scientific principles of physical geography, cartography, and natural resource analysis to sustainable natural resource and environmental policies and practices. Jobs are available in environmental consulting and with local, state, and national natural resource agencies, as well as with private corporations.
  • The Geographic Information Science concentration allows students to develop skills in using maps, geospatial computer programs, and remotely sensed images to answer geographic questions relevant to land-use planning, urban development, earth science, or environmental impact assessment.
  • A Geography minor consists of any six courses (minimum 18 credit hours) in geography. Specific course sets linked to other majors are available through geography advisers.

What's Unique about Geography at UNCG?

  • Geography offers a bridge between social and physical sciences designed to address environmental problems, improve international commerce, and increase understanding and respect across cultures.
  • The Geography Department houses labs that support teaching and research studies in dendrochrology (tree ring studies), soils and regolith analysis, and Geographic Information Systems.
  • Class sizes are small. Freshman classes typically have fewer than 80 students; upper-level courses fewer than 50 students; and computer mapping, GIS, and physical lab classes fewer than 25 students.
  • A geography summer field school is commonly offered that provides an opportunity for extended travel and directed study in interesting areas across the United States and the world.
  • An accelerated degree program creates the potential for undergraduates who maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher to complete both bachelor's and master's degrees in five years.

Academic Clubs and Organizations

  • Gamma Theta Upsilon (international geography honor society)
  • The Geography Club (sponsors biweekly lunch seminars with faculty and professional speakers)

Student Opportunities

Career Experience through Internships that include:

  • Guilford National Military Park – Creation of GIS system for park management
  • City of Winston-Salem – Development of zoning regulations for neo-traditional neighborhoods
  • City of Greensboro, Stormwater Services Division – Mapping stormwater flows and water quality
  • Watershed Concepts – Creation of flood zone maps for FEMA


Examples of potential entry-level jobs include population analyst, economic development consultant, environmental consultant, water resource manager, GIS analyst, cartographer, earth scientist, and urban or transportation planner.

Professional Organizations and Accreditation

  • Most faculty members belong to the Association of American Geographers (AAG), the Southeastern Division of the AAG, and the North Carolina Geographic Society.
  • Other faculty members are members of more specialized organizations such as the American Meteorological Society, the Population Reference Bureau, and the North American Cartographic Society.

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