Geography analyzes spatial patterns and regional associations of the physical and cultural environments. It is concerned with human relationships with these environments as they exist now, existed in the past, and may or should exist in the future. This approach means geographers find work in many diverse fields, from environmental management to urban planning, from community development to the park service to GIS project management.

For more information on jobs in geography, see …

About the Geography Major

In satisfying their major requirements, all students must complete at least 37 credits in geography, 18 of which must be at or above the 300 level, with at least 15 of those taken in residence at UWM. This is usually 12 courses. Courses taken outside geography that fulfill geography requirements will be included in the GPA. Majors must have a 2.5 GPA in all geography credits attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.5 GPA in all major credits attempted, including transfer work.

A Geography major specializes in one of five tracks: Geographical Information (GIS), Urban, Environmental, Physical Systems, or Globalization and Development. All majors take 8 core courses (24-25 credits), then take from 9 to 15 credits more of specialized courses in their chosen tracks. You can choose your track based on your interests, and to prepare yourself for a particular career, or for graduate school in geography or related fields.

Geography majors may earn either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. For purposes of satisfying various degree requirements, some courses in geography are classified as natural science while others are classified as social science. Consult the current L&S Degree Requirements web site to determine which courses count as natural science. Students should consult their major advisor for the choice of a degree. In general, students in physical system Track are recommended for a Bachelor of Science degree. Students in other tracks may choose to graduate with either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree depending on their advisor’s suggestion.

Geography Core Curriculum

All geography majors must complete the following 24-25 credits in geography:

  • One of the following introductory courses in human geography, 3 credits
    Geog 105 – Introduction to Human Geography
    Geog 110 – The World: Peoples and Regions
    Geog 114 – Geography of Race in the United States
    Geog 140 – Our Urban Environment: Introduction to Urban Geography
    (Students in the Urban Track are required to take Geog 140)
  • One of the following introductory courses in physical or environmental geography, 3 credits:
    Geog 120 – Our Physical Environment
    Geog 125 – Introduction to Environmental Geography
    (Students in the Physical Systems Track must take Geog 120; those in the Environmental Track must take Geog 125)
  • One of the following mid-level (200 or above) regional or world geography courses, 3 credits
    Geog 213 – Geography of Asia
    Geog 214 – Wisconsin
    Geog 216 (510) – Geography of United States and Canada
    Geog 231 (130) – Geography of Islam
    Geog 309 – Nationalities and Nations of the World
    Geog 315 – Globalization and Economic Development
    Geog 330 – Europe: East and West
    Geog 400 – Geography of Population
    Geog 410 – Gendered Geographies
    Geog 421 – Geography of Latin America
    Geog 470 – Geography of South Asia
  • Geog 215 – Introduction to Geographic Information Science, 3 credits
  • Geog 247 – Quantitative Analysis in Geography, 3 credits
  • One of the following upper-level techniques courses, 3-4 credits
    Geog 403 – Remote Sensing: Environmental and Land Use Analysis
    Geog 405 – Cartography
    Geog 437 – Qualitative Methods in Geography
    Geog 525 – Geographic Information Science
    Geog 547 – Spatial Analysis
    (Students in the Geographic Information Track must take Geog 525)
  • Geog 600 – Perspectives on Geography, 3 credits (satisfies L&S research requirement)
  • One of the following fieldwork courses, 3 credits
    (Fieldwork Guidelines, pdf)
    Geog 650 – Geography Field Work
    Geog 654 – Tropical Field Course
  • With approval of the full department faculty before enrolling, students can also fulfill this requirement by completing a minimum of 90 hours of field research in one of the two following courses:
    Geog 489- Internship in Geography, Upper Division
    (Requirements (pdf), Approval Form (Word) – Please see our Internship FAQ for more information)
    Geog 497 – Study Abroad