BA Geography

 

A major in Geography is designed to prepare students to analyze and respond to our world’s changing social and natural environments using a range of quantitative, qualitative, and geospatial research methods.

What does it mean to think geographically and why it is important?
As our planet is undergoing unprecedented change and specialization, geography is a discipline concerned with connections. Geography seeks to uncover not only where things are but, most importantly, why things are located where they are and how they impact each other. It examines connections between near and distant places and between diverse natural and social processes. More specifically, it uses concepts of space, place, scale, and location to understand our world and provide critical insights into the causes and effects of rising sea levels, deforestation, species extinction, rapid urbanization, public health crises, modern technologies, and mass migration.

On the human scale, geographic and environmental knowledge shapes our world-view on global change, sustainability, border conflicts, religion, economic stability, poverty, and social justice and helps us to care about places affected by these processes, including our own home.

What kinds of questions do geographers ask?
Geography majors use geographic concepts and research methods to answer questions such as: How does climate change affect wealthy and poorer nations differently? Do cities adapt differently from rural regions? What processes shape and reshape urban neighborhoods as distinct as Manhattan’s Harlem, Park Slope in Brooklyn, and Astoria in Queens? How do digital maps and big data transform our daily lives? How do social relations of class, gender, and race, as well as migration, rising sea levels, electoral geographies, alternative food systems, carbon emissions, to name a few pressing concerns, shape places, cities, regions, and nations? How do they affect global and local struggles for sustainability and equality?

What are unique geographic skills?
Most importantly, however, Geography not only will broaden your knowledge of the world and interactions between human and natural systems across space and scale, but will also equip you with analytical skills needed to solve the many problems our world is facing today. These skills include critical thinking, spatial analysis, and analytical writing. In particular, Geography majors learn how to analyze spatial information and make (digital) maps in order to detect and explain differences between places. In addition to classroom learning, students explore urban and natural environments through our field-based classes and by doing research projects together with community groups in New York City.

Where do geographers work?
Geographers work in many public agencies and private businesses that use geographic information, geolocation, and knowledge of how places, regions, markets, cities, as well as social and natural systems are connected across space and scale. Our graduates hold positions in almost every agency in New York City. Planning, environment, population, parks, police, and transportation departments employ geographers and so does bureau of census and emergency management and various other agencies. Moreover, geographers develop careers in environmental, financial, education, political, public health and other private consulting and technology firms and they also work for NGOs, elected officials, and community groups. See our website for alumni spotlight stories.

 



Learning Outcomes

  1. Use geographic approach

    Our students will apply a geographic approach (e.g., use concepts of space, place, location, scale, borders and regions) to examine natural and human systems and explain causation in human-environment interactions.
     
  2. Global awareness and knowledge of world regions

    Our students will demonstrate global awareness by being able to describe major characteristics of natural environments, economies, and cultures of the world regions (e.g., the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, North America, South Asia, Russia and Central Asia, and others) and identify the main challenges they face today on the path to sustainability.
     
  3. Broad and integrative knowledge of human and environmental global phenomena

    Having acquired a broad and integrative knowledge of critical global phenomena, our students will know how these phenomena are connected and be able to explain human and environmental causes of climate change, biodiversity loss, desertification and deforestation, sea level rise, poverty and inequality, urbanization, geopolitical crises, and migration.
     
  4. Geographic methods and geospatial technologies

  5. Our students will use a combination of quantitative and qualitative geographic methods and tools such as spatial analysis, mapping, and remote sensing assisted by geospatial technologies as well as theoretical insight into connections between regions and multiple factors that produce place.

  6. Critical thinking and creative solutions to global and local challenges

    Our students will apply critical thinking to understand complex issues facing people and places. They will compare several perspectives, evaluate evidence and arguments, and use evidence to support their conclusions. They will also think creatively about strategic solutions to both global and local challenges to environmental and social sustainability.
     
  7. Communication skills and visual presentation of spatial information

    By incorporating written, oral and visual methods, in particular maps and spatial information, our students will communicate efficiently, with clarity and purpose, in the language of the discipline of geography. They will be prepared to become active, informed citizens ready to have an impact on society and the environment.
     
  8. Spatial dimensions of systemic racism and other types of oppression

    Students will analyze the spatial dimensions of systemic racism and other types of oppression such as those based on gender or religious identity. Students will be able to use scientific evidence and geographic theories to explain spatial patterns of injustice and use geographic knowledge and skills to advance just and sustainable societies.
     


Students at Hunter College are required to fulfill their major requirements as they stand at the time that the student declared the major. In the Department of Geography and Environmental Science, any student who is subject to requirements that have been changed has the choice of remaining under the older requirements or switching to the current requirements. For more guidance on this issue please see the link at the bottom of this page: "Information for students under the old major requirements."

Please note changes in GEOG 25000 requirement
Dear Students, Please note that one of the required courses, GEOG 25000 (Geographic Research Methods) will, beginning next year, be replaced by GEOG 35000 (Geographic Research Methods), carries a pre-requisite of one 200-level course in our department, and will be taught in the spring rather than fall semester. It is advised for Geography majors to take this course during their Junior year so that they have it prior to working on their independent study projects (for students under the "new" major requirements that began in Fall, 2020) or capstones (for students under the "old" major requirements).


Major in Geography -
Beginning Fall 2020
Total credits required: 52-53 credits

#
cr

Requirement
Categories

 

13

Department of
Geography and Environmental Science Core Requirements

Choose one course from each category to fulfill the departmental requirement

3

Intro Geography /
Environment

GEOG 10100 People and Their Environment
GEOG 15000 World Regional Geography

4

Intro GIS

GTECH 20100 Introduction to Geographic Information Science

3

200 level Population /
Environment

GEOG 22600 Environmental Conservation: Resource Management
GEOG 24100 Population Geography

3

Intro Statistics

STAT 11300 Elementary Probability and Statistics
STAT 21300 Introduction to Applied Statistics

 

 

 

21 - 22

Geography Major
Requirements

Choose one course from each category to fulfill the Geography
Major requirement

3
or
4

Intro Earth Science
lecture

PGEOG 13000 Weather & Climate (lec and lab 4 cr)
GEOL 10000 Intro to Geology (3 cr)
GEOL 10500 Intro to Environmental Geosciences (3 cr)
GEOL 18000 Intro to Oceanography (3 cr)

3
or
4

Intro Earth Science lab

PGEOG 13000 Weather & Climate (lec and lab 4 cr)
GEOL 10100 Intro to Geology (lab 3 cr)

3

Human Geography

GEOG 24300 Urban Geography
GEOG 22100 Economic Geography

3

Geographic Research
Methods

GEOG 25000 Geographic Research Methods

3

Regional Geography

Any GEOG 2xxxx regional geography
Any GEOG 306xx Special Topics in Contemporary Regional Geography

3

Field Geography

GEOG 35700 Geography of New York City and Vicinity
GEOL 38333 Geology of New York City and Vicinity
PGEOG 38367 Field Ecology of NYC
PGEOG 38306 Ecology of Global Change
PGEOG 38363 New York City Water Supply

3

Independent Research

GEOG 39xxx Independent study in Geography
PGEOG 39xxx Independent study in Physical Geography

 

 

 

18

Geography Major
Electives

Choose any of these courses to fulfill the Geography Major electives

15

300-level

GEOG 3xxxx 300-level Geography course
PGEOG 3xxxx 300-level Physical Geography course
GEOL 3xxxx 300-level Geology course

3

200-level

GEOG 2xxxx or 3xxxx 200 or 300-level Geography course
PGEOG 2xxxx or 3xxxx 200 or 300-level Physical Geography course
GEOL 2xxxx or 3xxxx 200 or 300-level Geology course

 



Older Geography Major Requirements