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.
     


Major Requirements in Geography - Beginning Fall 2020

Please refer to Hunter College's Undergraduate Catalog
https://hunter-undergraduate.catalog.cuny.edu/programs/GEOG-BA

Research experience, Capstone, and Independent Study Work Guide (October 21, 2021)

Contact the Geography major advisor at geogmajor@hunter.cuny.edu if you have any questions, concerns, or would like to make an appointment to learn more about the major.




Guidance on Major Requirements from the Undergraduate Geography Advisor:

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 information on the current and past major requirements.