Geography – Urban Planning and Sustainability Major B.S.
- Crafting urban environments that embrace sustainability, with environment, economy, and equity components
- Career preparation for urban and environmental planning firms; real estate development companies; community-based non-profit organizations; local, state, and national parks; architecture firms; zoning administration; historical preservation agencies
- Preparation for graduate study in planning, environment studies, public policy, and geography
Major code BS4242
Faculty Contact: Dr. Harold Perkins
The Urban Planning and Sustainability major provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to envision and craft urban environments that embrace the three key components of sustainability?environment, economy, and equity. Students completing this interdisciplinary, forward-looking program will develop sophisticated understandings of cities and their role in the social, economic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century. The curriculum emphasizes urban, sustainability, and planning theory and process, in addition to a strong foundation in geography and its major analytical techniques.
Geographers are interested in the spatial patterns observed on earth. Bridging the natural and social sciences, geography is the interdisciplinary study of environments and how people interact with the environment. It is important to study geography because many of the world's problems require understanding the interdependence between human activities and the environment. Geography is therefore a beneficial major for students because its theories and methods provide them with analytical skills relevant to occupations focused on solving social and environmental problems. The Geography Department offers eight majors that help students tailor their focus of study.
The department is committed to excellence in both teaching and advising. Several faculty members have received teaching awards, and faculty are known across campus for the quality of their advising. As a geography major, students meet one-on-one with their faculty adviser every semester during advising week, and they are always welcome to talk with their adviser at any time throughout the semester whenever questions may arise. In addition to advising students about their academic programs, the department provides timely information about internships, nationally competitive awards, and other opportunities as they arise. Many students complete internships, and several over the last few years have received nationally competitive awards.
Careers and Graduate School
Students who pursue a degree in Geography – Urban Planning and Sustainability are well-suited for a variety of career opportunities, from city planner to corporate sustainability officer. While it is common for urban planners to hold positions within the local, state, and federal governments, additional employment opportunities are available with urban and environmental planning firms; real estate development companies; community-based non-profit organizations; local, state, and national parks; architecture firms; zoning administration; historical preservation agencies; institutions of higher education; etc. Many urban planning positions require a graduate degree. Consequently, the urban planning and sustainability major also positions its graduates well for graduate level study in planning, environment studies, public policy, and geography programs.
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Freshman/First-Year Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements.
Change to Program Policy: No selective or limited admission requirements.
External Transfer Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements.
University-wide Graduation Requirements
To complete this program, students must meet all University-wide graduation requirements.
College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences
Geography – Urban Planning Major
The major requirement for the B.S. degree in Geography - Urban Planning is a minimum of 44 hours of geography.
Complete the following geography foundation courses with at least the minimum grade indicated for each course:
- GEOG 1100 - Physical Geography Credit Hours: 4.0 (C or better grade required)
- GEOG 1200 - Human Geography Credit Hours: 3.0 (C or better grade required)
- GEOG 2680 - Introduction to GIS and Mapping Sciences Credit Hours: 4.0 (C or better grade required)
- GEOG 2710 - Introduction to Statistics in Geography Credit Hours: 3.0 (C- or better grade required)
- GEOG 4800 - Senior Seminar in Geography Credit Hours: 3.0
Geography Regional Course
Complete one regional course from the following:
- GEOG 3300 - Geography of Europe Credit Hours: 3.0
- GEOG 3310 - Geography of Africa Credit Hours: 3.0
- GEOG 3330 - Appalachia: Land and People Credit Hours: 3.0
- GEOG 3340 - Historical Geography of the United States Credit Hours: 3.0
- GEOG 3350 - Geography of Latin America Credit Hours: 3.0
- GEOG 3380 - Geography of Asia Credit Hours: 3.0
Geography Technique/Method Courses
Note: Students interested in pursuing an internship opportunity junior or senior years are advised to strengthen their credentials by first completing a techniques and a planning course.
Complete the following course:
GEOG 3500 - Land Use Planning Credit Hours: 3
Take one additional technique course from the following:
- GEOG 3600 - Cartography I Credit Hours: 4
- GEOG 3650 - Air Photo Interpretation Credit Hours: 3
- GEOG 4660 - Principles of Remote Sensing Credit Hours: 4
- GEOG 4710 - Quantitative Methods in Geography Credit Hours: 3
- GEOG 4712 - Field Methods in Geography Credit Hours: 3
- GEOG 4730 - Principles of GIS Credit Hours: 4
Complete the following four required courses:
- GEOG 3260 - Urban Geography Credit Hours: 3.0
- GEOG 2500 - Planning and the City Credit Hours: 3.0
- GEOG 4520 - Environmental and Sustainability Planning Credit Hours: 3.0
- GEOG 4560 - The Just and Sustainable City Credit Hours: 3.0
Complete two of the following courses:
- GEOG 3210 - Population Geography Credit Hours: 3.0
- GEOG 3250 - Political Geography Credit Hours: 3.0
- GEOG 3270 - Social Geographies Credit Hours: 3.0
- GEOG 3290 - World Economic Geography Credit Hours: 3.0
- GEOG 3580 - Environmental Hazards Credit Hours: 3.0
- GEOG 4550 - History of Planning Credit Hours: 3.0
The following courses are highly recommended and students are encouraged to take some of them to satisfy the University General Education Requirements and the College of Arts and Sciences Requirements.
- ECON 3200 - Labor Economics Credit Hours: 3.0
- ECON 4250 - Government and Economic Policy Credit Hours: 3.0
- HIST 3112 - United States in Urban History Credit Hours: 3.0
- POLS 3200 - Urban Politics Credit Hours: 3.0
- POLS 4840 - The Politics of Sustainability Credit Hours: 3.0
- SOC 4240 - Urban Sociology Credit Hours: 3.0
- SW 2601 - Social Welfare Overview and Trends Credit Hours: 3.0
- SW 3602 - Social Welfare Policy Credit Hours: 3.0