Geography Degree Information

Geography is a diverse subject which provides students with a strong, practical liberal arts education and offers a wide variety of employment opportunities. The diversity of the discipline stems from its fundamental concern with how humans as individuals and in groups interact with the physical environment.

The Department's two major objectives are:

    1. To provide students with knowledge of the physical environment and human use of that environment;

    2. To equip students with marketable skills for employment positions related to the discipline or to prepare them for graduate programs leading toward advanced degrees.

While graduate training usually enlarges a student's opportunities, employment may be found upon graduation with a baccalaureate degree and a geography major. The following are some of the fields of employment for geography majors: cartography, demography, climatology, industrial location planning, land use planning, soil conservation, transportation planning, teaching of geography.

Geography Major. A minimum of 30 credit hours in geography, chosen by the student in consultation with the Chair of the Department, constitutes a major. Two 100-level, two 200-level, and four 300-level or higher courses must be included.

Sample Four-Year Curriculum

Within the geography major, students may focus their studies further by selecting one of the following concentrations:

The Department maintains detailed information sheets on these concentrations including course listings, internship recommendations, and career options. Contact Prof. Jon T. Kilpinen for details.

Geography Minor. A minimum of 16 credit hours in geography, chosen by the student in consultation with the Chair of the Department, constitutes a minor. One 100-level, one 200-level, and two 300-level or higher courses must be included.

Because geography offers undergraduate students excellent opportunities to develop their professional skills through course work, field study, and internships, the Department maintains information pages on geography as a second major or minor tailored specifically to the following disciplines:

VU geography students are also encouraged to participate in one of VU's off-campus study semesters, whether abroad in Cambridge, Reutlingen, or Puebla, for instance, or here in the United States in Chicago.

American Indian Studies Minor. The minor must include one 100-level course, at least six credit hours from the following courses: GEO 200, 274 and 490, and six additional credit hours selected from GEO 385, 474, and 486.

The American Indian Studies Minor affords students with an interest in Indian issues and culture the opportunity to study the historical geography, anthropology, and contemporary problems of a wide range of tribal groups. Of special concern within the minor are the changing perceptions of Indians in our society and the current socio-economic challenges these groups face. Perhaps the most appealing aspects of the minor are the field components: field study opportunities to Mississippi Mound sites, Plains battlesites, and Southwest historic sites and internship placements on any of several Indian reservations in Wisconsin. For more information, contact Prof. Ronald Janke or check the American Indian Studies Minor section of this website.



ValpoAdditions and corrections for this page may be directed to Michael Longan
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This page was last updated March 20, 2008




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