Bachelor of Arts
College of Arts and Sciences
Geography is a broad, integrative discipline that bridges the physical and social sciences to study the location, distribution and spatial relationships of human and non-human activity across the globe. Geographic topics include, but are not limited to: human relationships with the natural environment, meteorology, climatology, global and regional climate change and the greenhouse effect; land use; resource distribution and use; geospatial technology, including GIS (Geographic Information System/Science), remote sensing and geospatial statistics; studies of population and settlement patterns; global, regional and urban economic developments; location analysis of commercial and industrial facilities and services; and domestic and international studies that emphasize geopolitical structures.
Geography is a rapidly growing field that provides essential insights about the spatial dimensions of human interactions with the social, cultural and natural environments to the private and public sectors as well as the academic community. Geospatial technology and techniques, in particular, allow geographers to articulate their knowledge of any topic through the creation of maps that show dynamic relationships between multiple factors. Within the suite of geospatial techniques, GIS technology is an especially powerful tool used by a vast array of private and public entities to integrate numerous fields into a series of layered maps that provide a visual framework to help solve problems and make decisions.
The use of the GIS has significant impact in areas that include telecommunications, marketing, insurance, education transportation, economics, immigration, emergency preparedness and response, military intelligence, national security, public health weather forecasting, climate prediction, and environmental conservation. Graduating seniors who possess a fundamental understanding of the spatial dimensions of human activity and have strong geospatial technology skills are highly sought after in the marketplace.
The reliance on Geography and geographic analysis is growing and will continue to expand in the future. There are good job and career opportunities for geography majors. Geographers are employed throughout business, industry, government, and educational institutions.
Geographers are employed in businesses such as banks, retail stores, restaurant companies, insurance, trucking, telecommunications, and utilities companies to do site location of commercial, industrial facilities and services, marketing research, spatial analysis, and business planning. Government agencies such as the Census Bureau, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of State, Environmental Protection Agency, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, state government departments and agencies, county auditor’s offices, and city and county planning agencies hire geographers.
Depending on the nature of the business or issues, knowledge of economic patterns, resource availability, transportation, land use, population distribution and characteristics, regional cost patterns, physical environment and spatial analysis techniques are used in planning and decision-making. A list of job titles of our recent graduates can be found on the Department of Geography website: www.bgsu.edu/departments/geography/
The Department of Geography provides our students with the ability to comprehend and associate concepts, collect and understand various sources of data, and use tools and techniques to analyze and display spatial information. The department provides careful advising for its majors, helping them to develop an integrated program of major, minor, and general education courses.
The degree program is designed around the department’s focus on spatial analysis of human interactions with the social, cultural and natural environments. Within this focus, applied human geographic dimensions of population and socio-economic analysis, atmospheric variability and global change, and resource/land use are stressed. The ability to identify and articulate spatial relationships with the use of geospatial techniques is strongly emphasized and integrated into the curriculum. Spatial analysis techniques of computer mapping, GIS, and remote sensing are also emphasized and integrated.
Students who major in geography are encouraged to participate in an internship to apply what they learn in the classroom to practical job situations. The department assists in developing internships and works closely with the University’s Cooperative Education Program.
Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU. However, fulfillment of the minimum high school graduation requirements will leave a major in the Department of Geography burdened that could have been completed prior to starting college. It is strongly recommended that high school students complete four full years of both mathematics and a single foreign language prior to graduation. This will eliminate the need to take courses in both areas as a geography major at BGSU. Students will also benefit from competency in computer use. Finally, high school classes that provide exposure to, or training in, the visual and performing arts are excellent choices that will benefit students as they take their general education course.
The geography major requires 33 hours of coursework. A minor is also required. Courses include:
The Department of Geography encourages all majors to take Introduction to Programming and a course in statistics.
BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at www.bgsu.edu.
Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.
NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Geography, please check the undergraduate catalog online at www.bgsu.edu/catalog/A_S/A_S52.html.