Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences offers programs in economic geography, environmental geography, human geography, and geographic information science leading to the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Minors in Geography and Geographic Information Science are also available. 
 


Economic Geography

The Bachelor of Science degree in Economic Geography provides a comprehensive program for students interested in the roles of space, place, location, scale, key agents, and forces in the economic sphere.  The program prepares students to succeed in commercial, non-government organizations, nonprofits, or governmental realms as well as the pursuit of graduate degrees, with emphases on spatial planning and control of issues ranging from transport and markets to poverty and inequality.  Students attain substantial quantitative and technical skills as well as practical skills for solving problems drawn from local, regional, and global settings.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Economic Geography

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Economic Geography.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Economic Geography major is met by completing Geography 480.  That course is referenced in item 3. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Science degree.
  3. The following courses with a minimum 2.0 grade-point average (42 or 43 credits):
    a. One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):
    LB 118 Calculus I 4
    MTH 124 Survey of Calculus I 3
    MTH 132 Calculus I 3
    MTH 152H Honors Calculus I 3
    b. The following course (3 credits):
    EC 201 Introduction to Microeconomics 3
    c. Both of the following courses (6 credits):
    GEO 113 Introduction to Economic Geography 3
    GEO 151 Introduction to Human Geography 3
    d. Both of the following courses (6 credits):
    GEO 221 Introduction to Geographic Information 3
    GEO 363 Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Geographers 3
    e. Three of the following courses (9 credits):
    GEO 413 Urban Geography 3
    GEO 414 Geography of Transportation 3
    GEO 415 Location Theory and Land Use Analysis 3
    GEO 418 The Ghetto 3
    GEO 453 Metropolitan Environments: Urban Forms and Land Uses 3
    GEO 459 Tourism in Regional Development 3
    f. The following course (3 credits):
    GEO 480 Senior Seminar 3
    g. Six additional credits in Geography courses at the 300-level and above.
    h. Two courses outside the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences (6 credits):
    CE 341 Transportation Engineering 3
    CE 448 Transportation Planning 3
    CSUS 320 Environmental Planning and Management 3
    CSUS 447 Community Economic Development 3
    CSUS 474 Advanced Topics in Tourism Management 3
    EC 301 Intermediate Microeconomics 3
    EC 306 Comparative Economic Systems 3
    EC 310 Economics of Developing Countries 3
    EC 340 Survey of International Economics 3
    EEP 320 Environmental Economics 3
    UP 314 Methods for Investigation of Urban Systems 4
    UP 353 Land Use Planning 4
    In addition to the requirements for the major, students may elect to complete a cognate in business. The requirements for the cognate are met by completing four of the following courses (12 credits):
    ACC 230 Survey of Accounting Concepts 3
    FI 320 Introduction to Finance 3
    GBL 323 Introduction to Business Law 3
    MGT 325 Management Skills and Processes 3
    MKT 327 Introduction to Marketing 3

 

Environmental Geography

The Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Geography provides comprehensive academic training in the environment and how its many aspects interrelate across the landscape. Geographic knowledge is essential for understanding rapid social and environmental change in a globalized society. Environmental geographers describe, analyze, and explain the arrangement of the Earth’s physical features. With training in both the natural and social sciences, environmental geographers have a wide range of career opportunities in public and private sectors. They find work in consulting, government, tourism, teaching, environmental analysis, non-profit organizations, and natural resource management. Environmental scientists are increasingly in demand for jobs that require expertise in bridging the gap between the social science and physical science aspects of natural systems.

In addition to the general environmental geography degree, a concentration is offered in atmospheric and climate sciences. The concentration is designed primarily for students who plan to enter a graduate program in atmospheric and/or climate sciences, or are interested in employment in the fields of applied atmospheric science and climatology and the delivery of weather and climate services. The concentration will be noted on the student’s transcript.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Geography

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Geography.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Geography major is met by completing Geography 480. That course is referenced in item 3. a. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Science degree.
  3. The following courses with a minimum 2.0 grade-point average (39 to 41 credits):
    a. One of the following courses (3 credits):
    MTH 124 Survey of Calculus I 3
    MTH 132 Calculus I 3
    MTH 152H Honors Calculus I 3
    Students in the Atmospheric and Climate Sciences concentration must take MTH 132 or 152H.
    b. Two of the following courses (6 or 7 credits):
    GEO 203 Introduction to Meteorology 3
    GEO 206 Physical Geography 3
    and
    GEO 206L Physical Geography Laboratory 1
    GEO 306 Environmental Geomorphology 3
    Students who choose Geography 206 must also enroll in Geography 206L either concurrently or in a subsequent term. Students in the Atmospheric and Climate Sciences concentration must take GEO 203 and may substitute GEO 201 for either GEO 206 or 306.
    c. One of the following courses (3 credits):
    GEO 113 Introduction to Economic Geography 3
    GEO 151 Introduction to Human Geography 3
    GEO 204 World Regional Geography 3
    GEO 330 Geography of the United States and Canada 3
    GEO 333 Geography of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region 3
    GEO 335 Geography of Latin America 3
    GEO 336 Geography of Europe 3
    GEO 337 Geography of Asia-Pacific 3
    GEO 338 Geography of Africa 3
    GEO 339 Geography of the Middle East and North Africa 3
    d. One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):
    GEO 221 Introduction to Geographic Information 3
    GEO 221L Introduction to Geographic Information Laboratory 1
    GEO 363 Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Geographers 3
    Students who choose Geography 221 must also enroll in Geography 221L either concurrently or in a subsequent term.
    e. The following course (3 credits):
    GEO 480 Senior Seminar (W) 3
    f. One of the following:
    (1) Students not pursuing a concentration:
    (a) Twelve additional credits in Geography courses including at least 6 credits at the 300-level and above and 6 credits at the 400-level.
    (b) Nine additional credits in courses from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources or the College of Natural Science at the 300-level and above.
    (2) A concentration in Atmospheric and Climate Sciences.
    Atmospheric and Climate Sciences Concentration
    1. All of the following courses (24 credits):
    MTH 133 Calculus II 4
    MTH 234 Multivariable Calculus 4
    MTH 235 Differential Equations 3
    CEM 141 General Chemistry 4
    CEM 161 Chemistry Laboratory I 1
    PHY 183 Physics for Scientists and Engineers I 4
    PHY 184 Physics for Scientists and Engineers II 4
    2. Four of the following courses (12 to 16 credits):
    CSE 131 Technical Computing and Problem Solving 3
    CSE 231 Introduction to Programming I 4
    GEO 302 Climates of the World 3
    GEO 303 Severe and Hazardous Weather 3
    GEO 402 Agricultural Climatology 3
    GEO 403 Dynamic Meteorology (W) 3
    GEO 405 Weather Analysis and Forecasting 4
    GEO 409 Global Climate Change and Variability 3
    GLG 411 Hydrogeology 3
    GLG 412 Glacial Geology and the Record of Climate Change 4
    GLG 421 Environmental Geochemistry 4
    IBIO 303 Oceanography 4
    Students in the concentration may use GEO courses in items c., d., and e. above towards the College of Social Science college distribution requirement. Students in the concentration are not required to complete the College of Social Science ARTS AND HUMANITIES distribution requirement.

Geographic Information Science

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Geographic Information Science provides a  rigorous, in-depth program for students interested in the application of  information technology to the spatial dimensions of the Earth’s human and  physical systems. It is an ideal program  for those pursuing a career in the spatial technology sector, or for those considering graduate study in geography and related disciplines. Students attain substantial general  quantitative and technical skills, as well as practical experience in the application of skills to solving problems drawn from local, regional, and global settings.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Geographic Information Science

  1. The University requirements for bachelor’s degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Geographic Information Science.

    The University’s Tier II writing requirement for the Geographic Information Science major is met by completing Geography 425. That course is referenced in item 3. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Science degree.
  3. The following required major courses with a minimum 2.0 grade-point average (40 to 44 credits):
    a. One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):
    LB 118 Calculus I 4
    MTH 124 Survey of Calculus I 3
    MTH 132 Calculus I 3
    MTH 152H Honors Calculus I 3
    b. Two of the following courses (7 or 8 credits):
    CSE 131 Technical Computing and Problem Solving 3
    CSE 231 Introduction to Programming I 4
    CSE 232 Introduction to Programming II 4
    c. One of the following courses (3 credits):
    GEO 113 Introduction to Economic Geography 3
    GEO 151 Introduction to Human Geography 3
    GEO 206 Physical Geography 3
    GEO 333 Geography of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region 3
    d. All of the following courses (18 credits):
    GEO 221 Introduction to Geographic Information 3
    GEO 221L Introduction to Geographic Information Laboratory 1
    GEO 324 Remote Sensing of the Environment 4
    GEO 325 Geographic Information Systems 3
    GEO 363 Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Geographers 3
    GEO 424 Advanced Remote Sensing 4
    e. Two of the following courses (6 to 8 credits):
    GEO 326 Cartographic Design and Production 4
    GEO 426 Thematic Cartography 4
    GEO 428 Digital Terrain Analysis 3
    GEO 429 Geoprocessing 3
    GEO 453 Metropolitan Environments: Urban Forms and Land Uses 3
    GEO 498 Internship in Geography 3
    f. The following course (3 credits):
    GEO 425 Problems in Geographic Information Science (W) 3

Human Geography

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Geography provides comprehensive academic training in the human dimensions of the environment, particularly how people are affected by the environment, and how they alter and change it. Geographic knowledge is essential for understanding rapid social and environmental change in a globalized society. Human geographers describe, analyze, and explain the arrangement of the Earth’s cultures. With training in both the natural and social sciences, human geographers have a wide range of career opportunities in public and private sectors. They find work in consulting, government, urban and regional planning, locational analysis, marketing, real estate, tourism, transportation, and teaching. Geographers are increasingly in demand for jobs that require expertise in geospatial techniques, such as geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing, and cartography.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Geography

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Geography.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Geography major is met by completing Geography 480. That course is referenced in item 3. a. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  3. The following courses with a minimum 2.0 grade-point average (34 to 35 credits):
    a. Both of the following courses (6 credits):  
      GEO 113 Introduction to Economic Geography 3
      GEO 151 Introduction to Human Geography 3
    b. One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):  
      GEO 203 Introduction to Meteorology 3
      GEO 206 Physical Geography 3
        and          
      GEO 206L Physical Geography Laboratory 1
      GEO 306 Environmental Geomorphology 3
      Students who choose Geography 206 must also enroll in Geography 206L either concurrently or in a subsequent term.  
    c. One of the following courses (3 credits):  
      GEO 204 World Regional Geography 3
      GEO 330 Geography of the United States and Canada 3
      GEO 333 Geography of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region 3
      GEO 335 Geography of Latin America 3
      GEO 336 Geography of Europe 3
      GEO 337 Geography of Asia-Pacific 3
      GEO 338 Geography of Africa 3
      GEO 339 Geography of the Middle East and North Africa 3
    d. All of the following courses (7 credits):  
      GEO 221 Introduction to Geographic Information 3
      GEO 221L Geographic Information Laboratory 1
      GEO 363 Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Geographers 3
    e. The following course (3 credits):
     
      GEO 480 Senior Seminar 3
    f. Twelve additional credits in Geography courses including at least 6 credits at the 300-level and above and 6 credits at the 400-level.  


Minor in Environment and Health

The Minor in Environment and Health, administered by the Department of Geography, Environment and Health, enhances the education and training of students who are interested in issues relating to the environment and health, including students who wish to prepare themselves for advanced degree programs in environmental studies, health studies or careers in related fields. 

The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University. With the approval of the department and college that administer the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Students who plan to complete the requirements of the minor should consult an undergraduate advisor in the College of Social Science.

Requirements for the Minor in Environment and Health

Complete a minimum of 15 credits from the following:

1. The following course (3 credits):
GEO 151 Introduction to Human Geography 3
2. One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):
ANP 370 Culture, Health and Illness 3
EC 498 Economics of Health Care (W) 3
GEO 235 Geography of Environment and Health 3
HDFS 225 Lifespan Human Development in the Family 3
HST 425 American and European Health Care since 1800 4
SOC 451 Dynamics of Population 3
3. Two of the following courses (6 credits):
ANS 427 Environment Toxicology and Society 3
EEP 260 World Food, Population and Poverty 3
ENT 205 Pests, Society, and Environment 3
EPI 390 Disease in Society: Introduction to Epidemiology and Public Health 4
HNF 385 Public Issues in Nutrition and Health 3
PHL 453 Ethical Issues in Global Public Health 3
4. The following capstone course (3 credits):
GEO 435 Geography of Health and Disease 3



 

Minor in Geography

The Minor in Geography, which is administered by the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences, provides a fundamental foundation to the breadth of study within the field of geography as well as grounding in general geographic theory.

The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University other than the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Degrees in Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences.  With the approval of the department and college that administers the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Students who plan to complete the requirements for the minor should consult an undergraduate advisor in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences.

Requirements for the Minor in Geography

Complete a minimum of 21 credits in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences from the following:

1. A minimum of 9 credits from the following:
GEO 113 Introduction to Economic Geography 3
GEO 151 Introduction to Human Geography 3
GEO 203 Introduction to Meteorology 3
GEO 206 Physical Geography 3
and
GEO 206L Physical Geography Laboratory 1
GEO 221 Introduction to Geographic Information 3
2. A minimum of 3 credits from the following:
GEO 204 World Regional Geography 3
or
Any 300-level GEO course.
3. Complete a minimum of 9 additional credits in Geography courses, of which 6 credits must be at the 400-level. The courses must be approved by the student’s academic advisor.


Minor in Geographic Information Science

The Minor in Geographic Information Science, which is administered by the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences, provides a fundamental foundation to the breadth of study within the field of geographic information science.

The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University other than the Bachelor of Science Degree in Geographic Information Science.  With the approval of the department and college that administers the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Students who plan to complete the requirements for the minor should consult an undergraduate advisor in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences.

Requirements for the Minor in Geographic Information Science

Complete a minimum of 21 credits in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences from the following:

1. Both of the following courses (4 credits):
GEO 221 Introduction to Geographic Information 3
GEO 221L Introduction to Geographic Information Laboratory 1
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):
GEO 490 Independent Study 3
GEO 498 Internship in Geography 3
Both Geography 490 and 498 must have geographic information science, remote sensing, or cartography content to fulfill this requirement. Students should obtain advisor approval prior to enrolling in a section of either of these courses.
3. Complete a minimum of 14 credits from the following courses:
GEO 324 Remote Sensing of the Environment 4
GEO 325 Geographic Information Systems 3
GEO 363 Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Geographers 3
GEO 419 Application of Geographic Information Systems
 to Natural Resources Management 4
GEO 423 Cartographic Design and Production 4
GEO 424 Advanced Remote Sensing 4
GEO 425 Problems in Geographic Information Science (W) 3
GEO 426 Thematic Cartography 4
GEO 428 Digital Terrain Analysis 4
GEO 453 Metropolitan Environments: Urban Forms and Land Uses 3
Additional courses as approved by the student’s academic advisor.