Geography (BA)

Geography studies why things are where they are at different times. Geographers nowadays are focusing much more on studying the interaction between people and the environment in the context of places and regions to better understand their changing mechanisms, which in turn helps to resolve global, regional, and local problems adequately in a timely manner. Geographers used to use maps to record, analyze, and convey geographic information. However, those tasks are now being done extensively through geospatial technologies including geographic information systems (GISs), remote sensing, and geospatial intelligence which can effectively deal with geographic information often multidimensional, voluminous, and uncertain. 

The Geography Program in the Department of Government & History aims at graduating students with excellent spatial thinking and geospatial skill set that help them stand out from the crowd in the job market.

Why Choose Geography?

1. You have fun with geography activities;
2. You travel with knowledge; knowing where to go and why take picture there;
3. You know how to help improve the world effectively;
4. You get well-paid job because you think spatially; knowing where things are, why they are there, and how they are related.

Collyn Strother

Geography major

Geography was always an interest of mine coming out of high school, I was able to see the landscapes and how we as people used them to our advantage. When I arrived at FSU, the Geography program introduced me to a new way of seeing how important Geography is to the growth of populations and spatial relations of location. Being able to understand the correlations while gathering information on who, what, where, when and creating a why is what drives the interest in this field. Your able to apply these concepts to answer so many spatial questions, the field is full of future opportunities.

WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?

As a geography major, you will take courses listed in our catalog to fulfill the requirements of 82 credits hours including core courses, required geography courses, and other elective courses. Some of the very popular geography courses that our program offers include principles of geography, world regional geography, economic geography, physical geography, urban geography, cartography, introduction to geographic information systems, and introduction to remote sensing.

By successfully completing these courses, you will be able to:

Understand fundamental geographic concepts as well as explain geographic processes;
Think spatially and identify spatial patterns and relationships of geographic phenomena, such as weather, natural and anthropogenic hazards, population, diseases, crime events, pedestrian crashes, land uses, and urbanization;
Utilize geospatial technologies including GIS and remote sensing to analyze geographic data for decision making and geographic problem solving.

To ensure that you keep up with your graduation progress, please check out the Geography Four Year Plan.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

With a degree in Geography, your career will be broad. You will be hired by either government, academic, or private sector for a variety of jobs, such as environmental scientist, environmental consultant, geotechnical engineer, transportation manager, market researcher, business development, real estate appraiser, environmental economist, tour guide, manager of sustainability, urban and regional planner, logistics analyst, geointelligence specialist, and more. Please see the list below for more details.

MINOR PROGRAMS

In addition to the B.A. program, our department also offers the minor program in geography and minor in geospatial intelligence (GEOINT). It has been found that geographic information is crucial in a variety of real-world problems. In fact, 80% of all information is geospatially referenced. Therefore, taking geography minors will significantly enhance your major degree in many other disciplines.

HOW TO DECLARE A MAJOR/MINOR IN GEOGRAPHY/GEOINT ?

1. Submit a declaration online by going to this page click on Forms, then Declaration/Change of Major
2. Contact the Geography academic advisor to get your Alternate PIN (if you have not had it yet) so that you can enroll courses online
3. Login to your Banner account and enroll courses satisfying the requirements of the major/minor program

How are geographic topics related to different job titles?

Landforms

Knowing and applying geographic information about the processes that shape physical landscapes

Possible jobs: Soil and Plant Specialist, Water Resources Specialist, Environmental Scientist, Geophysicist

Weather and Climate

Knowing and applying geographic information about weather, climate, and atmospheric processes

Possible jobs: Climate Change Analyst, Weatherization Installers and Technician, Atmospheric and Space Scientist, Climatologist


Biogeography

Knowing and applying geographic information about ecosystems and ecological processes (e.g., vegetation, wildlife, natural habitats)

Possible jobs: Soil and Plant Scientist, Natural Sciences Manager, Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist, Forester, Biological Science Technician

Natural Hazards

Knowing and applying geographic information about processes of natural hazards (e.g., hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, fire)

Possible jobs: Emergency Management Specialist, Forest Fire Inspector, Environmental Consultant,Ecological Risk Assessor, Geotechnical Engineer, Hazards Analyst

Economic Geography

Knowing and applying geographic information about the economy and economic processes (e.g., labor, development, industry, agriculture, transportation, trade, resources, land use, technology change)

Possible jobs: Transportation Manager, Community Resource Specialist, Market Researcher, Business Development, Real Estate Appraiser, Environmental Economist

Political Geography

Knowing and applying geographic information about about political systems and processes (e.g., governments, political activism, nongovernmental organizations, nations, states, international relations, nationalism)

Possible jobs: Community Organizer, Policy Consultant, Policy Researcher, Lobbyist

Cultural Geography

Knowing and applying geographic information about culture and cultural processes (e.g., religion, language, ethnicity, diffusion, meaning of landscapes, cultural significance of place)

Possible jobs: Tour Guide and Escort, Area/Ethic/Cultural Studies Teacher, Interpreter & Translator, Historic Preservationist, Writer/Editor

Population Geography

Knowing and applying geographic information about population, demography, and demographic processes (e.g., population density, migration, birth and death rates, fertility rates).

Possible jobs: Market Analyst, Population/Real Estate/Community Association Manager, Urban and Regional Planner, Demographer, Public Health Officer

Human Environmental Interaction

Knowing and applying geographic information about relationships between nature and society (e.g., pollution from industrial development, economic effects of drought)

Possible jobs: Tour Guide, Accredited Land Consultant, Manager of Sustainability, Environmental Affairs Specialist

Cartography

Designing paper or digital map

Possible jobs: Cartographer and Photogrammetrist, Surveying and Mapping Technician, Civil Drafter, Graphics Editor, Digital Cartographer

GIS (Geographic Information System)

Using GIS to acquire, manage, display, and analyze spatial data in digital form

Possible jobs: Geospatial Information Scientist and Technologist, Geospatial Analyst, GIS Developer, Logistics Analyst, Transportation Planner, Environmental Consultant

Remote Sensing:

Understanding the underlying theories and methods related to acquiring an object without contacting it physically (e.g., aerial photography, radar and satellite imaging)

Possible jobs: Remote Sensing Scientist and Technologist, Geointelligence Specialist, Remote Sensing Analyst, Sensor Specialist, Radar and Sonar Technician

Regional Geography

Possessing and applying knowledge of the physical and human geography of a specific country or world region

Possible jobs: Urban and Regional Planner, Geointelligence Specialist, Tour Guide & Escort, Interpreter & Translator, Historic Preservationist, Community Developer

Spatial Thinking

Identifying, explaining, and finding meaning in spatial patterns and relationships (e.g., site conditions, how places are similar and different, the influence of a land feature on its neighbors, the nature of transitions between places, how places are linked at local, regional, and/or global scales

Possible jobs: Urban and Regional Planner, Surveyor, Geophysical Data Technician, Spatial Analysis Consultant, Environmental Specialist

Global Perspective

Possessing and applying knowledge of how people, places, and regions are linked by global networks and processes (e.g., globalization, international trade, immigration, Internet technology, global climate system)

Possible jobs: Logistics Manager, Mapping Technician, Geodetic Surveyor, International Development Specialist, Journalist, Foreign Services Officer

Interdisciplinary Perspective

Drawing on and synthesizing the information, concepts, and methods of the natural and social sciences for geographic research and application

Possible jobs: International Development Specialist, Urban and Regional Planner, Humanitarian Affairs Analyst, International Development Specialist, Program Manager

Diversity Perspective

Using knowledge about population diversity (e.g., gender, ehtnicity, race, sexuality, disability) to interpret social, economic, and political issues in different place

Possible jobs: Human Resources Manager, Academic Advisor, Market Researcher, Public Diplomacy Officer, Travel Guide

Source: The American Association of Geographers