Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Logo
Apply to SIUE
College of Arts & Sciences
College of Arts & Sciences
Institutional Header

Undergraduate Program

Are you curious about the world around you? Are you interested in connections between people and the environment? Do you like to learn new things about places, cultures, or current events? Do you want a degree that offers exciting and rewarding job opportunities? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, consider majoring in Geography.

Geography is not just about learning how to read a map or memorizing state capitals. It is a program of study that can prepare you for a career in a wide range of fields. For example, our graduates have taken positions as park rangers, urban planners, retail location analysts, resource managers, climate scientists, and geospatial analysts.

The Department of Geography at SIUE is energized by diverse faculty specializing in human geography, physical geography, and geographic techniques such as cartography, GIS, and remote sensing. Our faculty are engaged in research that impacts the local community and beyond. Students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels have the opportunity to work closely with faculty on current research projects or gain experience through internships.

Wherever you want to go, a Geography degree can take you there.

Requirements for the Major in Geography

The major in Geography is 36 credit hours (details below). Students must earn a 'C' or better in all of their geography courses. Geography majors must have either a minor in another field or an Area of Specialization (AOS). The AOS is 18 additional credit hours (Geography courses cannot count for both the major and an AOS). The AOS must be developed in consultation with a Geography faculty member.

Advising information:

All new Geography majors must meet with Dr. Susan Hume (Phone: 618-650-2091 / Email: shume@siue.edu) before the end of their first semester as a declared major.

Geography majors pursuing Social Science Certification to teach must meet with Dr. James Hanlon (Phone: 618-650-2943 / Email: jhanlon@siue.edu) before the end of their first semester as a declared Geography major pursuing teacher certification.

CAS General Advising will provide students with registration PINs and track progress toward graduation (Phone: 618-650-5525 / Email: casadvising@siue.edu). CAS Advisers for Geography are Ms. Danette Griffith (A-K) & Mr. Mark Schoenherr (L-Z). Students are strongly encouraged to meet with any Geography faculty member for mentoring, career / internship advice, and AOS and Senior Assignment advising during their undergraduate career.

Major Requirements:


Core Courses (15 credit hours)


GEOG 201 World Regions

GEOG 205 Human Geography

GEOG 210 Physical Geography

GEOG 320 Cartography

GEOG 321 Quantitative Techniques


Upper Level Sub-Discipline Electives (18 credit hours)

Human Geography (Two courses required; Prerequisite: GEOG 205


GEOG 300 Population

GEOG 301 Economic

GEOG 303 Urban

GEOG 401 Development 

GEOG 402 Culturel Landscapes


GEOG 403 Topics in Urban 

GEOG 405 Food

GEOG 406 Political

GEOG 451 Topics in Human
Physical Geography (Two courses required; Prerequisite: GEOG 210)

GEOG 310 Physical Geology

GEOG 312 Petrology

GEOG 314 Geomorphology

GEOG 316 Biogeography

GEOG 408 Snow & Ice Processes

GEOG 410 Soils

GEOG 411 Hydrology

GEOG 412 Groundwater Hydrology

GEOG 413 Environmental Geochemistry

GEOG 414 Floods

GEOG 415 Animal Geography

GEOG 416 Conservation Biogeography

GEOG 429 Storm Chasing

GEOG 452 Special Topics
Regional Geography (One course required; Prerequisite: GEOG 201)

GEOG 330 Europe

GEOG 331 CIS

GEOG 332 Africa

GEOG 333 Asia

GEOG 334 Latin America

GEOG 335 North America

GEOG 453 Special Topics
Techniques (One course required; Prerequisite: GEOG 320)

GEOG 322 Air Photo

GEOG 418 GIS

GEOG 419 Thematic Cartography

GEOG 420 Interactive Cartography

GEOG 421 Digital Elevation Modeling

GEOG 422 Remote Sensing

GEOG 423 Computer Mapping

GEOG 424 Vector GIS

GEOG 425 Raster GIS

GEOG 454 Topics in Techniques


Senior Assignment (3 credit hours)

GEOG 499 (Prerequisite: GEOG 321; Senior Standing)

Senior Assignment (SA) spans two semesters (register only once during the first semester). Students must attend a SA information session and submit a SA registration form during the first two weeks of their first semester of Senior Assignment.

Minor or Area of Specialization

Either a minor or Area of Specialization (AOS) must be declared. The AOS option is designed to give students an opportunity to further explore the breadth and depth of Geography and related disciplines. The 18 credit hours completed for the AOS are unique from major course requirements; in other words, courses counted toward major requirements cannot also count toward an AOS.

Possible Areas of Specialization include Biogeography, Climatology/Meteorology, Cultural Geography, Development, Geographic Information Systems, Globalization, Physical Geography, Regional Studies, and Urban Studies. More details each of these Areas of Specialization can be found on the department website.

The AOS worksheet (found on the 'Forms' page of the department website) must be completed in consultation with a Geography faculty member. Both a faculty supervisor and the Department Chair's signatures are required for implementation.

Requirements for a Minor in Geography

The minor in Geography is 18 credit hours consisting of courses at the 200 level or above. Students must take one human geography course; one physical geography course; and, one regional geography course for a total of 9 credit hours. The remaining 9 credit hours in Geography are electives. A minimum grade of 'C' is required in courses completed for the minor.