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Author Profile

Geography, University of South Alabama

Information for this profile was provided by Dr. Carol Sawyer, University of South Alabama. Information is also available on the program website. Students in this program are pursuing a bachelors degree.

Program Design & Assessment


The Geography Program offers a B.S. in Geography and a minor in both Geography and GIS. It is the smallest of the three majors offered in the department, with meteorology and geology being the other two. Of the three programs in the department, it serves the most students in the university as it offers four classes that can fulfill general education credit within the university with an average combined enrollment of over 500 students per semester.

Strengths of this program
The Geography faculty, with their dedication to the majors and their success, and the faculty's popularity in their classes.
The graduation rate among geography majors is high with over 90% who declare themselves majors graduating as majors. Those who enter as geography majors graduate within 5 years and those who transfer into the program typically finish in three years.

Types of students served
The program generally attracts students transferring from other majors within the university with the most students coming from the other programs in our department followed by the social and natural sciences.

Program Goals

The goals of this program are as follows:

The learning goals were informed by the following resources:
Input from different faculty and realization of what students should have and need when they graduate.

How program goals are assessed

Design features that allow goals to be met:
Not particularly.

Alumni Careers

Graduation rate
The program has average 60-70 majors at any time with approximately 6 to 10 graduates per year. The number has majors has dropped slightly in the last couple of years.

Careers pursued by our alumni
Most of the alumni are able to find jobs related to their major, if they are willing to leave this region. We have added a GIS minor that has a required programming class because recent graduates have communicated that is was a necessity when choosing that career path.

Courses and Sequencing

Diagram of course sequencing and requirements

Entry into the degree
Atmospheric Processes and Landforms
Landscape Process and Landforms
Intro to Human Geography
World Regional Geography

Core Courses
Atmospheric Processes and Landforms
Landscape Process and Landforms
Intro to Human Geography
World Regional Geography
Geography Orientation
Remote Sensing I
Computer Graphs and Maps
Research Methods in Geography
Field Work

Elective courses and Requirements
Majors need 6 of the following (at least 18 hours)
World Economic (3 hrs)
National Parks and Conservation (3 hrs)
Urban Geography (3 hrs)
International Tourism (3 hrs)
Technological Hazards and Disasters (3 hrs)
Health and Place (3 hrs)
Environmental Earth Sciences (3 hrs)
Climatology (3 hrs)
Natural Hazards and Disasters (3 hrs)
Biogeography (3 hrs)
Soils (3 hrs)
Regional Physiography (3 hrs)
US and Canada (3 hrs)
Latin America (3 hrs)
Alabama Geography (3 hrs)
Remote Sensing II
Intro to GIS
GIS applications: Environmental
GIS applications: Social Sciences

Field Work

Supporting Science and Math Courses
One additional natural science (lecture and lab) are required as is at least one math course (College Algebra or higher) and a statistics course.

Other key features of this program:

Students are also encourage to complete an internship (paid or unpaid). They do get course credit for the internship if it is related to the program.

Supporting Materials

Requirements for Geography Major (Acrobat (PDF) 14kB Feb6 14)

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