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Geographic Techniques, Middle Tennessee State University

Information for this profile was provided by Patricia Boda in 2009.

Middle Tennessee State University is a public four-year institution, primarily undergraduate .

Overview and Context

Illustration of the MTSU geographic techniques curriculum, constructed by Monica Bruckner, based on information provided by Patricia Boda. Click on the image to see a larger version.
The program provides basic skills in the methods used to acquire, analyze, and present spatial information about the Earth's surface. This career pattern requires a minimum of 75 hours (in addition to the department core requirements).
This is one of 6 curricula Geoscience majors can pursue at MTSU.

Program Design

This program provides the basic skills in methods used to analyze spatial information and present it to a variety of audiences. The focus of this particular curriculum is GIS. The techniques and skills acquired through this program are widely employed by government and industry in natural resources, environmental management, utility management, transportation, health care, as well as urban and regional planning.

Goals and Assessment

This program provides students with the necessary 21st century skills not only to acquire a job in their field of interest, but to excel in it. Students receive a broad background in many aspects of the Earth's systems. Often, we are able to provide internships to students, providing them with "real world" problems and solutions. These internships are often stepping stones to full time employment.

In addition to the standard quizzes and lab exams, students complete a project each semester which requires them to apply the principles learned in the course and demonstrate their skills to an audience. Frequently, outside guests provide data to the class which becomes the class project. When students complete the project and present their work, the outside guest provides feedback to them from his/her professional perspective.

Furthermore, we contact our students after graduation to gain informaion on their jobs: are they working in the field, what additional skills (if any) were they required to know for their current position, etc.

Courses and Sequencing

Entry into the program

Geoscience majors must all complete the following introductory courses:

  • Intro to Earth Science
  • Intro to Earth Science Lab
  • Intro to Regional Geography

All geography majors must also complete Cartography.

Core courses

  • Physical Geography
  • Remote Sensing
  • Lab Problems in Remote Sensing
  • Image Interpretation
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Advanced Geographic Information Systems
  • Geomorphic Regions of the US


Students are required to take 18 hours (generally 6 courses) of electives, selected from the following list:
  • Oceanography
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Earth Geophysics
  • Environmental Applications of Hydrology
  • Geologic Remote Sensing
  • Regional courses:
    • Geography of Tennessee
    • Geography of US and Canada
    • Geography of Asia
    • Geography of Latin America
    • Geography of Africa
  • Topical courses:
    • Economic Geography
    • Historical Geography
    • Urban Geography
    • Geography of Native Americans

Additional comments

2 additional minors are required as well.

Additional Materials

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