The Geography, BA is designed to offer students the opportunity to study the integrated social and environmental processes that continuously shape and reshape the world we live in. This major provides students with broad training across the core subdisciplines of geography (human, physical, and GIScience), while also offering the requisite flexibility for those students seeking a multidisciplinary educational experience. Students will find numerous opportunities for employment in both the private and public sectors, as well as in academia, as geographers are well suited to address important local, regional, and global challenges in today's world, given their interdisciplinary approach and uniquely spatial perspective.

The Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science fosters a supportive, active learning environment in which students are encouraged to work closely with both faculty and peers. The curriculum in this major provides students with the synthesis skills and broad base of knowledge that prepares them to be successful in an ever-evolving job market. For students who wish to pursue their interest in geography with a more technical curriculum, the department also offers a Geography, BS.

Admissions

University-wide admissions policies can be found in the Undergraduate Admissions Policies section of this catalog.

To apply for this program, please complete the George Mason University Admissions Application.

Policies

Students must fulfill all Requirements for Bachelor's Degrees including the Mason Core. As outlined in the Requirements tab, students in this bachelor's program must also complete the additional College Requirements for the BA Degree.

GGS 415 Seminar in Geography fulfills the writing intensive requirement.

For policies governing all undergraduate programs, see AP.5 Undergraduate Policies.

Banner Code: SC-BA-GEOG

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should refer to the Admissions & Policies tab for specific policies related to this program.

Candidates for a degree in geography must complete the approved GGS geography courses with a minimum GPA of 2.00.S

Students must complete the Core, Systematic and Regional Geography, and GGS electives, then select one concentration or an additional program, and lastly complete the College Requirements for the BA Degree and the Mason Core and Elective Credits.

Core Courses

GGS 103Human Geography (Mason Core)3
GGS 110Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies3
GGS 300Quantitative Methods for Geographical Analysis3
GGS 310Introduction to Digital Cartography4
GGS 311Introduction to Geographic Information Systems3
GGS 415Seminar in Geography 13
Select one from the following:3-4
Physical Geography (Mason Core)
Dynamic Atmosphere and Hydrosphere (Mason Core)
Dynamic Geosphere and Ecosphere
Total Credits22-23
1

Fulfills writing intensive requirement.

Systematic and Regional Geography

Students must take one systematic course and one regional course from the list below:

Systematic Courses
Select one from the following:3
Political Geography
Global Environmental Hazards
Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)
Population Geography (Mason Core)
Economic Geography
Urban Geography
Sustainable Development
Meteorology and Climate
Physical Climatology
Severe and Extreme Weather
Air Pollution
Biogeography
Issues in Global Change
Structures in Urban Governance and Planning
Environmental Impact Assessment
Introduction to Atmospheric Radiation
Regional Courses
Select one from the following:3
Geography of the United States
Geography of Latin America
Geography of Europe
Geography of North Africa and the Middle East
Geography of the Soviet Succession States
Issues in Regional Geography
Geography of Virginia
Total Credits6

GGS Electives

Select 9-10 credits of electives. 19-10
Total Credits9-10
1

Two of the three courses must be upper-level GGS courses.

Environmental Geography Concentration (EGEO)

The Environmental Geography concentration for the BA in Geography provides a unique opportunity for majors to take a broader, integrative science approach to studies of the environment. In collaboration with the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, BA in Geography majors have the opportunity to focus their studies on geographic approaches to climatology and global changes, environmental issues, policy matters, and sustainability topics.

Some courses may have prerequisite requirements:

Core Courses
GGS 303Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)3
EVPP 336Human Dimensions of the Environment3
or EVPP 337 Environmental Policy Making in Developing Countries
or EVPP 377 Applied Ecology
Methods Course
GGS 354Data Analysis and Global Change Detection Techniques3
or GGS 412 Air Photography Interpretation
Electives6-7
Select two courses from the following:
Global Environmental Hazards
Sustainable Development
Meteorology and Climate
Physical Climatology
Severe and Extreme Weather
Air Pollution
Issues in Global Change
Data Analysis and Global Change Detection Techniques 1
Air Photography Interpretation 1
Human Dimensions of the Environment 1
Environmental Policy Making in Developing Countries 1
Introduction to Environmental Policy
Intermediate Environmental Policy
Applied Ecology 1
Marine Conservation
Field Environmental Science
Sustainability in Action (Mason Core)
Environmental Geology
Total Credits15-16
1

Course cannot be selected if previously selected as a core or methods course.

Health Geography Concentration (HGEO)

The field of Health Geography addresses the role of place, location dynamics and geography in health, well-being, and disease. Public health patterns can vary significantly by physical and social characteristics of places both within and between regions, states, or countries. In collaboration with the Department of Global and Community Health, BA in Geography majors get introduced to local and global health issues and develop their skill set in spatial and statistical analysis of diverse health outcomes in populations.

Some courses may have prerequisite requirements:

Core Courses
GGS 340Health Geography3
GCH 300Introduction to Public Health3
Electives
Select 9 credits from the following courses. Choose at least one GGS elective and at least one GCH elective:9
Global Environmental Hazards
Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)
Population Geography (Mason Core)
Urban Geography
Air Pollution
Biogeography
Issues in Global Change
Data Analysis and Global Change Detection Techniques
Applied Geographic Information Systems
Global Health (Mason Core)
Health and Disease
Health and Environment
Fundamentals of Epidemiology
Social Determinants of Health
Culture, Sexuality and the Global AIDS Epidemic
Total Credits15

Additional Program

Students who are not selecting a concentration may choose 15 or more credits consisting of an established minor, concentration, second major, or other coherent selection of courses approved by the advisor and the department chair:

Select 15 or more credits as outlined above.15
Total Credits15

Mason Core and Elective Credits

In order to meet a minimum of 120 credits, this degree requires an additional 65-68 credits, which may be applied toward any remaining Mason Core requirements (outlined below), Requirements for Bachelor's Degrees, College Requirements for the BA Degree (outlined below), and electives. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisors to ensure that they fulfill all requirements.

Mason Core

Note: Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements
Written Communication6
Oral Communication3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Information Technology3-7
Core Requirements
Arts3
Global Understanding3
Literature3
Natural Science7
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Western Civilization/World History3
Synthesis/Capstone Requirement 1
Synthesis/Capstone3
Total Credits40
1

minimum 3 credits

College Requirements for the BA Degree

In addition to the program requirements and the Mason Core requirements, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the coursework below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill this college-level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements such as Mason Core requirements, other college-level requirements, or requirements for the major. In some cases, the requirements listed below may be superseded by requirements of the degree program and the Mason Core.

Philosophy or Religious Studies
Select 3 credits from the following:3
1

PHIL 323 Classical Western Political Theory and PHIL 324 Modern Western Political Theory may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Choose one approved Mason Core: Social and Behavioral Sciences course in addition to the Mason Core-required course for a total of 6 credits. The two courses used to fulfill the combined college-level and university requirements must be from different disciplines.

This requirement may be fulfilled by completing any course in ANTH, CRIM, ECON, GOVT, HIST1, LING, PSYC, or SOCI, and the following GGS courses:

Select any course from the disciplines above or select from the following GGS courses:3
Major World Regions (Mason Core)
Human Geography (Mason Core)
Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies
Political Geography
Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)
Population Geography (Mason Core)
Economic Geography
Urban Geography
Geography of the United States
Geography of Latin America
Geography of Europe
Geography of North Africa and the Middle East
Geography of the Soviet Succession States
Structures in Urban Governance and Planning
Geography of Virginia
Total Credits3
1

HIST 100 History of Western Civilization (Mason Core) and HIST 125 Introduction to World History (Mason Core) may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Natural Science

Choose one credit in addition to the Mason Core: Natural Science requirement for a total of 8 credits. This combined college-level and university requirement must be fulfilled by completing two of any approved Mason Core: Natural Science courses that include a laboratory experience1.

Select an additional Mason Core Natural Science course1
1

BIOL 124 Human Anatomy and Physiology and BIOL 125 Human Anatomy and Physiology may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Foreign Language

Intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language is required1. This requirement may be fulfilled by completing a course in a foreign language numbered 202, 209, or 210 (or higher-level courses taught in the language).

Select a foreign language course numbered 202, 209, 210, or higher if a waiver isn't applicable0-3
1

Students may be eligible for a waiver of this requirement if they are already proficient in a second language or if they have received a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test. Additional information on waivers can be found via the college’s Office of Academic and Student Affairs.

Non-Western Culture

Choose one approved Non-Western Culture Requirement1 course in addition to the course used to fulfill the Mason Core: Global Understanding requirement. A course used to fulfill the Mason Core: Global Understanding requirement may not be simultaneously used to satisfy this college-level requirement. However, a course used to fulfill this requirement may be used simultaneously to fulfill any other requirements (Mason Core requirements, college-level requirements, or requirements for the major).

Select 3 credits from approved Non-Western Culture courses if a waiver isn't applicable:0-3
ANTH 114Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core)3
ANTH 300Civilizations3
ANTH 301Native North Americans3
ANTH 302Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core)3
ANTH 303Peoples and Cultures of the Andes3
ANTH 306Peoples and Cultures of Island Asia (Mason Core)3
ANTH 307Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core)3
ANTH 308Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core)3
ANTH 309Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core)3
ANTH 313Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core)3
ANTH 314Zombies3
ANTH 316Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean (Mason Core)3
ANTH 323Digging and Dealing in the Dead: Ethics in Archaeology3
ANTH 330Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western3
ANTH 332Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core)3
ANTH 381Medical Anthropology3
ANTH 383Cities of the Global South3
ANTH 396Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core)3
ARAB 360Topics in Arabic Cultural Production3
ARAB 420Survey of Arabic Literature3
ARAB 440Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core)3
ARTH 203Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 204Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 206Survey of African Art (Mason Core)3
ARTH 318Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt3
ARTH 319Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core)3
ARTH 320Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core)3
ARTH 382Arts of India (Mason Core)3
ARTH 383Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core)3
ARTH 384Arts of China (Mason Core)3
ARTH 385Arts of Japan (Mason Core)3
ARTH 386The Silk Road (Mason Core)3
ARTH 482RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art3
CHIN 318Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core)3
CHIN 320Contemporary Chinese Film3
CHIN 325Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core)3
DANC 118World Dance (Mason Core)3
ECON 361Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core)3
ECON 362African Economic Development (Mason Core)3
FREN 451Topics in Sub-Saharan Francophone Literature and Culture3
FREN 454Topics in Caribbean Francophone Literature and Culture3
GGS 101Major World Regions (Mason Core)3
GGS 316Geography of Latin America3
GGS 325Geography of North Africa and the Middle East3
GGS 330Geography of the Soviet Succession States3
GGS 399Select Topics in GGS3
GOVT 328Non-Western Political Theory3
GOVT 332Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa3
GOVT 333Government and Politics of Asia3
GOVT 340Central Asian Politics3
GOVT 341Chinese Foreign Policy3
GOVT 345Islam and Politics3
GOVT 432Political Change and Social Development in Sub-Saharan Africa3
GOVT 433Political Economy of East Asia3
HIST 251Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core)3
HIST 252Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core)3
HIST 261Survey of African History (Mason Core)3
HIST 262Survey of African History (Mason Core)3
HIST 271Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core)3
HIST 272Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core)3
HIST 281Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core)3
HIST 282Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core)3
HIST 326Stalinism3
HIST 327The Soviet Union and Russia Since World War II3
HIST 328Rise of Russia (Mason Core)3
HIST 329Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core)3
HIST 353History of Traditional China3
HIST 354Modern China3
HIST 356Modern Japan (Mason Core)3
HIST 357Postwar Japan (Mason Core)3
HIST 358Post-1949 China (Mason Core)3
HIST 360History of South Africa (Mason Core)3
HIST 364Revolution and Radical Politics in Latin America (Mason Core)3
HIST 365Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core)3
HIST 366Comparative Slavery3
HIST 367History, Fiction, and Film in Latin America3
HIST 387Topics in Global History (Mason Core)3-6
HIST 426The Russian Revolution3
HIST 460Modern Iran (Mason Core)3
HIST 461Arab-Israeli Conflict3
HIST 462Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core)3
HIST 465The Middle East in the 20th Century3
JAPA 310Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core)3
JAPA 340Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core)3
KORE 320Korean Popular Culture in a Global World3
MUSI 103Musics of the World (Mason Core)3
RELI 211Religions of the West (Mason Core)3
RELI 212Religions of Asia (Mason Core)3
RELI 240Death and the Afterlife in World Religions3
RELI 272Islam3
RELI 313Hinduism (Mason Core)3
RELI 314Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions3
RELI 315Buddhism (Mason Core)3
RELI 337Mysticism: East and West3
RELI 365Muhammad: Life and Legacy3
RELI 374Islamic Thought (Mason Core)3
RELI 375Qur'an and Hadith3
RELI 379Islamic Law, Society, and Ethics3
RELI 387Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights3
RELI 490Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core)3
RUSS 353Russian Civilization (Mason Core)3
RUSS 354Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core)3
1

Students who can document attendance at a native school in a non-western country for at least four years may request a waiver from this requirement through the CHSS Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office.