The Geography, BS 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), emphasizing application and technique-driven coursework, in addition to a rigorous science and mathematics curriculum. Students will find numerous opportunities for employment in both the private and public sectors, as well as in academia. Given their interdisciplinary approach and uniquely spatial perspective, geographers are well suited to address important local, regional, and global challenges in today's world.

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 analytical, technical, and practical training that prepares them to be successful in an ever-evolving job market. For students who wish to pursue their interest in geography via a more flexible degree program, the department also offers a Geography, BA.

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.

GGS 415 Seminar in Geography fulfills the writing intensive requirement.

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

Banner Code: SC-BS-GEOG

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

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

Geography

Candidates for the Geography, BS degree must complete the following Core, Breadth and Experience, and Geography Elective courses with a minimum GPA of 2.00:

Core Courses

GGS 102Physical Geography (Mason Core)3-4
or GGS 121 Dynamic Atmosphere and Hydrosphere (Mason Core)
GGS 103Human Geography (Mason Core)3
GGS 110Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies3
or GGS 210 Introduction to Spatial Computing
GGS 300Quantitative Methods for Geographical Analysis3
GGS 310Introduction to Digital Cartography3
GGS 311Introduction to Geographic Information Systems3
GGS 415Seminar in Geography 13
GGS 400Colloquium in Geoinformation Science1
Total Credits22-23
1

Fulfills the writing intensive requirement.

Breadth and Experience Courses 

Advanced Technique Courses
GGS 412Air Photography Interpretation3
Select three from the following:9
Field Mapping Techniques
Data Analysis and Global Change Detection Techniques
Remote Sensing
Introduction to Hyperspectral Imaging
Advanced Digital Cartography
Satellite Image Analysis
Web Mapping
Applied Geographic Information Systems
Special Topics in Geographic Techniques
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
Urban Planning
Selected Topics in Global Change
Select Topics in GGS
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 Credits18

Geography Electives

Select 3 credits of undergraduate-level GGS courses3
Select 6 credits of 300 or 400-level GGS courses6
Total Credits9

Outside Requirements

GGS 400Colloquium in Geoinformation Science1
CDS 130Computing for Scientists (Mason Core)3
MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II3-4
or IT 207 Applied IT Programming
or STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)
Total Credits11-12

Mason Core and Elective Credits

In order to meet a minimum of 120 credits, this degree requires an additional 58-60 credits, which may be applied toward any remaining Mason Core requirements, Requirements for Bachelor's Degrees, and elective courses. 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 Communication (ENGH 101)3
Oral Communication3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Information Technology and Computing3
Exploration Requirements
Arts3
Global Understanding3
Literature3
Natural Science7
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Western Civilization/World History3
Integration Requirements
Written Communications (ENGH 302)3
Writing-Intensive 13
Synthesis/Capstone 23
Total Credits40
1

Most programs include the writing-intensive course designated for the major as part of the major requirements; this course is therefore not counted towards the total required for Mason Core.

2

Minimum 3 credits required.

Geography, BS/Geographic and Cartographic Sciences, Accelerated MS

Overview

Offered by the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Sciences (GGS) in the College of Science, this bachelor's/accelerated master's degree program enables highly qualified undergraduates to obtain the Geography, BS and the Geographic and Cartographic Sciences, MS degrees within an accelerated timeframe. The program strategy enables students to undertake graduate coursework during their final year in the bachelor's degree. This 144 credit program (thesis option) or 151 credit program (comprehensive exam option) prepares students for professional careers where geoinformation management, geographic analysis, and geospatial visualization are of importance. 

Students in this accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the Geography, BS and the Geographic and Cartographic Sciences, MS. While the information below is largely comprehensive, students are strongly encouraged to also review AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.

Application Requirements

Students with an overall GPA of at least 3.0 may apply for provisional acceptance into this accelerated master's program after completing at least 90 undergraduate credits. Additionally, they must have completed the following courses with a GPA of 3.0 or better: GGS 102 Physical Geography (Mason Core) or GGS 121 Dynamic Atmosphere and Hydrosphere (Mason Core) or GGS 122 Dynamic Geosphere and Ecosphere, GGS 103 Human Geography (Mason Core), GGS 110 Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies, GGS 300 Quantitative Methods for Geographical Analysis, GGS 310 Introduction to Digital CartographyGGS 311 Introduction to Geographic Information SystemsGGS 412 Air Photography Interpretation, MATH 113 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core), and MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II or IT 207 Applied IT Programming or STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core) .

Applicants to all graduate programs at Mason must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in the Admissions section of this catalog. However, this accelerated master's does not require the GRE test scores. 

While being undergraduate students, accelerated master's students must complete the two graduate courses indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program Application (obtained from the Office of Academic and Student Affairs) with a minimum grade of 3.0 in each course. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all coursework and in coursework applied to their major.

At the beginning of their final undergraduate semester, they must submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form (found on the Office of the University Registrar website). Students must begin their master's program in the semester immediately following the term of undergraduate degree conferral. Students should consult with their faculty advisor in the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science and the Office of Academic and Student Affairs to obtain further guidance.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students admitted to this program may start taking graduate courses after completing 90 undergraduate credits. Up to 6 credits of graduate coursework may be applied to both undergraduate degree and the master's degree. If students earn at least a 3.0 in these classes, they are granted advanced standing in the master's program and must then complete 24 (thesis option) or 31 (comprehensive exam option) additional credits to receive the master's degree. All other master's degree requirements must be met. 

Reserve Graduate Credit

During the bachelor's degree status, students may take up to 6 graduate credits as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree, but will reduce the subsequent master's degree credits accordingly (e.g., with 6 credits counted towards undergraduate degree plus the maximum 6 reserve credits, the master's degree can be completed with 18 (thesis option) or 25 (comprehensive exam option) graduate credits). The ability to take courses for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the department. To apply the reserved credits to the master's degree, students must request their transfer from the undergraduate degree to the graduate degree via the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form found on the Office of the University Registrar website. 

Geography, BS/Geoinformatics and Geospatial Intelligence, Accelerated MS

Overview

Offered by the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Sciences (GGS) in the College of Science, this bachelor's/accelerated master's degree program enables highly qualified undergraduates to obtain the Geography, BS and the Geoinformatics and Geospatial Intelligence,MS degrees within an accelerated timeframe. The program strategy enables students to undertake graduate coursework during their final year in the bachelor's degree. This 147 credit program prepares students for professional careers where geoinformation management, geographic analysis, and geointelligence and geovisualization are of importance. 

Students in this accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the Geography, BS and the Geoinformatics and Geospatial Intelligence,MS. While the information below is largely comprehensive, students are strongly encouraged to also review AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.

Application Requirements

Students with an overall GPA of at least 3.0 may apply for provisional acceptance into this accelerated master's program after completing at least 90 undergraduate credits. Additionally, they must have completed the following courses with a GPA of 3.0 or better: GGS 102 Physical Geography (Mason Core) or GGS 121 Dynamic Atmosphere and Hydrosphere (Mason Core) , GGS 103 Human Geography (Mason Core), GGS 110 Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies, GGS 300 Quantitative Methods for Geographical Analysis, GGS 310 Introduction to Digital CartographyGGS 311 Introduction to Geographic Information SystemsGGS 412 Air Photography Interpretation, MATH 113 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core), and MATH 114 Analytic Geometry and Calculus II or IT 207 Applied IT Programming or STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core) .

Applicants to all graduate programs at Mason must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in the Admissions section of this catalog. However, this accelerated master's does not require the GRE test scores. 

While being undergraduate students, accelerated master's students must complete the two graduate courses indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program Application (obtained from the Office of Academic and Student Affairs) with a minimum grade of 3.0 in each course. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all coursework and in coursework applied to their major.

At the beginning of their final undergraduate semester, they must submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form (found on the Office of the University Registrar website). Students must begin their master's program in the semester immediately following the term of undergraduate degree conferral. Students should consult with their faculty advisor in the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science and the Office of Academic and Student Affairs to obtain further guidance.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students admitted to this program may start taking graduate courses after completing 90 undergraduate credits. Up to 6 credits of graduate coursework may be applied to both undergraduate degree and the master's degree. If students earn at least a 3.0 in these classes, they are granted advanced standing in the master's program and must then complete 27 additional credits to receive the master's degree. All other master's degree requirements must be met. 

Reserve Graduate Credit

During the bachelor's degree status, students may take up to 6 graduate credits as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree, but will reduce the subsequent master's degree credits accordingly (e.g., with 6 credits counted towards undergraduate degree plus the maximum 6 reserve credits, the master's degree can be completed with 21 graduate credits). The ability to take courses for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the department. To apply the reserved credits to the master's degree, students must request their transfer from the undergraduate degree to the graduate degree via the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form found on the Office of the University Registrar website.