Geography students are typically interested in protecting natural resources, planning the best possible use of land, teaching about interactions among people and places, developing and applying advanced new technologies and solving environmental problems. Geographers can make a difference — from teaching to planning, from working for sustainable development to working with geospatial technologies and more.

Admission into the Major

Students are expected to formally declare a major no later than the fourth semester of full-time enrollment (or at 61 semester hours for transfer students). Students can declare a major by completing the Change of Major/Minor Application online under the Student tab of myBama.

Special Opportunities

The Department of Geography offers internship opportunities with the Geological Survey of Alabama and local planning agencies. The department also offers certificate programs in geographic information systems (GIS) and in regional and urban planning. Additional information is available in the Department of Geography office.

Students earning the bachelor of arts (BA) degree with a major in geography must complete all University, College and departmental degree requirements. These include the general education requirements, the following major requirements, all requirements for an approved minor and other sufficient credits to total a minimum of 120 applicable semester hours.

More InformationHours
Major Courses
GY 101Atmospheric Proc & Patterns4
GY 102Earth Surface Processes4
GY 105World Regional Geography3
GY 110People, Places, and Environment3
GY 204Map & Air Photo Interpretation4
Credit Hours Subtotal: 18
Select a GY concentration from the list below12
Credit Hours Subtotal: 12
Select six hours of GY electives6
Credit Hours Subtotal: 6
Total Hours36

Grade Point Average

A 2.0 grade point average in the major is required for completion of the degree. Please see the Grades and Grade Points section of this catalog for an explanation on grade point average calculations.

Upper-level Residency

A minimum of 12 hours of 300- and 400-level courses in the major must be earned on this campus.

Required Minor

The geography major requires completion of a minor.

Additional Major Requirements

A maximum of 3 hours of internship or practicum credit can be applied to the major. Each geography course applied to the 36-hour requirement must be completed with a grade of C- or higher. Students are responsible for ensuring that they have met all requirements. However, each student must meet with an adviser in the major department for academic planning and to be approved for registration each semester. College advisers are also available for additional assistance with minor, College and University requirements.


Students must earn a minimum of 12 hours from one of the following three concentrations. With approval, topic appropriate GY 470 Special Topics may be substituted in each concentration.

Concentration I: Earth System Science (minimum of 12 hours)

More InformationHours
GY 202The Water Planet4
GY 302Climatology3
GY 363Geomorphology3
GY 404Physical Geography Seast Us3
GY 405Dir Res Physical Geog1-3
GY 409Forest History and Restoration4
GY 412Hydroclimatology3
GY 413Applied Climatology3
GY 463Ecosystem Services: Theory and Practice4
GY 470Special Topics3
GY 472Soil Science4
GY 485River Hydrology3
GY 486Watershed Dynamics3
GY 489Forest Ecology Veg Analy4
GY 491Fluvial Geomorphology3
GY 492Eastern Forest Communities and Silvics4
GY 493Plant Geography4
GY 494Forest Measurement & Analysis4
GY 495Coastal Geomorphology3

Concentration II: Regional, Urban and Environmental Planning (minimum of 12 hours)

More InformationHours
GY 200Principles Of Planning3
GY 317Natural Hazards3
GY 339Natural Resource Envirmn Plang3
GY 341Geography Of Us And Canada3
GY 344Geography Of Africa3
GY 346Geography of Europe3
GY 351Geography Of Alabama3
GY 358Urban Geography3
GY 365Industrial Develop & Location3
GY 370Special Topics3
GY 377Cultural Geography3
GY 385Watershed Management Plan Development (Watershed Management Plan)3
GY 406Dir Res Human Geography1-3
GY 410The Geography of National Parks3
GY 415The Geography of Extinctions and Endangered Species 3
GY 417Extreme Weather and Society3
GY 440Commun Facil Planning3
GY 441Land Use Regulations3
GY 444Field Studies In Africa6
GY 450Conservation Field Studies in Belize4
GY 452Environ Decision Making3
GY 453Environment & Society3
GY 454Costa Rica Field Studies: Tropical Ecology, Conservation, and Development4
GY 455Planning Practicum3-9
GY 456Planning Internship3-9
GY 458Urban Planning And Analysis3
GY 460Environmental Management3
GY 465Region Planning Analysis3
GY 466Transport Geography4
GY 470Special Topics3

Concentration III: Geographic Information Techniques (minimum of 12 hours)

More InformationHours
GY 330Computr Mapping Graphics4
GY 420Remote Sensing I4
GY 424Cartography Practicum3-9
GY 425Cartography Internship3-9
GY 430Intro Geographic Info Systems3
GY 430Intro Geographic Info Systems1
GY 431GIS in Emergency Management4
GY 432Spec Research In Geog1-4
GY 433Gis Practicum3-9
GY 434Gis Internship3-9
GY 435Remote Sensing II4
GY 436Adv Geographic Info Syst4
GY 437GIS for Transportation4
GY 438Application Issues In Gis4
GY 439GIS Programming4
GY 442GIS in Biogeography4

Types of Jobs Accepted

Our graduates accept positions such as environmental consultant, forest technician, geographic information systems analyst, land steward, park ranger, regional and urban, or environmental planner, remote sensing analyst, scientist, software engineer, agent with the Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staffer, U.S. Forest Service staffer, U.S. Geological Survey staffer, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration staffer and city, county and regional planning commissions staffer.

Learn more about opportunities in this field at the Career Center