McMicken College of Arts & SciencesMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences


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Geography (Environmental Emphasis)

Geography focuses on the spatial dimensions of human activities and their interactions with physical landscapes. The interrelationships between humans and their environments uniquely allow geographers to link the social and physical sciences. Geographers analyze information represented on maps-- maps representing data produced in the traditional form (computer generated or drawn by hand) or images generated by satellites (remote sensing).

Students in the environmental BS track will learn to critically analyze and communicate environmental information underlying reports and policy documents, as well as to design and implement scientific experiments addressing environmental questions.


Quick Info

Program Code


Real-World Learning Components

Optional internship(s), Research


4 years

Admission Criteria



Main Campus

Freshman Class Profile for this Major

3.044 - 3.660 (4 pt. scale)
21.0 - 26.0
980 - 1180


McMicken College of Arts and Sciences


401 Braunstein
PO Box 210131
Cincinnati,OH  45221-0131
Phone: 513-556-3421

Student Success Factors

Students are successful when they have an interest in learning about and understanding (1) world events, (2) local events within cities, (3) the urban, global, economic, and political processes underlying world and local events, (4) human impact on the physical environment and (5) the skills necessary to process, display and analyze geographic information.

Career Possibilities

Geography provides a good educational background for students interested in a variety of careers in business, various government agencies (federal, state, county, city), non-profit agencies or careers as college and university professors. Geography provides strong preparation for professional and graduate schools (law, medicine, business, geography, or other physical or social sciences). Employment for students with strong geographic computer skills (GIS) is particularly strong. Examples of geography related jobs in various areas include:


  • Agency of Internal Development
  • Audobon Society
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Bureau of the Census
  • Cartographer
  • Geographic software programming
  • Housing and urban development
  • Market research
  • Sierra Club
  • Teaching
  • Travel industry

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

Geography majors are encouraged to develop individualized programs within one of the three geography BS tracks in consultation with the geography undergraduate advisor. The Department of Geography offers the following tracks/specializations:


  • BS - Environmental and Physical Geography (15BS GEOG-E)
  • BS - Geographic Information Science (15BS GEOG-G)
  • BS - Geography, Remote Sensing (15BS GEOG-RS)


The UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences' flexible degree requirements allow for and highly encourage students to pursue multiple areas of study. Free electives allow for enough credits for students to pursue a minor, certificate program or even complete a second major. Some of the most common pairings are listed below.


  • Anthropology
  • Communication
  • Environmental studies
  • History
  • International human rights
  • Journalism
  • Languages or area studies
  • Psychology
  • Security studies
  • Sociology

Minor Details

Students minoring in geography choose a concentration in one of the following: human geography, urban and economic geography, environmental geography, regional geography or geographic information systems (GIS).


Students must pass all required geography courses with a C or better.


These tools assist students to identify course requirements and individual progress toward completion of academic programs. It is important to utilize these resources with personalized guidance from a UC academic advisor regularly to ensure timely graduation..

My Degree Audit - for confirmed and current students

My Transfer Course Equivalencies - for students considering transfer to UC

UC Schedule of Classes - search course availability and descriptions

Curriculum Guide Versions:

Geography (BS - Environmental) Curriculum Guide

Predominant Program

    A&S College Core Requirements
    • ENGL1001, English Composition, EC, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Freshman Seminar (freshmen only), 3
    • ENGL2089, Intermediate Composition, EC, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Foreign Language Sequence, DC, 10 - 12
    • XXXXxxxx, Social Science (SS) Course (not GEOG), 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Humanities (HU) Course, HU, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Humanities (HU) or Fine Arts (FA) Course, HU, FA, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Historical Perspectives (HP) Course, HP, 3
    • HISTxxxx, HIST Course, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Interdisciplinary Course, 3
    Geography (BS - Environmental) Major Requirements
    • GEOG1011, Weather , Climate, and the Biosphere, SE, NS, 3
    • GEOG1012, Earth's Dynamic Surface: Landforms and Soils, SE, NS, 3
    • GEOG1012L, Earth's Dynamic Surface: Landforms and Soils Laboratory, QR, NS, 1
    • GEOG1011L, Weather, Climate and the Biosphere: Laboratory, NS, 1
    • GEOG1004, Introduction to Human Geography, DC, SS, 3
    • CHEM1041, General Chemistry II, NS, 4
    • CHEM1041L, General Chemistry Laboratory II, NS, 1
    • CHEM1040, General Chemistry I, NS, 4
    • CHEM1040L, General Chemistry Laboratory I, NS, 1
    • MATH1044, Applied Calculus I, QR, 3
    • MATH1045, Applied Calculus II, QR, 3
    • GEOG6074, Computer Analytical Cartography, 3
    • GEOG6071C, Introduction to Geographic Information Sciences, 3
    • GEOG6075C, Quantitative Geography and Spatial Statistics I, 3
    • GEOG6076C, Principles of Remote Sensing, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Additional Hard Science Courses from group below, 6 - 8
    • GEOGxxxx, Regional Geography Course (choose from GEOG 2000-2037 or 1021), 3
    • GEOGxxxx, Environmental Courses I from group below, 6
    • GEOGxxxx, Environmental Course II from group below (one course), 1 - 6
    • GEOG5000, Geography Capstone I, 2
    • GEOGxxxx, Capston Completion Course from group below, 2
    Free Electives
    • XXXXxxxx, Free Electives (estimated), 27 - 32
    Regional Geography
    • XXXX2xxx, 2000 level course(s), 3
    Environmental Courses I
    • GEOG3031, Elements of Climatology, 3
    • GEOG3032, Landscapes and Landforms, 3
    • GEOG3033, Advanced Environmental Geography, 3
    Additional Hard Science Courses
    • BIOL1081, Biology I: Molecules, Cells, and the Foundation of Life, NS, 3
    • BIOL1082, Biology II: Evolution, Physiology, and Ecology, NS, 3
    • PHYS1051, General Physics I (Algebra-based), QR, NS, 4
    • PHYS1052, General Physics II (Algebra-based), QR, NS, 4
    • PHYS2001, College Physics I (Calculus-based), QR, NS, 4
    • PHYS2002, College Physics II (Calculus-based), QR, NS, 4
    Capstone Completion
    • GEOG5007, Geography Capstone II: Portfolio, 2
    • GEOG5008, Geography Capstone II: Senior Research Project, 2
    Environmental Courses II
    • GEOG6051, Urban Habitat, 3
    • GEOG6054, Soils, 3
    • GEOG6055, Approaches to Past Landscapes, 3
    • GEOG6056, Geoarchaeology Fieldwork: Latin America, 1 - 6

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

Students in the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-extensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 faculty-student ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies, and a highly successful First Year Experience Program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

Special Programs

Geography majors often engage in study abroad opportunities or international field trips. Some students pursue professional internships arranged on an ad hoc basis.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

Transferring to UC Requirements

Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in the most recent institution.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 at most recent institution
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.

Changing Majors Within UC

Admission to A&S is generally available for University of Cincinnati students enrolled in other colleges if they were admissible directly from high school, have a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in their most recent UC college.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • at least a 2.0 GPA in all college-level courses (both at UC and at other institutions)
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, students must:


  • Earn at least 120 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 120.
  • Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 30 credits after matriculating into the college.
  • Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
  • Complete the College Core Requirements.
  • Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.

Application Deadlines

While midyear admission is possible, fall semester is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that semester. Applicants to the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.