Jun 20, 2024  
2015-2016 CSU East Bay Catalog 
2015-2016 CSU East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geography, B.A.

Program Description

Geography is the study of spatial distributions, relations, processes and outcomes within the human-environment system. Attention is focused on historical and contemporary human activities in the natural and built environment, and on people as the major physical, social, cultural and economic change agents across the earth’s surface. A curriculum in Geography helps students understand the world’s landscape and how it has been transformed or altered by either the earth’s natural processes or human modifications, and the future sustainability of our current actions in the light of our past experiences.

At Cal State East Bay, students can choose between a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree with a major in Geography. A B.S. degree major is appropriately suited for students with career objectives in the professional field of Geography. It is also highly recommended for those planning to enter a graduate school program in Geography. Obtaining a Bachelors of Arts degree major provides for a liberal education, and prepares students for positions in business, government, foreign service, and especially teaching. Combining geography with coursework in other social sciences or with other science fields is excellent preparation for teachers in secondary education. Both majors require 61 units, 16 lower division and 45 upper division.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a Geography, B.A.  or Geography, B.S.  from Cal State East Bay will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a broad and deep understanding of the fundamental concepts and techniques of the discipline of Geography;
  2. prepare, use, and interpret maps and other spatial data with and without the aid of computers;
  3. communicate geographic ideas, perspectives and conclusions clearly and persuasively orally, in writing and through maps and graphics;
  4. think critically and apply analytical and quantitative reasoning to assess problems across local, national and global geographic scales and to effect practical and sustainable solutions both as an individual and within a team;
  5. demonstrate their knowledge of the characteristics and cultures of two world regions in addition to their own.

Career Opportunities

  • Aerial Photo Interpreter
  • Agricultural Geographer
  • Cartographer
  • Census Analyst
  • Climatologist
  • Community Development Specialist
  • Demographer
  • Development Specialist
  • Ecologist
  • Economic Development Analyst
  • Environmental Analyst/Planner
  • Geographical Information Systems Specialist
  • Map Curator
  • Natural Resources Manager
  • Park Ranger
  • Public Utility Administrator
  • Recreational Resource Planner
  • Soil Conservationist
  • Sustainability Coordinator
  • Transportation Planner
  • Urban Geographer
  • Zoning Specialist/Surveyor


With the arrangement of a faculty advisor, students in the Bachelor of Science program can select from the following fields of concentration: biogeography, cartography, cultural geography, economic geography, historical geography, history and philosophy of geography, physical geography, regional geography, resource management and sustainability.

The department also offers two certificate programs open to students from all majors. The first is a Cartography and GIS Certificate  for those wanting to learn skills and methods in data collection, interpretation, and analysis as well as the design, compilation, production, and reproduction of maps. The second is a Sustainable Resource Management Certificate  for those wanting a specialization in the field of sustainable resource and environmental management.

Geographic internships and service learning options are available to our majors. Individual students can gain practical experience with public, private, or volunteer agencies.


Richard and Evelyn Thoman Scholarship in Geography and Environmental Studies

One $500 scholarship is awarded each academic year for full-time undergraduate or graduate studies. Awards are limited to students with upper division or graduate standing. A grade point average of 3.5 or higher is required, and demonstrated scholastic and creative ability in the field of Geography or Environmental Studies.

Major Requirements (B.A.)

The major consists of 61-73 units in geography; the B.A. degree requires a total of 180 units.

II. Upper Division (49 units)

One Physical Course (4 units):

One Cultural Course (4 units)

  • One Cultural Course (4 units) selected from GEOG 3000-level courses with consent of advisor.

One Regional Course (4 units)

  • One Regional Course (4 units) selected from 3500 series

Plus 16 units of electives

  • Plus 16 units of electives in geography, including not more than 4 additional units in the 3500 series, and to include at least 8 units of the 4000-level series by advisement

The following courses or their equivalents have to be completed if a student in the B.A. program in Geography desires to enter the M.A. degree program in Geography:

III. Proficiency Requirements (0-12 units)

Proficiency in reading a foreign language, at the first-year level, must be demonstrated by successful completion of a departmental examination; or proficiency in statistics, at the level of a 3000-series course, must be demonstrated by passing an examination set by the Statistics Department; or proficiency in Mathematics, at the level of Calculus III, must be certified by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. Appropriate coursework will be recommended to students who do not pass an examination.

Other Degree Requirements

In addition to major requirements, every student must also complete the University requirements for graduation which are described in the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements chapter in the front of this catalog. These include the General Education-Breadth requirements; the second composition (ENGL 1002 ) requirement; the cultural groups/women requirement; the performing arts/activities requirement; the U.S. history, U.S. Constitution, and California state and local government requirement; the University Writing Skills Requirement; and the residence, unit, and grade point average requirements.