Department of Geography and Planning
S. Pipkin, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
M. Henderson, Ph.D.
University of Kansas
J. Smith, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
W. Stump, Ph.D.
University of Kansas
London School of Economics
State Hydrological Institute, Saint Petersburg
E. Mower, Ph.D.
State University of New York at Buffalo
A. Sarfoh, Ph.D.
University of Cincinnati
University of California, Los Angeles
T. Lawson, Ph.D.
Portland State University
A Lewis, Ph.D.
Assistants (estimated): 9.5
Department of Geography and Planning offers programs leading to the
B.A., M.A., and M.R.P. degrees, a combined B.A./M.A. program, and an
Undergraduate/Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems
and Spatial Analysis. Undergraduate students can major or minor in
geography and the department also offers a major and minor in urban
studies and planning. Geographers study the characteristics of space,
location and place in the broader context of how people interact with
both physical and human environments. Geography can be classified as
both a natural science and a social science as it examines people and
their environment and serves as a bridge between the physical and
cultural worlds. Planning is a discipline and professional practice
that deals with the form, organization, and orderly development of
cities, suburbs, and rural areas. Geographic information systems
(GIS), computer mapping, remote sensing, and related technologies are
central to the discipline of geography and are indispensable in many
areas of professional planning practice.
and research in the department emphasize urban, social, physical, and
cultural geography; city and regional planning; urban design; remote
sensing; cartography and geographic information systems;
environmental studies; climatology; computer and statistical models;
area (regional) studies; urban and regional planning methods;
economic development; small town and rural land-use planning. Members
of the faculty have strong international links with China, Russia,
Australia, and various countries in Africa, Latin America and Western
undergraduate programs provide background suitable for entry into a
wide variety of business, educational and government occupations, as
well for graduate or professional study in geography, planning,
business, public administration, forestry, landscape architecture and
other environmentally oriented programs. Career possibilities
include: cartographers, remote sensing, and geographic information
systems (G.I.S.) specialists; location and market area analysts;
urban, regional, economic, and transportation planners; environmental
scientists; international development specialists; urban design
professionals; industrial and real estate developers; soil
scientists; marketing and distribution managers; journalists; and
travel and recreation specialists.
Requirements for the Major in Geography
Program B.A.: A minimum of 36 credits, including, A Gog
101; 102Z or 102; A Mat 108 (or an approved equivalent); A Gog
496; one course from A Gog 290, 293 or 385; and 20–21
credits of elective course work in Geography which must include: (1)
a minimum of 9 credits at or above the 300 level; and (2)at least one
course from the following: A Gog 160, (or 160Z) 225 (or 225Z),
250, 270, 350, 354, (or 354Z) 356 (or 356Z), and 365 (or 365Z).
department's honors program in geography is intended to
recognize the academic excellence of its best students, to give them
the opportunity to work more closely with the faculty, and to enhance
their understanding of geographical theory and research.
may apply for admission to the program during their junior year or at
the beginning of their senior year. To gain admission. students must
have formally declared a major in geography and completed at least 12
credits of course work in the department. In addition, at the time of
admission students must have an overall grade point average of at
least 3.25, and of 3.50 in geography.
must complete a minimum of 48 credits, as follows:
minimum of 42 credits in geography, including:
credits of required course work, including A Gog 101, 102Z or
102, 396, 400 and one course from A Gog 290, 293 and 385.
credits of Senior Honors Thesis, A Gog 499. During this
two-semester sequence, the student will prepare an honors thesis
based on original library and/or field research, under the
supervision of a member of the department. Any faculty member
knowledgeable in the topic may supervise an honors thesis. A written
proposal describing the project must be approved by the adviser and
the departmental Honors Committee by the beginning of the student's
senior year. The thesis will be submitted for formal evaluation in
the spring semester of the student's senior year, and must be
approved by both the adviser and the Honors Committee.
credits of elective course work in geography which must include a) a
minimum of 12 credits at or above the 300 level and b) at least one
course of a regional nature from the following: A Gog 160 (or
160Z), 225 (or 225Z) 250, 270, 350, 354, (or 354Z) 356 (or 356Z), and
365 (or 365Z).
minimum of 6 credits of foreign language or of an appropriate
research skill, such as computing, statistics, or social research
methodology as approved by the adviser and the Honors Committee.
this requirement is met using a foreign language, the student must
complete one year of college-level study of the language or achieve
placement beyond the first year of that language.
a research skill other than a foreign language, the student must
complete 6 credits of relevant course work outside the department.
departmental Honors Committee will review each student's
progress at the end of each semester. Students whose work has not
been satisfactory will be warned and, if warranted, dismissed from
the program. Unsatisfactory work in a semester would include failing
to maintain a satisfactory grade point average, having unjustified
incomplete grades, or failing to make satisfactory progress toward
completion of the honors program requirements. Upon completion of all
honors program requirements with a grade point average of 3.50 in
geography and 3.25 overall, students will be recommended by the
Honors Committee for graduation with Honors in Geography.
combined B.A./M.A. program in geography provides an opportunity for
students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity to
fulfill integrated requirements of undergraduate and master's
degree programs from the beginning of their junior year. A carefully
designed program can permit a student to earn the B.A. and M.A.
degrees within nine semesters.
combined program requires a minimum of 138 credits, of which at least
30 must be graduate credits. In qualifying for the B.A., students
must meet all University and college requirements, including the
requirements of the undergraduate major described previously, the
minor requirement, the minimum 90-credit liberal arts and sciences
requirement, the general education requirements, and residency
requirements. In qualifying for the M.A., students must meet all
University and college requirements as outlined in the Graduate
Bulletin, including completion of a minimum of 30 graduate credits
and any other conditions such as a research seminar, thesis,
comprehensive examination, professional experience, and residency
requirements. Up to 12 graduate credits may be applied simultaneously
to both the B.A. and M.A. programs.
may be admitted to the combined degree program at the beginning of
their junior year, or after the successful completion of 56 credits,
but no later than the accumulation of 100 credits. A cumulative grade
point average of 3.20 or higher and three supportive letters of
recommendation from faculty are required for consideration. Students
will be admitted upon the recommendation of the Graduate Admissions
Committee of the department.
Certificate Program in Geographic Information Systems and Spatial
certificate program provides undergraduates with professional and
technical training in geographic information systems (GIS) and
associated techniques of spatial analysis. Geographic information
systems are computer-based systems for storage, analysis, and display
of spatial data. The disciplines of cartography, remote sensing and
computer graphics are closely linked to the study of GIS. In
conjunction with GIS, methods of spatial analysis may be used to
study a wide range of problems, including resource management, land
management for agriculture and forestry, urban planning, land use
mapping, market area analysis, urban social analysis and a host of
certificate requires 20 credit hours of undergraduate course work:
credits of core course work, including A Gog 290, 385, 414, 485
(or 485Z), 496, and A Mat 108 (or an approved equivalent).
Interdisciplinary Major with a Concentration in Urban Studies and
Urban Studies and Planning Major is designed for students interested
in a liberal arts education focusing on urban and suburban
environments, and on urban, community and neighborhood development.
The program of study mixes conventional classes with fieldwork and
computer-based learning, and it requires considerable awareness of
international, multicultural and policy issues. Students with
training in Urban Studies and Planning may enter careers in housing
and community development, real estate, local and state government,
local economic development, or local planning. They can pursue
further study in graduate or professional schools to specialize in
city and regional planning, public policy, real estate, architecture,
or landscape architecture.
Program B.A.: A minimum of 36 credits including:
credits of required core courses: A Gog 125, 225 or 225Z
(formerly 120 or 120Z) A Pln 220 and any three from: A Gog
220, A Gog 321/A Eas 321/ A Lcs 321, A Gog 324,
A Gog 328/A Pln 328/A Wss 328, A Gog 330/A Pln
330, A Gog 480, A Pln 315Z, A Pln 320Z
planning courses at the 400 or 500 level. Registration in 500-level
courses is limited to seniors who obtain the permission of the
program director and of the course instructor.
courses in one cognate discipline: Anthropology (A Ant 119, 334,
372 or 372Z), or Economics (A Eco 341 or 341Z, and 456Z), or
Education (E Edu 427, and either 400 or 401), or History (A His
303Z, 317 or 317Z, 318 or 318Z), or Political Science (R Pos
321/R Pub 321, R Pos 323, R Pos 424), or Sociology
(A Soc 373 and 375).