University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Geography

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. If you are a geography major, what do you study… maps?

A. The study of geography is not like a category on Jeopardy. Geography is a remarkable interdisciplinary science with an emphasis on understanding the spatial dimension of both physical and human phenomena. It allows students to connect their intellectual inquiry with real-world problems and see the world in all its complexity. Maps, along with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), satellite images, are all tools and resources that geographers use to study, produce, and synthesize human and physical spatial data.

Q. What will I gain from taking a geography class if I am not a geography major?

A. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, the geography department offers a wide range of classes. Courses benefit students who are still deciding on their major or who are majoring in another discipline. For example, if you are a student who is interested in economics or business, Geography of the Global Economy will be of interest to you. If you are a studentinterested in political science, take a Political Geography class. Want to learn more about weather and climate? Enroll in the introductory Weather Climate and Landscapes class,a prerequisite for more advanced Climatology, Hazards, and Satellite Imaging classes.

Q. How many students are majoring in geography?

A. On average, the department has 80 majors and 65 minors. Every year, the Department coordinates several events, such as Geography Awareness Week and the Department Awards Dinner, with and for geography majors and minors.

Q. How many geography faculty are there?

A. Currently, there are 8 full-time and one part-time geography faculty members. These facultyrepresent the range of different fields of geography and are Teacher-Scholars. By this, we mean that the geography faculty are not professors who hide away in labs or are locked behind their office doors. They are actively involved in both teaching and in research. Geography faculty encourage undergraduate students to become involved in their research and provide excellent support to students who are interested in conducting their own research.

Q. Which General Education requirements will geography satisfy?

A. Geography courses satisfy many College of Arts and Sciences and University of Vermont general and distribution requirements:

  • GEOG 060- Race and Ethnicity in the U.S. satisfies the College of Arts and Sciences Race Relations and Ethnic Diversity in the United States General Requirement and the University’s Diversity Category 1 requirement.
  • GEOG 050-World Regional Geography, GEOG 150-Geography of Africa, GEOG 154-Geography of Third World Development, GEOG 156-Latin America, and Geog 173- Political Ecology will satisfy The College of Arts and Sciences Non-European Cultures Course General Requirement and the University’s Diversity Category 2 requirement.
  • GEOG 040-Weather, Climate and Landscapes, GEOG 140- Biogeography, and GEOG 143-Climatology
  • All Geography courses can be used toward The College of Arts and Sciences Social Science Distribution Requirement, except for thegeography courses that can be used towards the natural science distribution requirement

Q. How do I learn more?

A If you are interested in learning more about geography,contact the department office at 200 Old Mill, 802-656-3060, email: geography@uvm.edu, or stop by to see the Department Chair, Dr. Meghan Cope, during her office hours.

Last modified August 19 2009 06:38 PM