All things geographical and environmental. This is where you become an explorer.

Three areas of study Geography, Earth Science, and Environmental Science are all related by their focus on how places work — just at different scales of time and space!  

If you love knowing about where things are happening, such as the growing cities of the world, the unique cultures in various places, and even just the remarkable variety and richness in your home county, then Geography might be the major for you.

If you love the amazing story of how mountains are made and torn down over millions of years, how rivers get their shape, and how earth’s climate is changing, then Earth Science might be for you - we offer a Teachers’ Certification Program in this field, as well as a number of Earth Science (Geology) courses.

If you simply want to be part of the stewardship of this planet - protecting our wildlife, water, air quality, forests, coasts, and oceans, the Environmental Science major is for you.


  • Minor, Environmental Studies

    A student may minor in environmental studies by completing Environmental Studies 100, 200, and 450, and three courses chosen from the following: Environmental Studies 205X, 212X, 225, 300, 320X, 350, Earth Science 201, Geography 240, 311, 322, 332, 340, 390, Biology 411, Economics 262.

  • Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Studies- Policy

    To prepare students for employment or graduate work in policy-related aspects of the environment, so that graduates can contribute to the formulation of public and corporate policies for the restoration and preservation of ecosystems.

  • Bachelor of Science, Environmental Studies- Science

    To prepare students for employment or graduate work in science-related aspects of the environment, so that graduates can contribute to the understanding, restoration, and preservation of habitats and ecosystems. To study biology of plants and animals, population biology, geomorphology, aquatic and terrestrial chemistry, atmospheric chemistry, and environmental monitoring.

  • Minor-Food Studies

    A student may minor in food studies by completing Environmental Studies 100 or Civic Innovation 100 or Sociology 230; Environmental Studies 225 or Civic Innovation 224, 225, and 226, or Civic Innovation 225; Sociology 230 or SOCI 250 Food and Justice (required if SOCI 230 already taken); Environmental Studies 206; Environmental Studies 207; Environmental Studies 470 or Civic Innovation 470 or Sociology 470

  • Bachelor of Arts, Geography - Land Use and Planning

    This degree provides a broad background and field experience for students planning a career in public service or advanced study in geography. 

  • Bachelor of Arts, Geography - Social Science

    This degree is interdisciplinary, integrating courses from the departments of history, political science, economics and sociology.

  • Bachelor of Arts, Teacher Preparation

    This 4-year degree enables graduates to meet Virginia requirements for licensure to teach mathematics.

  • Bachelor of Art, Geography

    To provide a broad-based background for students planning careers in public service or advanced study in geography

  • Minor, Geography

    A student may minor in geography by completing Geography 111 or 221; either 201X or 202X; either 331 or 333; either 450 or 460; and two additional geography courses approved by the department chair.

  • Bachelor of Arts, Geography- Social Sciences

    To enroll in an interdisciplinary and integrated program of study through a combination of courses.

  • Bachelor of Arts, Geography- Teacher Preparation 6-12 (Earth Science Licensure)

    To enable students to meet Virginia requirements for licensure to teach Earth Science.

Student Research

  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">The Geography of Suicide</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><picture class="lw_image lw_image411 lw_align_left"> <source type="image/webp" media="(max-width: 500px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/500/height/220/411_pasted_image_0.rev.1502111837.png 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/500/height/220/411_pasted_image_0.rev.1502111837.png 2x"/> <source type="image/webp" media="(min-width: 501px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/611/height/269/411_pasted_image_0.rev.1502111837.png 1x"/> <source type="image/png" media="(max-width: 500px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/500/height/220/411_pasted_image_0.rev.1502111837.png 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/500/height/220/411_pasted_image_0.rev.1502111837.png 2x"/> <source type="image/png" media="(min-width: 501px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/611/height/269/411_pasted_image_0.rev.1502111837.png 1x"/> <img width="611" height="269" alt="Mapping image of suicide rates across the globe. " data-caption="Mapping image of suicide rates across the globe. " src="/live/image/gid/83/width/611/height/269/411_pasted_image_0.rev.1502111837.png" title="pasted image 0" data-max-w="1024" data-max-h="451" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </p><p><strong>Kala Curtis ’18</strong> is using her Geography major to compare suicide rates in African countries in hopes of discovering an operational factor which can assist and facilitate awareness to the suicidal conditions in African countries.</p></div>
  • <h4 class="lw_blurbs_title">College Football - Mapping Fandom</h4><div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><strong><picture class="lw_image lw_image433 lw_align_left lw_block"> <source type="image/webp" media="(max-width: 500px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/500/height/333/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/500/height/333/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/500/height/333/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/webp" media="(min-width: 501px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/611/height/407/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/611/height/407/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/611/height/407/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" media="(max-width: 500px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/500/height/333/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/500/height/333/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/500/height/333/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.jpg 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" media="(min-width: 501px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/611/height/407/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/611/height/407/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/611/height/407/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.jpg 3x"/> <img width="611" height="407" alt="Alex Cooper presenting at Ampersand Day 2016." src="/live/image/gid/83/width/611/height/407/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.jpg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/611/height/407/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/611/height/407/433_Alex_Cooper.rev.1502209978.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="1365" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </strong></p><p><strong>Alex Cooper ’17</strong> produced the first maps of the fan activity associated with college football, and won several awards with his research.  He found that the Southeastern Conference has the strongest fan base of any conference, and the strongest association with a geographic region.</p></div>