Geography and Planning Program

General Description of the Program: The Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers both a major and minor in geography and planning. The geography and planning major is designed to provide students with a strong background in the Liberal Arts as well as specialized skills and the theoretical foundation required for their effective application in a variety of careers and can be completed as either a BA or BS degree. Students who major in geography and planning gain a sophisticated perspective of the elements of both physical and human geography and the ways in which physical and cultural environments influence each other.

What Types of Students Might Be Interested in Such a Program? Because geography is a discipline rooted in both the natural and social sciences, it appeals to students with many interests. A common interest among students is an intrinsic curiosity about the importance of space and place in cultural, economic and environmental situations. Students who do well in such a field learn to balance a broad global view with the specifics of more local concerns. In addition, training in geography and planning helps students hone critical thinking skills that will serve them well in whatever careers they choose to pursue.

Distinctive Features of the Program: The two full-time geography professors at West Liberty University bring a broad and deep knowledge of all facets of the discipline. Both professors hold the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, one with a concentration on environmental and technological areas of the field, the other with a focus on the cultural landscape. Upper level courses typically have fewer than twenty students and offer the opportunity for personalized interaction with faculty. In addition, the University has a local chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the international geography honorary society, through which member students may network with other geographers, seek scholarships and attend annual social events that focus on geography.

SAMPLE CURRICULUM

I. General Studies …………………………63 or 48

II. Required Courses………………………………26
GEO 205 Introduction to Geography
GEO 206 World Regional Geography
HIST 104 History of Civilization II
HIST 211 United States History Since 1876
POLS 101 Basic Concepts in Politics and Government
POLS 201 American Government
SOC 150 Basic Concepts of Sociology
SS 102 Portfolio
SS 480 Social Science Capstone
One upper-level social science course in discipline other than major

III. Geography………………………………….27
GEO 302 Geographic Information Systems
GEO 306 Physical Geography
GEO 310 Geography of U.S. and Canada
GEO 360 Land Use and Planning
GEO 400 Cultural Geography
GEO 481 Seminar in Urban and Rural Geography
GEO 482 Internship in Geography and Planning
Any two upper-level Geography electives

For more information, contact Mr. Aron Massey.