Geography


College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

Department of Geography and Human Environmental Studies
HSS 279
415-338-2049
Chair: Hans Meihoefer

Undergraduate Adviser: Max Kirkeberg

Graduate Coordinators: Barbara Holzman, Nancy Wilkinson

Faculty

Professors--Crawford, Foster, Kirkeberg, Meihoefer, Westfall

Associate Professors--Davis, Wilkinson

Assistant Professors--Foschi, Holzman

Programs

B.A. in Geography

Minor in Geography

M.A. in Geography

M.A. in Geography: Concentration in Resource Management and Environmental Planning

Program Scope

The program offers a curriculum focusing on the spatial organization of environment and society and the interrelationships between the two. This includes the physical and cultural patterns and processes on the earth and human impacts on the environment.

The undergraduate major program assures a firm foundation in the discipline, an exposure to the diverse aspects of the field and the opportunity to develop individual interests. Four core courses are required of all majors. In addition, a distribution requirement consists of one upper division course in each of: physical environment, human environment, regional studies, and techniques or applied geography. Three or four upper-division courses focused on a coherent theme are selected by the individual student on advisement.

The internship program supplements the regularly scheduled classes. This program offers a wide range of placements as an optional part of the major. Such experiences entail first-hand application of skills and knowledge gained in the degree program.

The Masters of Arts in Geography is broadly based rather than highly specialized, reflecting the department's interests in persons with a variety of general carreer objectives in such areas as planning, resource management or education as well as those intending to pursue doctoral studies. However, opportunities exist for specialization, particularly in these areas: physical and cultural geography, natural resources and environmental studies, regional geography, urban geography, biogeography and geographic techniques. The Master of Arts in Geography: Concentration in Resource Management and Environmental Planning is designed to provide knowledge and skills necessary to carry out resource assessment, impact analysis, plan formulation, and implementation. It is designed for those seeking advanced training in resource management and environmental planning.

The M.A. program culminates in either a master's thesis or a research project and comprehensive oral examination. The concentration in Resource Management and Environmental Planning typically culminates in a research project and comprehensive oral examination.

Facilities

Research facilities available to students include access to cartographic, photographic, remote sensing, and GIS laboratories; a map library; and a computer center. The San Francisco Bay Area provides a stimulating and diversified setting for graduate work, especially for persons interested in urban, cultural, or environmental questions. Within the region a wide range of governmental agencies, academic institutions, and nonprofit and private organizations have research libraries, associated documents, and experienced personnel helpful in pursuing research topics. Internships are also sponsored in a variety of organizations.

No fellowships are available. Financial aid is limited to university programs such as work study. The department has one or two part-time technical staff positions and occasional graduate research assistant opportunities for graduate students in residence.

Career Outlook

Depending on the specific curriculum each student pursues, the B.A. or M.A. in geography provides excellent preparation for a variety of positions in the public or private sector. Graduates have gone on the work for various recreational, water resource, and coastal resource and planning agencies. In recent years, there has been an increase in job opportunities for geographers. Concern for the environment is leading to increased employment opportunities, and advancements in geographic techniques make students with those skills highly marketable.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN GEOGRAPHY

Students are advised that the CR grade is acceptable in any two courses to be counted for the geography major.

Courses for this discipline are listed in alphabetical sequence (consult the Index for page reference).

Required Core Courses

								Units
GEOG 101	Our Physical Environment			3
GEOG 102	The Human Environment				3
GEOG 103	Geographic Techniques				4
GEOG 690	Proseminar in Geography				3
Total for core							13
Distribution Requirement (Cross-listed courses 
originating in other departments are not 
accepted in these categories.)
One course from each of the following four 
areas:

Physical Environment

300-numbered courses in Geography

Human Environment

400-numbered courses in Geography

Regional Studies

500-numbered courses in Geography
Either Geographic Techniques
601-639 numbered courses in Geography
or Applied Geography
640-659 numbered courses in Geography
Total distribution requirements					12-15

Focus of Interest

Twelve units of upper-division geography electives consisting of a minimum of 
three courses chosen on advisement. These courses will be organized around 
coherent themes such as those listed below. In addition, alternative concen-
trations tailored to individual student interest may be developed in consulta-
tion with the Geography undergraduate coordinator. On advisement appropriate 
upper-division courses from other departments and programs may be included.
Cultural Geography
Environmental Studies
Physical Geography
Resource Management
Techniques of Geographic Analysis
Urban Environment and Land Use Planning
Focused individual interest pursued in consultation with the
undergraduate coordinator and focus adviser
Total for focus							12
Total for major							37-40

Foci of Interest

Focus on the Cultural Environment
In addition to serving traditional liberal arts eduation, this option permits systematic study within a defined subfield: urban geography (422, 432, 433, 553), cultural geography (445, 455, 551) or a regional specialization (507, 550, 552, 570). appropriate upper-division courses in other departments are recommended to supplement these basic courses.

Focus on Environmental Studies
The focus on environmental studies is designed to provide students with an opportunity to learn about the processes that keep the environment functioning and the issues and problems that result from humans' use of the planet. GEOG 600 and 652 are required courses and GEOG 422, 427, 651, 606, and 620 are among those recommended.

Focus on the Physical Environment
This option offers the chance to focus on the physical environment. Landforms, climate, biogeography, soils, water and the interactions between the physical and human environmental are the foci (312, 314, 316, 317, 647). Appropriate upper-division courses in Geosciences and Biology to supplement these basic courses are recommended on advisement.

Focus on Resource Management
A central theme in geography is our relationship with the physical environment, specifically our use and abuse of natural resources. Courses central to this specialization focus on natural resource assessment, appraisal and management (425, 427, 600, 647, 648). Additional upper-division courses in Geosciences and Biology to supplement these basic courses are recommended on advisement.

Focus on Techniques of Geographic Analysis
This specialization offers a pragmatic, career-oriented option focusing on skills acquired in the geography program. The methodology includes cartography (606 607), remote sensing and image analysis (610,611), as well as geographical information systems (620, 621), quantitative geography (605) and field studies (685). On advisement, appropriate upper-division courses in other departments are recommended to supplement these basic courses.

Focus on Urban Environmental and Land-Use Planning
This specialization in environmental and land-use planning offers the student the opportunity to acquire foundation knowledge to prepare for entry level careers and graduate work. Key courses in geography include: 432, 433, 652, 655, and 658. Upper-division courses in the Urban Studies curriculum are particularly appropriate to this option.

Focused individual interests may be pursued in consultation with the Geography major adviser.

MINOR IN GEOGRAPHY

The Geography Minor consists of a core curriculum of three lower division courses plus twelve (12) units of upper division geography electives on advisement. These courses may be organized around coherent themes such as those described for the major. However, groupings of courses specifically appropriate to majors in other departments or programs such as International Relations, Geosciences, or Urban Studies are particularly recommended.

Students are advised the CR grade is acceptable in one course to be counted for the geography minor.

								Units
GEOG 101	Our Physical Environment			3
GEOG 102	The Human Environment				3
GEOG 103	Geographic Techniques				4

Upper division courses on advisement				12
Total								22

MASTER OF ARTS IN GEOGRAPHY

Graduate Adviser: Nancy Wilkinson

Admission to the Program

For admission to the graduate program, a student must meet the general university requirements as stated in the Bulletin. For unconditional admission to the M.A. program in geography, a student must have completed an undergraduate major in geography with a minimum GPA of 3.25 in the major. An applicant with a GPA of 3.25 or better in a major other than geography may qualify for admission as a conditionally classified graduate student. The conditional status is removed upon completion of core degree courses in physical and cultural geography, and geographic techniques, plus two upper division geography courses on advisement, with a grade of "B" or better in each course. Units earned for remedial or prerequisite course work are not applied toward the graduate degree.

In addition to the general application and grade transcripts which are sent to the Admissions Office, the department requires a detailed Statement of Purpose and two letters of recommendation. Personal interviews with the graduate coordinator, the graduate adviser, and appropriate department faculty are recommended.

Written English Proficiency Requirements

Level One: within two semesters of admission to the program, the student must satisfy the university graduate literacy requirement by submitting to the department's Graduate Literacy Committee three copies of a scholarly paper appropriate to the discipline. The committee may accept the paper or require the student to undertake remedial course work which does not appear on the GAP. Level Two: the second-level university graduate literacy requirement is met by satisfactory completion of GEOG 898 or GEOG 895.

Advancement to Candidacy

In addition to fulfilling all university requirements, students must complete the required curriculum outlined below. All graduate seminars and all courses used on the Graduate Approved Program with the exception of 895 and 898 must be taken on a letter grade basis and have earned a B- or better. Not more than three units of Special Study (GEOG 899) and one unit of Special Study (GEOG 699) may be included on the Graduate Approved Program. Internship (688) units do not appear on the Graduate Approved Program. Each student must consult with the appropriate graduate adviser regularly and design an individual program leading towards the culminating experience requirement (thesis or research paper). For advancement to candidacy, the student must select a culminating experience committee comprised of two or three members, at least two of whom must be from the department.

Courses for this discipline are listed in alphabetical sequence (consult Index for page reference). Upper-division courses offered by the department may be included with the approval of the graduate advisers. Depending upon a student's background and/or objective, additional courses in geography or related fields may be required on advisement.

Program

								Units
GEOG 801	Scope and Method in Geography37			3
GEOG 810	Seminar in Physical Geography			3
GEOG 820	Seminar in Cultural Geography			3
Total								9

Graduate seminars in Geography from the following:		6-12
(A seminar may be repeated for credit pro-
vided that it covers a different topic area 
and is offered by a different instructor)
GEOG 815	Seminar in Geographic Techniques
GEOG 825	Seminar in Economic Geography
GEOG 832	Seminar in Urban Geography
GEOG 850	Seminar in Regional Geography
GEOG 858	Seminar in Environmental and Land Use Planning

Graduate seminars and courses or upper 
division courses in geography or related 
fields on advisement						6-12

One of the following:						3
GEOG 895	Research Project and Master's Comprehensive Oral Examination
GEOG 898	Master's Thesis and Oral Defense of Thesis

Minimum total							30
Master's Oral Examination. A two-hour oral examination is required of all students. One hour is devoted to the research topic (GEOG 895) and a second hour focuses on a discussion of six foundation works in the discipline selected on individual advisement. The examination or either of its parts may be repeated only once. Students must have completed all course work prior to taking the oral examination which can be scheduled only during the fall and spring semesters. Examination guidelines are available from the graduate adviser.

MASTER OF ARTS IN GEOGRAPHY: CONCENTRATION IN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING

Graduate Adviser--Barbara Holzman

Admission to the Program

For admission to the graduate program, a student must meet the general university requirements as stated in the Bulletin. For unconditional admission to the M.A. program in geography, a student must have completed an undergraduate major in geography with a minimum GPA of 3.25 in the major. An applicant with a GPA of 3.25 or better in a major other than geography may qualify for admission as a conditionally classified graduate student. The conditional status is removed upon completion of core degree courses in physical and cultural geography, and geographic techniques, plus two upper division geography courses on advisement, with a grade of "B" or better in each course. Units earned for remedial or prerequisite course work are not applied toward the graduate degree.

In addition to the general application and grade transcripts which are sent to the Admissions Office, the department requires a detailed Statement of Purpose and two letters of recommendation. Personal interviews with the graduate coordinator, the graduate adviser, and appropriate department faculty are recommended.

Written English Proficiency Requirements

Level One: within two semesters of admission to the program, the student must satisfy the university graduate literacy requirement by submitting to the department's Graduate Literacy Committee three copies of a scholarly paper appropriate to the discipline. The committee may accept the paper or require the student to undertake remedial course work which does not appear on the GAP. Level Two: the second-level university graduate literacy requirement is met by satisfactory completion GEOG 895.

Advancement to Candidacy

In addition to fulfilling all university requirements, students must complete the required curriculum outlined below. All graduate seminars and all courses used on the Graduate Approved Program with the exception of Geography 895 must be taken on a letter grade basis and have earned a B- or better. Not more than three units of Special Study (GEOG 899) and one unit of Special Study (GEOG 699) may be included on the GAP. Internship (688) units do not appear on the GAP. Each student must consult with the appropriate graduate adviser regularly and design an individual program leading towards the culminating experience requirement (thesis or research paper). For advancement to candidacy, the student must select a culminating experience committee comprised of two or three members, at least two or whom must be from the department.

Courses for this discipline are listed in alphabetical sequence (consult Index for page reference). Upper division courses offered by the department may be included with the approval of the graduate adviser. Depending upon a student's background and/or objective, additional courses in geography or related field may be required on advisement.

Program

									Units
GEOG 751	Environmental Management				3
GEOG 801	Scope and Method in Geography37				3
GEOG 810	Seminar in Physical Geography				3
GEOG 820	Seminar in Cultural Geography				3

Additional graduate courses selected from the
following on advisement:						3-7
GEOG 858	Seminar in Environmental and Land Use Planning
GEOG 896	Directed Readings in Geography (1-3)
PA 730		Politics of Policy-making and Implementation (4)
PA 782		Seminar in Urban Planning and Public Decision-Making (4)

Additional graduate seminars or upper division 
courses selected from the following, on
advisement, with a minimum of one 
course from each category below.					8-12

 Category I: Resource Management and Environmental Planning
ECON 550	Economics of Energy and the Environment
GEOG 422	Environmental Perception
GEOG 427	Agriculture and Food Supply (4)
GEOG 600	Environmental Problems and Solutions
GEOG 646	The Geography of Marine Resources (4)
GEOG 647	Geography of Water Resources (4)
GEOG 648	Management of National Parks and Natural Areas (4)
GEOG 651	San Francisco Bay Area Environmental Issues (4)
GEOG 652	Environmental Impact Analysis (4)
GEOG 658	Land-Use Planning (4)
GEOL 474	Engineering Geology and Hydrology or
GEOL 475	Geohydrology
H ED 418	Environmental Health

 Category II: Techniques
ANTH 491	Archaeological Methods (4)
BIOL 845	Ecological Methods
GEOG 607	Advanced Cartography (4)
GEOG 610	Remote Sensing of the Environment I (4)
GEOG 611	Remote Sensing of the Environment II (4)
GEOG 620	Geographical Information Systems (4)
GEOG 685	Field Methods in Geography (4)
GEOG 705	Geographical Analysis
GEOG 895	Research Project and Comprehensive Oral Examination	3
Minimum total								30
Master's Oral Examination. A two-hour oral examination is required of all students. One hour is devoted to the research topic (GEOG 895) and a second hour focuses on a discussion of six foundation works in the

discipline selected on individual advisement. The examination or either of its parts may be repeated only once. Students must have completed all course work prior to taking the oral examination which can be scheduled only during the fall and spring semesters. Examination guidelines are available from the graduate adviser.



SFSU Home   Search   Need Help?  

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 (415) 338-1111

Last modified July 03, 2012 by bulletin@sfsu.edu