Program Overview

The Department of Geography at Millersville University provides students with the opportunity to study how people relate to their natural and human surroundings. Geography is a bridge discipline, an environmental science which brings together principles of physical sciences and other social sciences; a social science which looks at the spatial characteristics of culture, history, politics, economies and business decisions; and a liberal arts discipline which provides background for study in art, languages, literature, music, education and many other subjects.

Geographers can bring to analyses of current issues an understanding of global interrelationships and specialized map-related skills. Many geographers develop professional skills in map interpretation, cartography and computer-based mapping and analysis. Geographic understanding and skills create the potential for employment in such diverse areas as planning and other government agencies, environmental and cartographic service companies, and the business community.

The liberal arts program in geography offers emphases in sustainability studies, environmental studies, global studies, and geospatial applications for geography majors and minors. A minor in geography brings an added dimension to any major, and current geography minors hold majors in many different University departments. The program in secondary education, providing certification for social studies teaching with a geography emphasis, is also serving a growing demand. Every student will benefit from the liberal arts value of the introductory and regional geography courses.

The B.A. Geography program requires all students to complete an internship or a thesis. 

Sustainability Studies is an interdisciplinary field, engaging sustainable development, environmental studies, public and environmental policy, city and regional planning, economics, social well-being, and global and local understanding. A major in Geography with an option in Sustainability Studies requires 42 major field requirement credits and 24 required related credits (including a minor). A minor in Sustainability Studies requires 18 credits. 

Environmental Studies emphasizes physical geography and environmental topics.  Environmental topics run through many of the department's courses. A major in Geography with an option in Environmental Studies requires 36-37 major field requirement credits and 25 required related credits (including a minor). A minor in Environmental Geography requires 18 credits.

Geospatial Applications emphasizes the acquisition of skills in geographic information systems (GIS), map use and interpretation, cartography, and basic analytical skills. A major in Geography with an option in Geospatial Applications requires 36 major field requirement credits and 28-33 required related credits (including a minor). A minor in Geospatial Applications requires 18 credits. 

Global Studies emphasizes international understanding.  Regional emphases in the department include Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Canada in addition to the United States. A major in Global Studies requires 36 major field requirement credits and 24-27 required related credits (including a minor). A minor in Global Geography requires 18 credits.

Students may pursue a B.S.Ed. by majoring in Secondary Education with an concentration in Geography.

General Geography - a student may declare the Geography major without choosing an option. However, a student must declare environmental studies, geospatial applications, or global studies in order to graduate with a B.A. Geography. A minor in General Geography requires 18 credits and is the most flexible minor by design, allowing students to customize their educational plan. An advising guide (blue sheet) for B.A. Geography without a concentration is available here; however, we strongly encourage students to meet with an advisor as soon as possible to discuss their options. An advising guide (grey sheet) for a minor in General Geography is available here

  • Geography Courses

    GEOG 101: 3 s.h. The Global Environment (G3) Global survey of human environment interactions focusing on people’s use of natural resources and major related issues, including scarcity and environmental impacts. Comparisons between developing and developed countries and across cultures.

    GEOG 120: 3 s.h. Human Geography (G3, D) Cultural geography of race, ethnicity, gender and political systems. Emphasis on processes that create and maintain cultures and the geographies that these processes produce.

    GEOG 130: 3 s.h. Introduction to Environmental Science (G2) Introduction to the scientific concepts, principles, and methodologies that underlie environmental change and environmental sustainability. Emphasis on the spatial scale and interconnection of multiple environmental processes, the effects of human activities on environmental processes, and the technical and scientific methods for their assessment and analysis.

    GEOG 141: 3 s.h. World Regional Geography (G3) Spatial patterns of environmental, cultural, social, economic and political developments in selected regions of the world. Emphasis on developed and less developed parts of the world.

    GEOG 202: 3 s.h. Environmental Sustainability (G3) Investigation of problems that have arisen through human use of earth’s resources, and the technical, economic, policy, and social options available to us. Offered in fall, spring.

    GEOG 222: 3 s.h. Economic Geography (G3) Location of economic activities in different environmental settings. The growth of global economic interdependence. Economic growth and development strategies in a regional framework. Economic versus environmental trade-offs. Offered summer.

    GEOG 223: 3 s.h. Health Care and Gender, Race, and Class (G3) Introduction to the geographical distribution of select contemporary diseases and their relationships to other health care issues. Distribution of, and access to scarce health care resources along with impacts of gender, race, and class on human life chances at global, regional, and local scales are evaluated.

    GEOG 226: 3 s.h. Political Geography (D, G3, W) Political boundaries of the world map. Covers violent conflicts from which countries were formed. Colonization (1400-1900), decolonization (1800- 1970) and the Cold War are discussed. Offered fall, spring. Prereq: ENGL 110.

    GEOG 227: 3 s.h. Cities (G3) External relations and internal structure of urban areas throughout the world. Analysis of economic activities and growth of urban areas; environmental and social problems; public policy demands.

    GEOG 229: 3 s.h. Sustainable Tourism (G3) An investigation of the areal distribution of recreation and tourist activities and their positive and negative impacts; emphasis on environmental and economic aspects of leisure within a locational framework. Planning methodology to alleviate problems and create higher-quality recreational experiences.

    GEOG 228: 3 s.h. Geography of Sport (G3) Using a geographical basis, the course will examine a variety of topics, including landscapes of modern sport; place and space in sport; institutions and spatial organization of sport; and sport, politics and development. Offered periodically.

    GEOG 230: 3 s.h. Physical Geography (G2) Study of the earth’s physical environment, including atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere. Viewing the earth as an integrated system, global patterns and processes are analyzed. Offered annually.

    GEOG 242: 3 s.h. London (G3) Using London as the core of the class, students will be introduced to basic geographic concepts and methods of analysis. Despite the focus on one city, London, the course will take a thematic approach towards geographical inquiry (map interpretation, urban planning, migration, segregation, industrial development, political geography and empire building). London’s 20th-century industrial decline and 21st-century growth will be used to illustrate broader themes of global economic competition. Offered fall.

    GEOG 245: 3 s.h. Geography of Pennsylvania (G3) Introduction to the geography of Pennsylvania, using the tools and concepts of regional geography. Physical, cultural and economic landscapes and resulting social and environmental issues are examined.

    GEOG 248: 3 s.h. Geography of Africa (G3, D) The course uses a thematic approach to examine many of the subfields of geography as they pertain to Africa. Topics include the physical landscape, climate, vegetation, environmental issues, precolonial and colonial history, politics, culture, population, urbanization, agricultural and economic development, medical and gender issues. Offered periodically.

    GEOG 278: 3 s.h. Transportation Geography (G3) Transportation is defined as the movement of goods and people from place to place. This course introduces the principles underlying these movements, with discussion of the economic, social and environmental impacts. Offered periodically.

    GEOG 281: 3 s.h. Map Interpretation and Analysis (G3) Thorough examination of maps as interpretive and analytical tools for depicting landscapes and conducting geographic research in a digital world. Includes an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping software.

    GEOG 292: 3 s.h. Quantitative and Spatial Analysis (G2) Analysis of spatial and other geographical data using descriptive statistical measures, probability and sampling, and inferential statistical methods. Emphasis on geographical problem solving. Prereq: GEOG 281, and MATH 130 or higher, or MPT 151 or higher, or MATH 101.

    GEOG 295: 3 s.h. GIS I: Vector Data Analysis (G2) Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) computer technology, theory, and methodology focusing on vector data models. Combines understanding of geographic data and research with experience in digital mapping, geographic databases, and spatial analysis. Offered in fall, spring. Prereq: GEOG 281.

    GEOG 296: 3 s.h. GIS II: Raster Data Analysis Introduce students to the fundamental concepts of Raster GIS. Topics will include: the physical basis for remote sensing, the extraction of information contained within energy, remote sensing instrumentation, aerial photography, photogrammetry, digital image processing, data structure, database design, and spatial data analysis. Land-based environmental resources and sustainability applications. Offered spring. Prereq: GEOG 296.

    GEOG 300, 400: 3 s.h. Cooperative Education in Geography Assignment with a public agency or private organization. Requirements include design of an approved job description relevant to employer’s functions and student’s program, and a planned program of contact with the faculty supervisor. Performance evaluation by sponsor used in assigning satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade.

    GEOG 304: 3 s.h. Water Resources Management (G3) An interdisciplinary study of how we plan, manage and use water. Topics range from water law to hydrology. Offered fall of even years. Prereq: GEOG 101 or 202.

    GEOG 305: 3 s.h. Energy Sustainability (G3, W) Explores energy production and consumption from geographic and sustainability perspectives. The social, economic and environmental impacts of traditional and alternative energy resources will be examined. Options for a sustainable energy future in different geographic locations will be addressed. Offered periodically. Prereq: ENGL 110; GEOG 101 or GEOG 202 or permission of instructor.

    GEOG 306: 3 s.h. Environmental Impact Assessment The various regulatory requirements and technical methods for developing federal environmental-impact statements for air, water, biological and socioeconomic environments. Offered periodically. Prereq: GEOG 202 and 230 or permission of instructor.

    GEOG 307: 3 s.h. U.S. Environmental Policy (G3) Federal environmental legislation; the relationship between local, state and federal agencies in policy formation and implementation; industry responsibilities and options under existing law; the role of interest groups and the public in environmental decision making and U.S. engagement in emerging international environmental policy debates. Offered fall of odd years. Prereq: junior or senior status; GEOG 101 or 202 or GOVT 205 or ECON 102 or permission of instructor.

    GEOG 333: 3 s.h. Biogeography (G3) Interactions between environmental, biological and human factors which have led to current geographical distributions of flora and fauna. Field trip required. Offered periodically. Prereq: GEOG 230 or BIOL 100 or permission of instructor.

    GEOG 336: 3 s.h. Climate and Society (G3) Human interrelationships with the atmospheric environment. Includes microclimatological applications in water resources, human health and architecture to analysis of global climate-change issues. Offered periodically. Prereq: GEOG 230 or ESCI 107 or permission of instructor.

    GEOG 342: 3 s.h. Europe (G3, W) Introduction to Western Europe as a region. Emphasis on its delimitation and cultural, economic and political spatial patterns relating to the desire to form a European community. Europe within a global framework also considered. Offered winter, spring, summer. Prereq: ENGL 110.

    GEOG 343: 3 s.h. Latin America and the Caribbean (P) A thematic study of the physiographic and cultural regions of Latin America and the Caribbean. Historical, economic, political, social, and environmental geography approaches to studying regional characteristics. Select topics include population change, land use change, urban development, economic development, environmental sustainability, and human rights. Offered periodically. Prereq: COMM100; ENGL110; and junior or senior status.

    GEOG 344: 3 s.h. North America (G3) Geography of the U.S. and Canada using the tools and concepts of regional geography. Physical, population and economic patterns are merged in developing an understanding of regional characteristics and issues.

    GEOG 346: 3 s.h. Pacific Asia (G3) Examination and comparison of environmental, social/cultural, economic and political issues in the Pacific Asian region; contrasts between developed Japan and less developed countries of East and Southeast Asia; role of the region in the global economy. Offered infrequently.

    GEOG 350: 3 s.h. Global Issues (G3) Issues related to urban, cultural and resource problems are analyzed globally. Emphasis on spatial nature of these problems and emerging global interdependence. Focus on a single current issue, which will be identified in advertised course title. Offered periodically.

    GEOG 372: 3 s.h. Urban and Regional Planning (G3) Introduction to land use and other types of planning in urban and rural areas. Assessment of development suitability and environmental impact. Techniques for implementing different types of plans. Offered periodically.

    GEOG 384: 3 s.h. Cartography Introduction to concepts and techniques of mapmaking. Skill developed in computer-based compilation, layout and lettering of maps. Offered periodically. Prereq: GEOG 281, 295.

    GEOG 395: 3 s.h. GIS for Web Development Integrate GIS and Web development technologies. Implement data compilation and map design decisions to support an organization's internal and public information flows. Incorporate interactive maps and information retrieval to enhance Web content. Prerequisites: GEOG 295 or ESCI 281, and DESN 247 or CSCI 121.

    GEOG 396: 3 s.h. GIS Modeling Analyze and construct GIS-based models of various geographical scenarios. Strategize spatial and temporal problem solving in environmental, transportation, emergency management and other contexts. Adapt some models to computer algorithms used within GIS software. Prerequisites: GEOG 295 or ESCI 281, and GEOG 296, and CSCI 161 or ESCI 282, or permission. Offered fall of even-numbered years.

    GEOG 397: 3 s.h. GIS Data Management Fully explore the GIS geodatabase model and related data structures, and how they encapsulate all data types, characteristics and capabilities. Assess data quality and long-term data management issues. Prerequisites: GEOG 295 or ESCI 281, and GEOG 296, or permission. Offered fall of even-numbered years.

    GEOG 407: 3 s.h. Global Environmental Policy and Negotiation (G3, W) Global political and economic forces and environmental change. Emphasis on spatial patterns and processes of transboundary environmental problems, the major pieces of international environmental policy, the negotiations process between states and non-state actors in policy formation and implementation, and the dynamics of North-South relations on the changing physical landscape. Offered spring of even years. Prereq: junior or senior status; ENGL 110, GEOG 307 or permission of instructor.

    GEOG 408: 3 s.h. Sustainable Development (D, P) Social, economic, and environmental aspects of global sustainable development. Class discussion integrated with research and service learning projects. Prereq: COMM 100, ENGL 110, and junior or senior standing.

    GEOG 488: 1-3 s.h. Senior Thesis Investigation of selected topic with individual research assignment; focus varies but related to geographical analysis. For senior Geography majors only. Prereq: senior standing and completion of basic courses. Offered as needed.

    GEOG 489, 499: 1-3 s.h. Honors Courses/Thesis Investigation of selected topic with individual research assignment; focus varies but related to geographical analysis. Prereq: senior standing and completion of basic courses, and eligibility for departmental honors. See Special Academic Opportunities, Departmental Honors section of this catalog.

    GEOG 498: 3 s.h. Independent Study in Geography Investigation of selected topic with individual research assignment; focus varies.

  • Course Numbering System

    Geography courses are numbered using a system in which the second digit of the course number represents a general area of the discipline.

                   0 for environmental courses

                   2 for (systematic) human geography courses

                   3 for (systematic) physical geography courses

                   4 for regional courses

                   7 for planning courses

                   8 and 9 for technical courses involving maps, computers and research methods

             In addition to those listed in below, the Department often offers GEOG 350, which is a special topics course. The course focuses on a single issue that is identified in the advertised course title.

     

     

    Environmental Geography

    x01 – x09

    Human Geography

    x20 – x29

    Physical Geography

    x30 – x39

    100’s

    101 Global Environment

    120 Human Geography

     

     

    200’s

    202 Resources and the Environment

     

    222 Economic Geography

    226 Political Geography

    227 Cities

    228 Geography of Sport

    230 Physical Geography

     

     

    300’s

    304 Water Resources Mngmt

    305 Energy Sustainability

    306 Env Impact Assessment

    307 US Environmental Policy

     

     

     

    333 Biogeography

    336 Climate and Society

    400’s

    407 Global Environmental Policy and Negotiation

     

     

     

     

     

    Regional Geography

    X41 – x49

    Planning

    X70 – x79

    Technical/Methods

    X80 – x99

    100’s

    141 World Regional Geography

     

     

     

    200’s

    242 London

    245 Geography of Pennsylvania

    248 Geography of Africa

    278 Transportation Geography

    281 Map Interpretation & Analysis

    292 Quantitative and Spatial Analysis

    295 Geographic Information Systems

     

    300’s

    342 Europe

    343 Latin America

    344 North America

     

    372 Urban & Regional Planning

    384 Cartography

    395 Advanced GIS

     

    400’s

     

     

    488 Senior Thesis

    489 Honors Thesis

    498 Independent Study