Majors and Minors

OVERVIEW

The Geography Department offers 2 undergraduate majors that lead to the Bachelor of Arts degree, and 3 minors. Our majors prepare students for employment opportunities in both the public and private sectors (in environmental analysis, assessment, and management, map making and remote sensing, regional analysis, economic and urban spatial analysis, and teaching) and for graduate study in law, management, urban and regional planning, education, other biophysical and social sciences, and applied programs, as well as in Geography.

Majors:

Minors:

GEOGRAPHY

Designed to develop and deepen your ability to interpret and explain the occurrence, distribution, and interrelationships of the earth’s physical and social elements. Geographers examine – where are things located; why are they located in that manner; and how their location affects them? The geographer’s challenge is to provide continuing interpretation of the constantly changing physical and human landscapes of the world.

GEOGRAPHY/ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Intended to develop and deepen your understanding of environmental issues. It emphasizes a systems approach to gaining an understanding of major environmental problems facing our society and the world at large. You will gain an understanding of geographical perspectives of human impacts on natural systems, and on the implications of environmental change on local, regional and global human systems.

This is an especially attractive major for liberal arts students as well as those who want to specialize in areas such as international issues, development, the environment and remote-sensing GIS. Its body of theory and its methodologies provide ideas and techniques applicable to a wide range of questions about our environment; it also provides both the regional and world perspectives required of responsible citizens.

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS & TECHNOLOGIES (GIS&T) MINOR

The GIS&T Minor provides students with cutting-edge technical knowledge and skills using state-of-the-art information technology, such as geographical information systems (GIS), satellite imagery and global positioning systems (GPS), which are in high demand in business, government and research. Upon completion of the minor, students are well-positioned to enter the workforce or to pursue advanced degrees in geography or other allied fields.

PETITION TO DECLARE OR DROP A MAJOR AND/OR MINOR

Please review the criteria to declare a Geography major or minor. If you are eligible, please download and fill out the petition form HERE and return it via email HERE.

Petitions to declare a Geography major or minor are processed weeks 5 and 9. Petitions to drop a major or minor are processed throughout the quarter.

INTERESTED IN A DOUBLE MAJOR?

Please go to the College of Letters and Science’s information page concerning the procedures for declaring a second major.

Counseling & Advising

Advising is by appointment only, Tuesdays – Thursdays from 10am to 3pm, and are held via Zoom in the majority of cases. Please send an email to SAO Jenée Misraje (jenee at geog.ucla.edu) to schedule an appointment, and use the subject line “APPT REQUEST.”

For undergraduate program inquiries, please e-mail. For questions regarding your General Education (GE) or University requirements, please go to your main counseling unit.

INTERESTED IN DEPARTMENTAL HONORS?

The Geography Honors Program is designed for highly motivated Geography and Geography/Environmental major students who are interested in completing a two-quarter research project (contract courses GEOG 198A and 198B) with a final thesis paper under the supervision of one or two Faculty Advisors. Students typically participate in the Geography Honors Program during their senior year. Departmental Honors are bestowed upon graduation to participating students who have achieved at least a 3.5 GPA in the major and at least a 3.0 overall GPA. For further information, please review the guidelines:

COURSE SUBSTITUTION PETITION

The Geography department allows up to a maximum of two (2) upper division (UD) courses from outside the discipline to count towards a major/minor with Faculty Committee approval. Upper division courses petitioned that are within the discipline of Geography are considered on a case-by-case basis and without a set limit (provided the University’s residency requirements are not breached). Lower division courses are seldomly approved as substitutions for a major or minor prep coursework.

After the courses you have taken are reflected on your UCLA academic record or degree audit, you may submit the petition. To petition courses, please complete the form and return with syllabus and / or reading list attached as PDF files for the Faculty Committee’s review. Pre-approval may be possible, depending on whether the class has already been approved by Faculty or the strength of the petition. Pre-approval IS NOT GUARANTEED.

Petitions are generally reviewed in groups, twice per quarter during Week 5 and Week 9. After submission, it takes typically 3 to 4 weeks for decisions to be made. If denied, the decision is final.

Please fill out the petition (PDF), attach the appropriate documentation, and return to the department via e-mail.

 

CONTRACT COURSES (GEOG 195B, 198A, 199, etc.)

Major and minor upper division requirements (4.0 units) may be satisfied by an approved contract course designed by the student and mentored by a Geography faculty member in a quarter. Students must have the consent of his/her faculty mentor prior to creating the contract.

To create a contract:

  1. Login to my.ucla.edu
  2. Click on “Contract Courses”, which is located on the left column under “MyUCLA Features”
  3. Click on “Submit a new contract” under “My Contract Courses”
  4. Select year and term
  5. Select the course you wish to enroll in, e.g., Internship (195), Directed Research (199) or Honors Research (198)
  6. Select the “Subject Area,” which is the department that your faculty mentor is affiliated with
  7. Choose your faculty mentor and the number of units that you will enroll (4.0 units required towards majors and minors)
  8. In “My Research Plan,” write a brief description of your project
  9. Complete any other areas as requested and print out the contract

To be enrolled in your contract course:

  1. Obtain your faculty mentor’s signature
  2. Send the signed contract to the department that your faculty mentor is affiliated (e.g., Michael Shin, GEOG) and then send signed contract by email to GEOG Student Affairs Officer (SAO)
  3. The SAO will review for approval, obtain the signature of the authorized departmental representative, and process your enrollment