J. Matthew Shumway, Chair
690 SWKT, (801) 422-2707
College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences Advisement Center
151 SWKT, (801) 422-3541
Admission to Degree Program
All degree programs in the Department of Geography are open enrollment. However, special limitations apply for teaching majors.
Geography offers a variety of programs centered around spatial analysis and tailored, so far as possible, to meet the future needs of individual students. Our modern computer laboratory allows students to gain practical experience with geographical information systems (GIS), remote sensing, cartography, and other programs in urban and regional planning, travel, and population studies.
Graduates are employed in a wide range of private and governmental positions. Job titles include geographer; teacher of geography; city or regional planner; cartographer; photo interpreter; commodities and industrial location analyst; intelligence, travel industry, or environmental and GIS specialist; and many others.
Skills in spatial analysis make geography a valuable minor or supporting field for many other disciplines.
To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:
- The university core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education. (See University Core for details. For a complete listing of courses that meet university core requirements, see the current class schedule.)
- At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
- A minimum of 120 credit hours
- A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
- Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office
Undergraduate Programs and Degrees
Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.
- The Department of Geography offers one major with six emphases. The emphases are designed to enable students to gain an appreciation of our world as well as prepare them for either a career or graduate school. All students are required to take a set of core courses that emphasize basic geographic concepts and ways of knowing that are common to all six emphases. These courses prepare students for specialization in upper-division courses.
Geography at Brigham Young University focuses on our interdependent world: the spatial relationships between the physical landscape, diverse societies, and current events. The major nourishes a sense of curiosity about the world around us, a desire to serve our local and global communities, and the skills necessary to solve significant problems that are inherently spatial.
Hundreds of students major in geography to prepare for a professional career, for graduate study, or because of an interest in exploring and understanding the world around them. We emphasize both technical and critical thinking skills, including geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing, statistics, data collection, interpretation, and communication using the written and spoken word and visual data display (maps, charts, and graphs).
- Prerequisite: all students admitted to one of the geography majors listed above must complete the following courses within one year of declaring a major:
- Geog 100, 101, 110, 120, 130, 211.
- Exit assessment: Students must complete an exit assessment during their final semester no later than one month before graduating. The assessment is meant to evaluate the department's program goals and student learning outcome. Although the assessment is a formal requirement, the results are anonymous and will not be part of the student's academic records.