Academic Catalog


Geography Program Learning Outcomes

College Natural and Behavioral Sciences
Department of Earth Science and Geography
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Roadmap



John Keyantash, Department Chair
Parveen Chhetri, Brendan McNulty, Ashish Sinha, Ralph Saunders

Instructional Support Tech Office: LIB A-127, (310) 243-3368

Department Office: NSM B-202, (310) 243-3377

Emeriti Faculty

Rodrick Hay, David Sigurdson, Jamie Webb

Program Description

The Geography program is one of two programs housed in the Department of Earth Science and Geography. Geography studies the spatial distribution of features across Earth’s landscape, such as the location of landforms, water bodies, and the organization of climate zones. It also considers the human landscape including how populations are distributed, why they migrate, and the ways they alter natural and urban environments. As a tool to advance these spatial analyses, the Geography program teaches the use of both traditional and computer-based geotechnical skills (geotechniques) such as cartography, remote sensing, and geographic information systems (GIS).

Geography at CSUDH emphasizes “hands-on” learning, and many department courses feature field trips. The expertise and international focus of the faculty provide opportunities for engaged students to learn about and participate in diverse research projects ranging from treeline studies in alpine environments, mapping river systems in California, or studying the effects of population growth, urbanization, and water scarcity.


The Earth Science and Geography Department has a map library containing several thousand map sheets. The department also has two dedicated computer laboratories, the Earth Sciences Spatial Analysis Laboratory (ESSAL) which acts as a center for remote sensing and GIS-based research projects, and a teaching laboratory which provides computer-based teaching with an emphasis on geotechniques. These labs provide sophisticated image processing and spatial analysis software as well as libraries of satellite imagery and spatial databases. Additional equipment includes Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, advanced instruments for field data collection, and a weather station that collects meteorological data for the campus.

The faculty have expertise in natural resources, landscape change, remote sensing, and geographic information systems; hydrology and atmospheric science; human, political and historical geography; and plate tectonics and field geology. The broad expertise of the faculty provides an unusual opportunity for undergraduate students to work closely with their professors and gain “hands-on” experience within domestic and international research projects.

Academic Advisement

Majors should consult with their advisor prior to registration each semester. Records of students' progress toward the degree are accessible online through MyCSUDH. Students should check their progress regularly.


For high school students, the best preparation for the Geography major is a well-rounded program of high school courses in humanities, social sciences, science, mathematics, and written and oral communication skills. Community college transfer students should have completed introductory physical and a human/cultural geography course. Introductory courses in the physical, biological and social sciences are recommended.

Career Possibilities

Many societal problems have geographic dimensions and training in geography provides essential skills for solving them. Geographic skills such as GIS, the analysis of remotely-sensed imagery and other geotechniques are in high demand from governments, non-governmental organizations, and private industry alike at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Career opportunities include environmental consulting, planning and zoning; urban and regional planning; natural resource management and conservation; energy; air and water quality management; secondary (middle and high school) teaching, and a wide array of social service firms and agencies. The geographic toolkit has many applications.

Geography is an appropriate major for students preparing for a career in teaching Social Science at the secondary level as part of an approved "Subject Matter Preparation Program." Completion of such a program is the first step toward meeting CA state requirements for a teaching credential. Interested students should consult with an appropriate advisor for current information as program requirements for the "Subject Matter Preparation Program" in Social Science change regularly.

Graduation With Honors

An undergraduate student may be a candidate for graduation with Honors in Geography provided he or she meets the following criteria:

  1. A minimum of 36 units in residence at CSU Dominguez Hills;
  2. A minimum grade point average of at least 3.5 in all courses used to satisfy the upper division requirements in the major;
  3. Recommendation by the faculty of the Earth Science and Geography Department.

Bachelor of Arts in Geography

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree

See the "Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree" in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

Elective Requirements

Completion of elective courses (beyond the requirements listed below) to reach a total of a minimum of 120 units.

General Education Requirements (49 units)

See the "General Education" requirements in the University Catalog or the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education requirements and course offerings.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

See the "Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement" in the University Catalog.

Minor Requirements

Students completing this major will need to complete a minor in another field.

Major Requirements (34 units)

The following courses (or for lower division courses, their approved transfer equivalents) are required for all candidates for this degree:

A. Required Courses (19 units)
1. Lower Division Required Courses (6 units)

GEO 100 Human Geography (3)
GEO 200 Physical Geography (3)

2. Upper Division Required Courses (13 units)

GEO 310 Geomorphology (3)
GEO 357 Urban Environmental Geography (3)
GEO 370 Numerical Methods in Geography (3)
GEO 415 Geographic Information Systems (3)
EAR 490 Sr Sem In Earth Sciences (1)

B. Elective Courses (15 units)

Choose (at least) five courses from among the following
GEO 305 Cartography (3)
GEO 315 The Weather (3)
GEO 350 World Geography (3)
GEO 360 North America (3)
GEO 380 Biogeography (3)
GEO 408 Remote Sensing and Image Processing (3)
GEO 412 Rivers and Streams (3)
GEO 415 Geographic Information Systems (3)
GEO 416 Earth's Climates (3)
GEO 420 Natural Resources (3)
GEO 433 Environmental Analysis (3)
GEO 495 Special Topics In Geography (3)
EAR 376 Field Mapping (3)
EAR 460 Global Change (3)

Minor in Geography (18 units)

To meet this requirement, the student must complete the lower division courses listed below. Where appropriate, these courses may be used to meet the General Studies or major requirement.


A. Lower Division Required Courses (6 units)

GEO 100 Human Geography (3)
GEO 200 Physical Geography (3)

B. Upper Division Requirements (12 units)

Select 12 units of upper division Geography courses 

Certificate Program in Geotechniques (12 units)

The geotechniques certificate is designed to prepare students for public and private sector employment involving the collection, input, processing, and analysis of spatial databases for research and management purposes. To qualify for the certificate, candidates must demonstrate their competence in the use of remote sensing and geographic information systems technologies and their application to problem solving. Students majoring or minoring in Geography may complete the certificate requirements by taking the appropriate courses as part of their regular programs.


Select 12 units from the following courses:
EAR 376 Field Mapping (3)
GEO 305 Cartography (3)
GEO 370 Numerical Methods in Geography (3)
GEO 408 Remote Sensing and Image Processing (3)
GEO 415 Geographic Information Systems (3)
GEO 495 Special Topics In Geography (3)