Major and Minor Program Details

THE UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM

The Geography Department provides a broad-ranging perspective on humans as inhabitants and transformers of the face of the earth. The search for this kind of understanding involves thorough study of (a) the interlocking systems of the natural environment (climate, landforms, oceans, biota) and the evaluation of natural resources; (b) those diverse historical, cultural, social, economic, and political structures and processes which affect the location and spatial organization of population groups and their activities; and (c) significant geographical units, whether described as cities, regions, nations, states or landscapes, where integrated interpretation can be attempted, and a variety of problems thereby better understood.

These themes are investigated through five research areas: Geospatial Representations, Earth System Science, Critical Environments, Racial Geographies, and Political Economies. Our major curriculum requirements give students the opportunity to engage with these areas of study critical for understanding the breadth and depth of Berkeley Geography.

Students interested in obtaining a minor in Geography must complete at least five upper-division Geography courses, with at least one course focused on Earth System Science topics and at least one course focused on Human Geography topics.

For questions about major and minor requirements, please contact Ambrosia Shapiro, Undergraduate Major Advisor.

HONORS PROGRAM (H195A/H195B)

Students with an overall grade point average of 3.5 or higher on all work completed at the university, and an average of 3.5 in courses taken in the Geography department, may apply for the Honors Program.

The application should be submitted at the beginning of the senior year. A senior in the Honors Program must complete Geography H195A and/or H195B consecutively, in which a thesis is required (usually over two semesters, but one semester is also acceptable). Any faculty member within the department may administer an honors course. It is suggested that you approach faculty members with whom you’ve taken classes about being your mentor. 

After deciding on the number of units (1-4 units) you wish to undertake, see the UMA about enrolling in H195A or H195B. Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive departmental honors based on your major GPA:

  • 3.3-3.6 for “Honors”
  • 3.61-3.81 for “High Honors”
  • 3.81-4.0 for “Highest Honors”

This designation will be noted on your transcript and on your diploma. For questions about the Geography Honors Program, please contact Ambrosia Shapiro, Undergraduate Major Advisor..