Major and Minor Program Details


You may download the following information as the UC Berkeley Geography Department Undergraduate Handbook in pdf format by clicking here.

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.


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 - 10 - based on your major GPA; a 3.3-3.6 for “Honors,” a 3.61-3.81 for “High Honors” and a 3.81-4.0 for “Highest Honors.”

For spring and summer 2020 honors graduates, the department will reduce its minimum GPAs for honors by 0.05 to account for the grading and instruction adjustments made this semester. The new GPA threshold for honors will be: 

  • a 3.25-3.55 for "Honors"
  • a 3.56-3.75 for "High Honors"
  • a 3.76-4.0 for "Highest Honors"

This designation will be noted on your transcript and on your diploma. Application forms for the honors program can be picked up in the UMA’s office.