Declaring a Major

To declare Geography as a major, students need to have completed two Geography classes and be in good academic standing with a minimum 2.0 overall grade point average.

For additional information go the Geography majors page.

Geography Undergraduate Degrees

The Department of Geography at UCSB offers four undergraduate majors. The Bachelor of Arts in Geography is a broad and integrative degree that spans departmental strengths in human and physical geography as well as geographic information science. The Bachelor of Arts in Geography with an emphasis in GISci is a more focused degree requiring extensive coursework across select concentration areas: (1) Air Photos and Remote Sensing, (2) Geographic Information Systems and Cartography, and (3) Quantitative Techniques and Theoretical Methods. The Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography is a broad and integrative degree within the earth/environmental sciences that incorporates terrestrial, marine, and atmospheric sciences. It provides the more extensive mathematical and biophysical-science training normally associated with a BS degree. The Bachelor of Science with an emphasis in Ocean Science is a more focused degree requiring coursework focused on oceanography and marine systems as well as climate and earth system science.


What Other Majors Combine Well with Geography for a Double Major?

Environmental Studies is the number one candidate; other majors that are compatible with Geography include Computer Science, Earth Science, Statistical Science, Business Economics, Biological Sciences, Linguistics, and many more. Students with interest and talent in two separate major fields may propose completion of a double major. In their proposal, they must estimate the number of units they will need to complete in satisfying degree requirements and the term in which they will become eligible to graduate. In general, double majors are approved for students who demonstrate that they can meet all degree requirements without exceeding 200 units of credit from all institutions attended. Students who receive approval for a double major will be allowed to continue their studies at UCSB only through the final quarter listed on their proposal. No more than 8 units may be applied simultaneously to the upper-division requirements of the two majors.

What Sort of a Job Can I Get with a Degree in Geography?

Geography majors are among the most marketable of all majors, according to placement counselors. As the Association of American Geographers Career Guide points out, Geography’s theories and methods provide analytical techniques applicable to a wide range of topics covered over a broad spectrum of occupations.

For students planning to end their formal education with the bachelor’s degree, a major in Geography provides marketable skills and the broad perspectives on environment and society that enable graduates to move beyond entry-level positions. Geography also provides a sound foundation for students who plan to enter graduate work in a variety of fields, from geography and the physical and social sciences to business, land use planning, law, and medicine.

Geography majors find work as public sector transportation planners; environmental impact analysts; airline route specialists; import / export and shipping logistics planners; geodemographic analysts and marketers; strategic planners in banking, insurance, and real estate; software developers; web designers and programmers; urban and regional planners; computer cartographers using Geographic Information Systems; international trade consultants; teachers at all levels; studies of satellite imagery/remote sensing, climate change analysis, and land use/ land cover change; and much, much more.


Undergraduate Advisor

 Related Courses

Courses Outside of Geography which Count as Credit Towards the Major.