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Geography

Basic Structure of the Department

  • Geography is the study of the material and symbolic transformation of the Earth in relationship to both human and natural processes. It is a deeply interdisciplinary field, drawing on scientific, social scientific, and humanistic questions, modes of inquiry, and methodologies.
  • Geography at Dartmouth includes such courses as Geopolitics and Third World Development; Immigration and Race, Ethnicity; Moral Economies of Development; Population, Culture, and the Environment; Global Climate Change; and Urban Geography, combined with regional interests in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. Although the majority of faculty members are interested in the relationships among social identity (class, race, gender, etc.), social inequality, and the natural or built environments, geography also offers several lab science and spatial data analysis courses. The department in the Fairchild Building contains state-of-the-art computer cartography and physical science laboratories.
  • The department offers a major, a minor, and can be part of a modified major.
  • Within the major, there are three areas of concentration:  physical and human dimensions of global change, critical urban and identity studies, and international development.
  • Courses are not sequenced and few courses below the 50s have prerequisites.
  • Courses numbered 1-3 are broad-based introductory courses.  GEOG 6 and courses in the teens (12 – 19) and the 40s focus on development and carry SOC or INT distributive credit.  Courses in the 20s deal with human geography (SOC distributive credit), touching on issues of social, cultural, political, and economic issues with little relationship to the physical environment.  GEOG 4, 5, 31, 33 and 35 treat the physical processes of geography; these courses are often science-oriented and often carry as SCI/SLA distributive credit.  Courses in the 40s have a regional focus (e.g., Africa, Southeast Asia, the New Europe).  Courses in the 50s focus on GIS (Geographic Information Science), which combines computation, mapping, and location analysis.
  • GEOG 1 or GEOG 3 serves as a prerequisite for the major or minor.
  • Geography runs a Foreign Study Program to Prague, Czech Republic, in the spring term.  Prerequisites include GEOG 1 or GEOG 3, and one geography course numbered between 12 and 41.  A minimum of one methods course (GEOG  11, 55, 58 or 59) is strongly encouraged.  The application deadline is Feb. 1 for programs in 2014-15.  A student doing both the prerequisites and the FSP program itself will have completed most of a minor in geography.  See the Off-Campus Programs office for more information and application.

Courses for the Student with Little or No Background Who Wants to Explore Geography

  • A student is advised to begin studying in geography with a course s/he finds interesting.  Survey courses such as GEOG 1, 3, 6, or 7 (first-year seminar) are encouraged as good entrées into the study of geography.  Other courses may demand a higher level of reading comprehension, writing proficiency, or intellectual sophistication, but they do not have prerequisites and welcome interested first-year students.

Information for the First-Year Student Who Plans on Majoring in Geography

  • Attend the open house in the fall.
  • Make an appointment to see Department Chair Susanne Freidberg, or Undergraduate Advisors Richard Wright and Xun Shi to start planning the major around the student's individual interests.

Current Enrollments, Class Size, and Distributives

The ORC

The Geography home page

Last Updated: 9/6/13