Minor in Geography

The geography program welcomes students from any major on campus to earn a minor in geography with 15 credits of geography classes.

The Minor

There are several options in the Geography minor. Each is consistent with the general structure of the discipline and its specific sub-fields and: a) provides students with exposure to fundamental concepts in the field; b) enables them to become familiar with the application of these concepts; and c) complements concepts and perspectives emphasized in the student’s declared major field of study. In practical terms the minor in geography enables students to acquire specific skills and competencies (e.g., cartography) which qualify them for employment with various federal, state, and local agencies. For those students interested in careers in teaching, the geography minor broadens their perspectives in the area of social studies education. In many cases the elected minor in a sub-field of geography complements perspectives provided by the student’s academic major, and in doing so potentially enhances the scope of employment prospects.

The department expects students majoring in the following disciplines to be most interested in a minor in geography: Anthropology, Earth Systems, Economics, Education, Environmental Design, General Business and Finance, Geology, History, and Sociology.


Students are assigned an academic adviser in the same way Geography majors are assigned. Potential minors first consult with the Chief Undergraduate Adviser in Geography to determine possible options and relevant faculty. Students may choose an adviser from the faculty most closely involved with the minor option that they wish to take. The appropriate faculty member works with the student to design the minor program.


The minor requires 15 credit hours of courses in Geography. One of the courses should be at the 100 level and the other four courses should be at the 300 level or above. It is recemmended that students interested in the minor take at least three of the upper-level courses from one of the six concentrations listed above for the Geography major. Substitutions may be allowed with the consent of the adviser.


Transfer credits. Maximum of 6 credits allowed. These must fit into the minors to be allowed.

No Pass/Fail courses are allowed in the minors.

Independent Study/Practicum courses: maximum of 6 credits allowed. Relevant examples are listed in the above options. In general we expect students to take 3 credits of these at most.

Registering for the minor…

When you have completed the requirements for the minor you may download a form from the registrar’s office, have it signed by the undergraduate advisor for geography, then file it with the registrar’s office.  Here is a link to the form: http://www.umass.edu/registrar/sites/default/files/DeclarationofAcademicMinor.pdf