College of Behavioral & Social Sciences

BA in Geography


The Geography and Environmental Studies program consists of two options in the major: Human geography and environmental studies; and physical and environmental geography.  The Geography curriculum draws on courses that provide globalization to local knowledge, focused on building resilient communities & landscapes, and providing 21st century technical skills. We explore the institutions involved in the administration of urban planning, natural resources management, and mapping social and environmental data. Our classes also consider the social and environmental issues associated with sustainability and societies’ responses to it. Our graduates provide for sustainable communities and natural landscapes in a variety of contexts. Recent graduates work for city, county and state planning agencies, National Park Service, US Forest Service, Department of Water Resources, Apple, Google, non-profits, and more. While at CSU, Chico, Geography majors participate in a variety of  internships and other extracurricular activities(opens in new window). For example, many Geography majors intern at the Universities nature reserves, City of Chico and Butte County planning departments, and the campuses Geographic Information Center and students who have earned the requisite grade point average join our national honor society, Gamma Theta Upsilon. Individuals who are interested in what is where, why it is there, and how we can apply human-environment interaction thinking to solving societal and environmental issues on different communities will find the Geography major a perfect academic home. Geography, something you DO, not something you know.


The Geography and Environmental Studies Department is committed to preparing students to effectively participate in our rapidly changing world by engaging them in the exploration of the social, environmental, and technical forces that shape our planet's future. Through effective teaching, advising, and research, our goal is to give students geographic insight into the relationship among human societies and the physical world at different scales.

Goals & Objectives

  • Demonstrate technological capabilities related to geographic data interpretation and their spatial representation.
  • Demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of global, regional, and local scales and the interdisciplinary nature of geography in the physical and social worlds. 
  • Demonstrate an awareness of environmental and social diversity, human-environmental interaction, and environmental values.
  • Demonstrate commitment to experiential learning and service to the community and the environment.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken communication.

Learning Outcomes

Geography majors:

  • can formulate geographic research questions.
  • can collect, compile, and interpret geographic data.
  • can present geographic data in a map.
  • can recognize the presence and application of regional, local, and global dimensions of the social and physical worlds in data and the landscape.
  • can explain interactions between the size and distribution of human and non-human populations, resources and the natural environment in historic and contemporary perspectives.
  • are cognizant of varying interpretations of diversity, causality, interaction, policy and values in human-environmental relationships.
  • will understand ways in which they use the environment can affect future generations and other human and natural systems.
  • provide appropriate geographic skills to community-based organizations and associations.
  • can write clearly in the discipline of geography and use and cite scholarly sources of information correctly.
  • can speak clearly in the discipline of geography.