2023-2024 Catalog 
    
    Apr 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geography and Environmental Studies, BA


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Coursework in Geography and Environmental Studies fosters a greater understanding of the places, people, and environmental systems that affect us locally, regionally, and globally. GES degrees incorporate diverse intellectual approaches, conceptual tools, and geospatial technologies to prepare graduates for careers that make a positive difference with real-world impacts. GES students benefit from small classes; faculty dedicated to teaching and learning; a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness; and the beautiful, dynamic geography of Colorado and the Pikes Peak Region.

General Information

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Geography and Environmental Studies requires the following:

  • A minimum of 41 credit hours of GES course work. At least 18 of those hours must be upper division (courses numbered 3000 or higher).
  • A grade of C- or better in courses applied to the major.
  • A minimum 2.0 GPA must be maintained in all GES course work.
  • No more than 60 credit hours of GES course work may apply to the bachelor’s degree.

Additional course work is required to complete the Geography and Environmental Studies, BA degree. Please see the advising guide on the Academic Advising website for more information.

Geography and Environmental Studies Options

The following options, or tracks, may be added to the Geography and Environmental Studies major. Options may have different course, grade, GPA, or hour requirements.  See below for more information.

  • Elementary Education

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of processes shaping Earth’s landforms and environments.
  • Recognize how the actions and behaviors of diverse cultures impact the natural environment and affect sustainability.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the methods of analysis used to solve geographic problems and communicate effectively.

Departmental Honors

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies offers honors for students who have demonstrated high academic achievement. In order to be considered for departmental honors, a student must:

  • Have an overall University of Colorado GPA of 3.0 or better.
  • Have a 3.5 or better GPA in GES courses.
  • Select a faculty advisor to mentor an honors research project. If the student’s GPA is between 3.0 and 3.5, the student’s research proposal must be accepted by the majority of GES faculty. If the student’s GPA is above 3.5, only the advisor need approve the proposal. Students then pick two other faculty committee members. The committee will give an oral exam on the research project upon completion.
  • Enroll in GES 4970 Honors in Geography .

The level of honors will be decided by the committee after the completion of these requirements. Three levels of honors are available: Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction.

Course Requirements


Upper-Division Electives


Complete a minimum of 17 additional credit hours of upper-division (3000+ level) GES electives to meet total and upper-division requirements for the major.

Senior Exit Exam


  • Complete the Geography Senior Exit Exam.

Elementary Education Option


For more information on the requirements for the Initial Elementary Licensure, see the Elementary Initial License Certificate .

Directed Elective


Complete one of the following courses:

Upper-Division Electives


  • Complete an additional 14 hours of upper-division (3000+ level) GES electives.

Senior Exit Exam


  • Complete the Geography Senior Exit Exam.

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