2018-2019 Catalog


Geography Program Learning Outcomes

College Natural and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Earth Science and Geography

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Roadmap





Brendan McNulty, Department Chair
Parveen Chhetri, John Keyantash, Ashish Sinha, Ralph Saunders

Instructional Support Tech Office: NSM F-129, (310) 243-3368

Department Office: NSM B-202, (310) 243-3377

Emeriti Faculty

David Sigurdson, Jamie Webb

Program Description

The Geography program is one of two programs housed in the Department of Earth Science and Geography. Geography studies the spatial distribution of features across Earth’s landscape, such as the location of landforms, water bodies, and the organization of climate zones. It also considers the human landscape including how populations are distributed, why they migrate, and the ways they alter natural and urban environments. As a tool to advance these spatial analyses, the Geography program teaches the use of both traditional and computer-based geotechnical skills (geotechniques) such as cartography, remote sensing, and geographic information systems (GIS).

Geography at CSUDH emphasizes “hands-on” learning, and many department courses feature field trips. The expertise and international focus of the faculty provide opportunities for engaged students to learn about and participate in diverse research projects ranging from ecosystem disruption in the Mojave Desert, mapping river systems in California, or studying the effects of population growth, urbanization, and water scarcity.


The Earth Science and Geography Department has a map library containing several thousand map sheets. The department also has two dedicated computer laboratories, the Earth Sciences Spatial Analysis Laboratory (ESSAL) which acts as a center for remote sensing and GIS-based research projects, and a teaching laboratory which provides computer-based teaching with an emphasis on geotechniques. These labs provide sophisticated image processing and spatial analysis software as well as libraries of satellite imagery and spatial databases. Additional equipment includes Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, advanced instruments for field data collection, and a weather station that collects meteorological data for the campus.

The faculty has expertise in landscape change, remote sensing, and geographic information systems; hydrology and atmospheric science; plate tectonics and field geology; natural resources; and economic, political and historical geography. The broad expertise of the faculty provides an unusual opportunity for undergraduate students to work closely with their professors and gain “hands-on” experience within domestic and international research projects.

Academic Advisement

Majors should consult with their advisor prior to registration each semester. Records of students' progress toward the degree are maintained in the CMSPeopleSoft. Students should check their progress regularly.


For high school students, the best preparation for the Geography major is a well-rounded program of high school courses in humanities, social sciences, science, mathematics, and written and oral communication skills. Community college transfer students should have completed introductory physical and a human/cultural geography course. Introductory courses in the physical, biological and social sciences are recommended.

Career Possibilities

Many societal problems have geographic dimensions and training in geography provides essential skills for solving them. Geographic skills such as GIS, the analysis of remote-sensed imagery and other geotechniques are in high demand from governments, non-governmental organizations, and private industry alike and at local, regional, national, and international levels. Opportunities include environmental consulting, planning and zoning; urban and regional planning; resource management and conservation; energy; air and water quality management; secondary (middle and high school) teaching; and a wide array of social service firms and agencies. The geographic toolkit has many applications.

Geography is an appropriate major for students preparing for a career in teaching Social Science at the secondary level as part of an approved "Subject Matter Preparation Program." Completion of such a program is the first step toward meeting CA state requirements for a teaching credential. Interested students should consult with an appropriate advisor for current information as program requirements for the "Subject Matter Preparation Program" in Social Science change regularly.

Graduation With Honors

An undergraduate student may be a candidate for graduation with Honors in Geography provided he or she meets the following criteria:

1.   A minimum of 36 units in residence at CSU Dominguez Hills;

2.   A minimum grade point average of at least 3.5 in all courses used to satisfy the upper division requirements in the major;

3.   Recommendation by the faculty of the Earth Science and Geography Department.