University of Colorado at Boulder

Undergrad Program


Elizabeth Pike
Primary Undergraduate Advisor
303-492-3625 ENVD 155  
Leslie Yakubowski
Undergraduate Assistant
303-492-2631 GUGG 110  
Peter Blanken
Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies

To schedule an advising appointment, students should go to

Majoring in Geography 

Geography makes an excellent major for the student interested in a broad, liberal education, one which integrates the study of human activity and the natural environment. The field’s unique spatial perspective on natural environment and human activity ties to other fields in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Geographers are interested in a wide range of phenomena and often work in interdisciplinary teams to focus on environmental change, global science and economic issues, and resource use in an increasingly complex and interdependent world.  

 The Department of Geography offers theoretical and practical work in:

  • physical geography, including climatology, geomorphology and biogeograph
  • conservation of natural resources, including environmental education . 
  • human geography, including urban, social, economic, political, cultural, and population geography; 
  • geographic information science (GIS), including spatial analysis using GIS, remote sensing, computer cartography, GIS and society and geography education;
  • regional analysis, including mountains, natural hazards, and specific regional courses.

We hope this website will help you make academic plans. We urge you to study this website and then to seek further information from the Geography Department’s staff and faculty. 

Caution: This website supplements, but does not supersede, the most recent University of Colorado, Boulder Catalog. General College and University requirements are given in the Catalog, but not on this website.

Minors & Certificates 

Information on earning a minor in Geography can be found here.  The department offers a certificate in hydrology for undergraduate students majoring or minoring in Geography.

Optional Areas of Concentration

The faculty believes that both physical and human geography are essential to an outstanding program, that both are complementary and indispensible parts of the same subject. Despite individual specializations, all members of the faculty see their interests and research as ultimately related to spatial and environmental systems, human-environment relations, and the character of places.

You may choose to follow a general geography major or choose to concentrate your studies in one of four optional tracks:

Physical Geography

Climatology, geomorphology, biogeography, arctic and alpine systems, hydrology, and global change

Human Geography

Population, political, urban, social, and cultural geography

Environment-Society Relations

Human dimensions of environmental change; natural resources; conservation behavior

Geographic Information Science

GIS, cartography, and remote sensing

Quick Links

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Course Websites
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Undergraduate Degree

The College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geography offers a bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree in geography. The geography B.A. degree emphasizes knowledge and awareness of:

  • the unique contributions of the discipline to understanding the spatial components of problems and the diverse factors relating to human interaction with the environment;  
  • the spatial distributions of physical and human characteristics on the Earth surface, the general patterns these form, and the processes that have created and are changing these patterns;
  • the major themes of geographical analysis, including absolute and relative location; human and physical characteristics of place; human and environmental relations; movement of people, ideas, and products; and regionalization; and
  • the general geographical principles of human- environment interaction, global change, and human spatial organization.

What our students say 

The Geography department at CU is a fantastic program, because it has a wide range of fields that allow curious students to explore the various disciplines. Through the various geography courses that are available, I was able to become well rounded in the physical and social aspects of geography. Not only are the classes entertaining and informative, but there are also various opportunities that give students hands-on experience. I wanted to become more involved with the Geography department and started asking professors if they needed any extra help. There was an opportunity to work on the department's weather station and design a web site to display the data and I went for it. The experience and knowledge I gained from this project is priceless and something I will never forget. The Geography department's faculty and staff are knowledgeable and great to work with. I wouldn't choose any other major but geography!

Annie Pepper, Undergraduate Geography Major

Coffee Break 

Join us for coffee, juice, and bagels in the Guggenheim lounge (room 101) Tuesday mornings between 9:00 and 10:30.   This is a great opportunity for undergrads to mingle with fellow Geog majors/minors, graduate students, and faculty 

Departmental strengths 

CU Geosciences Ranked Among the Best by U.S. News and World Report

We are ranked #2 in the world!

Diverse Education

Physical, human, environment-society, and GIScience

Hands-On Experience

Learn by doing, not just studying

Solid Foundation

Strong student support and advising; great job placements

Engaging Research

White lab coat probably not required

Strong Field Focus

Opportunities abound for field trips and field research

Deep GIScience

Research the theory of GIS & remote sensing, not just learn methods

Friendly Atmosphere

We have active student communities