University of Colorado at Boulder


Undergrad Area of Concentration

Human Geography

You may choose to follow a general geography major/minor or choose to concentrate your studies in one of four optional tracks, such as Human Geography.

Population, political, urban, social, and cultural geography

Human geography first and foremost involves the study of human beings--more specifically, of the organization of human activity and of spatial patterns as they affect and, in turn, respond to the world about us. The processes under study derive from distinct, but interactive, substructures: pursuit of livelihood (economic), social interaction (socio-political), and historical inertia and meaning (cultural). The products are change, conflict, diffusion, differentiation, and repetition in the human organization of the land. These same human processes will interact with biophysical processes, (e.g., air quality or plant introductions) to shape humanized landscapes and regional character. Human geographers typically investigate problems associated with locational strategies and human decisions. Such problems cut through subjects as diverse as analysis of regional markets, racial segregation in cities, migration flows, hazardous sites, international development, medieval landscape patterns, or formulation of impact statements.

Undergrad Courses Applicable to a Concentration in Human Geography

One of the following four courses are prerequisites to all upper division courses listed further below.  

GEOG 1982  World Regional Geography 
GEOG 1992  Human Geographies 
GEOG 2002  Geographies of Global Change 
GEOG 2412  Environment and Culture

Upper Division Courses. Additional prerequisites are listed. 

GEOG 3672  Gender and Global Economy** 
GEOG 3682  Geography of International Development   
GEOG 3742  Place, Power, and Contemporary Culture**  
GEOG 3812  Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean  
GEOG 3822  Geography of China** 
GEOG 3862  Geography of Africa 
GEOG 4023  Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Human Geography (Prereq: GEOG 3023) 
GEOG 4292  Migration, Urbanization, and Development  
GEOG 4622  City Life** 
GEOG 4712  Political Geography 
GEOG 4722  Field Methods in Human Geography***  (Prereq. 15 credit hours in human geography) 
GEOG 4732  Population Geography  
GEOG 4742  Environment and Peoples** 
GEOG 4812  Environment and Development in South America**   *** (Recommended Prereq: GEOG 3812 or 3422) 
GEOG 4822  Environment & Development in China** 
GEOG 4892  Geography of Western Europe** 

**core curriculum course 


Undergrad Courses in other Departments Related to Human Geography

Caution:  These courses do not count as hours in the Geography Major. 
Check with the appropriate department for the prerequisites for these courses.

ANTH  1030  Principles of Anthropology 1  
ANTH  1040  Principles of Anthropology 2 
ANTH  2100  Frontiers of Cultural Anthropology 
ANTH  4510  Applied Cultural Anthropology  
ANTH  4520  Symbolic Anthropology** 
ECON  4514  Economic History of Europe**   
ECON  4524  Economic History of the United States** 
HIST  ****  Any course related to a geographic area 
PSCI  2012   Intro.  to Comparative Politics ** 
PSCI 3143  Problems in International Relations 
PSCI 3163  American Foreign Policy**   
PSCI  4183   International Law 
PSCI  4703   Alternative World Futures** 
PSCI  4272   Capitalist Democracies in a Global World Economy** 
PSYC  2606   Social Psychology ** 
SOCY  2001   Introduction to Sociological Theory 
SOCY  3002   Population and Society 
SOCY  4022   Population Studies: Fertility & Mortality 

GEOG courses related to Human Geography.

Caution: These lists are incomplete.

Spring 2015

Num Num Sect Title Hrs   Instructor
1982 World Regional Geography 3 Bryan
2412 Environment and Culture 3 Travis
3612 Geography of American Cities 3 Spielman
3672 Gender & the Global Economy 3 Goldman
3742 Place, Power, Culture 3 Jan
3862 Geography of Africa 3 Goldman
4023 5023 Quantitative Methods 4 Spielman
4100 001 Special Topics: Conflict in Post Soviet Union O'Loughlin
4100 002 Special Topics: Global Public Health 3 Root
4501 5501 Wtr Resources/Mgmt in the US West 3 Lander
4732 5732 Population Geography 3 Riosmena
4742 001 Environments and Peoples- Contemporary Islam:Emp/Terror/Rev 3 Jan
4742 002 Environments & Peoples - Food 3 Fertaly


Spring 2014

Num Num Sect Title Hrs   Instructor
1982 World Regional Geography 3 O'Loughlin
2002 Geographies of Global Change 3 Riosmena
3402 Natural Hazards 3 Travis
3742 Place, Power, Culture 3 Jan
3862 Geography of Africa 3 Goldman
4023 5023 Quantitative Methods 4 Spielman
4501 5501 Wtr Resources/Mgmt in the US West 3 Lander
4732 5732 Population Geography 3 Root
4742 Environments and Peoples - Food 3 Dunn
4852 5852 Health / Medical Geography 3 Root


Faculty teaching and/or performing research in human geography

Indigenous Politics in the Americas; Human Rights; and Critical Cartography. Human
Feminist political geography; conflict security and development; South/Southwest Asia Human
Political Ecology;  Science and Technology Studies;  indigenous knowledge;  Nature-Society Relations Human
Political Islam, South Asia; Poststructural & Postcolonial Theory; Biopolitics, Critical Ontology Human
Political; Former Soviet Union; Post Communist Societies; Nationalism Human
Cultural Politics;  Economic and Social Change; China Human
International migration, informal economy, and population dynamics; social demography, Latin America Human
Medical Geography, Spatial Epidemiology, Quantitative Methods Human
Urban Geography, Medical Geography, Spatial Statistics, GIScience Human
Natural hazards, risk, climate change, decision-making Human
Nature/society geography; political ecology; cultural politics; development; Tibet; China Human

News and Events related to human geography


Sep 2011
"From the Havens to the Markets: State, Development and the Mediation of Nature in Northwest China."

Sep 2011
Lecture: "Hitting a Home Run across the Pacific: Major League Baseball in East Asia," and Panel Discussion: "Strategy and Security: Sports in Sino-American Relations"

Apr 2011
Austin: A City of Tolerance, Ideas and Immigrants?

Apr 2011
Harlem's Mart 125: The American Dream

Apr 2011
Israeli Pinkwashing, Left Ambivalence, & Queer Critique

Apr 2011
Geographies of religion and class: young people in deprived Britain

Mar 2011
A talk with Chet Tchozewski Founder and President Emeritus, Global Greengrants Fund

Mar 2011
Humanitarianism and Migration: An Interdisciplinary Conference

Mar 2011
Informal Recycling: a Cultural Geography of Waste in Shanghai, China

Feb 2011
Governing Bodies, Governing Grain: The Biopolitics of Chinese Food Security

Feb 2011
Contemporary Christian Music and the Politics of Apolitics

Feb 2011
Are IPAT relationships empirically stable? Re-examining population, affluence, and technology as drivers of carbon emissions through the lens of economic demography

Feb 2011
Development as gift: Comfortable housing and the new socialist countryside in Tibet

Oct 2010
Fieldbooks as Sites of Change

Oct 2010
Blind, deaf and oblivious: The drama of ethno-national conflict in Chile

Oct 2010
Info session for undergraduates.

Sep 2010
Peering into the Fog of War: The Geography of the WikiLeaks Afghanistan War Logs 2004-2009

Apr 2010

Feb 2010
Photo Exhibit: Now We Have Nothing: People Displaced From South Ossetia

Feb 2010
Now We Have Nothing: People Displaced From South Ossetia

More Events >>