University of Colorado at Boulder




Caution: This page 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 page.

Required Hours

For a major in geography, the student must complete a minimum of 37, but no more than 45, semester hours in geography. The student must have earned a grade of at least C- or better in all geography courses and a minimum grade point average of C in all CU work. No pass/fail grades in geography courses can be counted in the 37 hours of geography, but mandatory pass/fail grades in approved Study Abroad programs may be accepted if pre- approved by a geography faculty member. Twenty-three hours of upper-division geography course work are required in the major, all with grades of C- or better. Twelve hours of upper- division geography course work for the major must be taken on the Boulder campus. “Same as” or “cross-listed” courses count for geography hours. Students will need to be aware of which courses fall into this category. Students may exceed the 45-hour limit for hours taken in the major, but anything over 45 hours will not count toward the A&S 120-hour requirement. Keep in mind that you may still need to take additional classes to meet this 120-hour requirement.

View Required Courses for Geography majors. 
View a list of core curriculum and MAPS courses in Geography.  


Geography majors are advised by a professional, primary advisor in the Department. In addition to technical and Arts and Sciences core advising, the primary advisor is available to: 

  • work with students to assist in planning their academic career; 
  • discuss potential study abroad programs;
  • refer students to campus resources for academic and personal assistance;
  • determine if transfer credits can be applied toward geography major requirements;
  • determine if an upper division human geography course should be taken in place of one of the lower division requirements;
  • determine how to take courses on a P/F basis. 
  • Provide information on course offerings prior to schedule publications;
  • provide recommendations and alert students to available positions in and outside the department. 

Students are encouraged to meet with the primary advisor at least once each semester. Additionally, faculty members are available to mentor students throughout their academic career in the Geography Department.

View a list of Geography faculty members and their specializations.

Basic Skills

Geography majors are expected to have or to achieve competence in clearly conveying their ideas and perceptions. Skills in communication methods are considered essential. In addition, students completing the degree in geography are expected to acquire proficiency in: 

  • one or more of the geographic skill areas of cartography, air photograph interpretation, remote sensing, and geographic information systems;
  • writing, quantitative methods, computer literacy, and library and field methods of data collection; and
  • identifying the geographic dimensions of a problem and analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating relevant data, and applying geographic principles offering a geographic perspective on that problem.

 Students exhibiting deficiencies in writing, speaking, mathematics, statistics, graphics, or computer literacy will be urged to take appropriate remedial action.