University of Colorado at Boulder


Minor & Certificates

Certificate Programs

The department offers a certificate in hydrology and a certificate in GIS for undergraduate students majoring or minoring in Geography.  For those pursuing certification in Education, please know that the Colorado State Department of Education considers the geography major suitable for certification in social studies but not science.  You should work closely with an advisor in the School of Education. 

Other Certificates with Substantial Geography Coursework

Requirements for a Minor in Geography 

  • Participation in the minor program is optional on the part of the student. 
  • A minimum of 18 credit hours must be taken in the minor area, including a minimum of 9 upper division.
  • All course work applied to the minor must be completed with a grade of C- or better. No pass/fail work may be applied. The grade point average of all minor degree course work must equal 2.00 (C) or higher.
  • Students pursuing an Individually Structured Major, or who are pursuing a major in Distributed Studies, will not be eligible to earn a minor.
  • Students will be allowed to apply no more than 9 credit hours (including six 6 upper division) of transfer work toward a minor.
  • Students may earn no more than 2 minors. 
  • Course work applied toward a minor may also be applied toward general education (core/college list) and major requirements.

Areas of Concentration

No specific concentration is required. However, students who do wish to focus on one area of geography should see the following suggested course lists:

Physical Geography

The following two courses are prerequisites to all upper division courses listed further below.  
GEOG 1001  Environmental Systems 1: Climate and Vegetation** 
GEOG 1011  Environmental Systems 2: Landscapes and Water**

Among upper division courses, the following sequences are suggested:   
Climatology:  GEOG 3301; 3601; 4331 
Biogeography:  GEOG 3351; 4351; 4371; 4401 
Hydrology and Geomorphology: GEOG 3511; 4241; 4321; 4401 

In addition, you will find it important to complete one course in statistics at the time you commence upper division work in physical geography. Students considering graduate school in physical geography are strongly encouraged to complete a year of coursework in general chemistry, physics, calculus, and statistics. 

Upper Division Courses: 
GEOG 3301  Analysis of  Climate and Weather Observations**  (Prereq: GEOG 1001 or ATOC 1050/1060, 3600 and a statistics course) 
GEOG 3601  Principles of Climate**  (Prereq: 1 semester calculus or instructor approval) 
GEOG 3351  Biogeography  (Prereq: GEOG 1001) 
GEOG 3511  Introduction to Hydrology**  (Prereq:  GEOG 1011) 
GEOG 4241  Principles of Geomorphology**   (Prereq: GEOG 1011)  (Restricted to Jr/Sr GEOG/GEOL/ENVS majors) 
GEOG 4261  Glaciers and Permafrost   (Recommended Prereq:  GEOG 4241)  
GEOG 4271  The Arctic Climate System   (Prereq:  GEOG 1001) 
GEOG 4311  Watershed Biogeochemistry   (Prereq:  GEOG 1011, 3511) 
GEOG 4321  Snow Hydrology (Prereq: GEOG 1001 and 1011; any statistics course)   
GEOG 4331  Mountain Climatology  (Prereq GEOG 1001 or ATOC 1050/1060) 
GEOG 4371  Forest Geography: Principles and Dynamics  (Prereq: GEOG 1001) 
GEOG 4383  Methods of Vegetation Analysis (Prereq or Coreq GEOG 4371) 
GEOG 4401  Soils Geography  (Prereq 1011; Recommended Prereq inorganic chemistry) 
GEOG 4411  Methods of Soil Analysis  (Prereq: GEOG 1001 or 1011; Prereq/Coreq GEOG 4401/5401) 

**core curriculum course 


Human Geography

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

GEOG 1972 (2002)  Geographies of Global Change
GEOG 1982  World Regional Geography 
GEOG 1992  Human Geographies 
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 3832  Geographies of South Asia
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 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 4832  Geography of Tibet  (Prereq:  GEOG 3822)
GEOG 4892  Geography of Western Europe** 

**core curriculum course 


Environment-Society Relations

GEOG 1001  Environmental Systems 1: Climate & Vegetation** 
GEOG 1011  Environmental Systems 2: Landscapes & Water** 

Two of the following four courses are prerequisites to all (human geography) upper-division courses listed further below.

GEOG 1962  Geographies of Global Change (formerly GEOG 2002)
GEOG 1972  Environment-Society Geographies (formerly GEOG2412)
GEOG 1982  World Regional Geography
GEOG 1992  Human Geographies

Upper Division Courses.  Additional prerequisites may be listed. 

GEOG 3251  Mountain Geography 
GEOG 3301  Analysis of Climate and Weather Observations**  
GEOG 3351  Biogeography 
GEOG 3402  Natural Hazards 
GEOG 3412  Conservation Practice and Resource Management 
GEOG 3422  Conservation Thought 
GEOG 3511  Introduction to Hydrology** 
GEOG 3601  Principles of Climate**
GEOG 3612  Geography of American Cities
GEOG 3682  Geography of International Development
GEOG 3692  Introduction to Global Public Health
GEOG 3812  Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean 
GEOG 3822  Geography of China**  
GEOG 3862  Geography of Africa 
GEOG 4401  Soils Geography  (Prereq: GEOG 1011; Recommended Prereq: inorganic chemistry) 
GEOG 4430  Seminar: Conservation Trends** 
GEOG 4501  Water Resources and Water Management in the Western US 
GEOG 4742  Environments and Peoples** 
GEOG 4632  Development Geography 
GEOG 4812  Environment and Development in South America** 
GEOG 4822  Environment and Development in China** 
GEOG 4852  Health and Medical Geography** 

**core curriculum course 


Geographic Information Science

1000- and 2000-level courses in physical and human geography are prerequisites to all upper-division courses listed below. Additional prerequisites may be listed or permission of instructor required.  

GEOG 2053  Mapping a Changing World 
GEOG 3023  Statistics for Earth Sciences 
GEOG 3053  Cartography: Visualization and Information Design (Restricted to Jr/Sr GEOG/ENVS major) 
GEOG 4023  Intro to Quantitative Methods in Human Geography (Prereq: GEOG 3023 or equivalent) 
GEOG 4043  Cartography 2: Interactive and Multimedia Mapping  (Prereq: GEOG 3053)  
GEOG 4093  Remote Sensing of the Environment  
GEOG 4103  Introduction to Geographic Information Science (Prereq: GEOG 2053, 3053 and Intro to Statistics) 
GEOG 4203  Geographic Information Science: Modeling Applications 2 (Prereq: GEOG 4103/5103) 
GEOG 4173  Research Seminar** (Restricted to Sr GEOG/ENVS major) 
GEOG 4303  Geographic Information Science: Programming  (Prereq: 4103 or 5103) 
GEOG 4383  Methods of Vegetation Analysis (Prereq or Coreq: GEOG 4371) 
GEOG 4983  Field Problems  (Restricted to Jr/Sr Geography major)   

**core curriculum course