Geography, Environmental Geography, Comprehensive Major

Geography, Environmental Geography, Comprehensive Major, B.S.  

The following is a sample degree plan, based on the current catalog. It is based on the 120-credit graduation requirement and assumes no transferred credits, no requirements waived by placement tests, no courses taken in the summer or winter, no repeated courses, and no remedial courses that may be required. This sample degree plan is intended for first-year students entering UW-Eau Claire in the fall semester. Your own degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). UW-Eau Claire cannot guarantee all courses will be offered as shown, but will provide a range of courses that may enable prepared students to fulfill their requirements in a timely period. This sample degree plan is just a guide. Please consult your advisor, your degree audit, and the catalog to create your own degree plan. Note: In order to earn the required minimum of 120 credits for the degree in four years, you should plan to take 15 credits each semester or 30 credits each year.

To earn a degree, students must fulfill all University Graduation Requirements, including the Liberal Education (LE) Core.  LE Core course work in the following sample degree plan uses abbreviations such as LE-K1, LE-S2, LE-R3, and LE-I1 to represent the learning outcomes students will meet via completion of their liberal education course work.  Please click here for a description of the Liberal Education Core outcomes and requirements. Note that the LE Core may be completed through both course and non-course experiences.

Students in this major have the option to pursue either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree.  The degrees are distinguished by foreign language competency for the B.A. and a higher level of mathematics competency for the B.S.

GEOG 178Planet Earth: Conservation of the Environment (LE-K1, LE-I1)3
WRIT 114Intensive Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing (LE-S1)5
Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing (LE-S1)
LE Option: Knowledge 3 (K3) Humanities3
LE Option: Skills 1 (S1) Written and Oral Communication3
GEOG 104Planet Earth: The Physical Environment (LE-K1 + lab)4
GEOG 111Planet Earth: Human Geography (LE-K2, LE-I1)3
LE Option: Knowledge 2 (K2) Social Sciences3
MATH 111A Short Course in Calculus (LE-S2)4
Precalculus Mathematics (LE-S2)
Trigonometry (LE-S2, 2 credits)
GEOG 200Foundations of Geography3
GEOG 335Geographic Information Systems I3
LE Option: Responsibility 1 (R1) Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity3
LE Option: Integrative Learning (I1)3
Environmental Elective3
GEOG Advanced Approach - Physical Geography a3
LE Option: Responsibility 1 (R1) Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity3
LE Option: Skills 2 (S2) Mathematics4
LE Option: Responsibility 3 (R3) Civic and Environmental Issues3
LE Option: Knowledge 4 (K4) Fine Arts3
GEOG Advanced Approach: Human-Environment Geography3
GEOG Elective3
GEOG Elective3
Elective b3
Environmental Elective c3
GEOG 368 (Advanced Approach): Geography Field Seminar3
GEOG 370Quantitative Methods in Geography3
Elective: Upper Level3
Environmental Elective3
GEOG 401Capstone Seminar (LE-S3)3
GEOG Advanced Approach: Human-Environment Geography3
Elective: Upper Level3
Environmental Elective3
GEOG Elective3
GEOG 369 (Advanced Approach): Geography Techniques3
GEOG Advanced Approach: Physical Geography3
Elective: Upper Level3
GEOG Elective3
Minimum total for the baccalaureate degree = 120 credits

Geography majors must take 5 courses from any 3 of the 5 advanced geography approaches.  Environmental Geography comprehensive majors must take an upper level course in Physical Geography and in Human-Environment Geography.  One of these must be GEOG 368.  See catalog.


Electives need to be carefully selected to ensure that a student’s degree comprises at least 39 credits of upper division courses (300-400 level). While students are encouraged to take additional courses in geography, these can be selected from any discipline provided student meets course prerequisites. Required Geography courses plus Geography electives (and environmental electives from other departments) must equal at least 60 credits.


Environmental Geography comprehensive majors are required to take 12 credits of environmental course work outside of the major with consent of their advisor.

Note:  All students must complete the 30-hour Service-Learning Requirement via a non-credit or credit option (see Undergraduate Graduation Requirements).

Course Information

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire encourages all students to participate in High Impact Practices.  The following information identifies any specific recommendations that faculty in this major have concerning which HIPs might be most beneficial to students, and any recommendations about when those HIPs best fit into the degree plan. Students should also consult their faculty advisor for information on HIPs. There are many additional high impact opportunities available. Talk to your academic advisor for more information about incorporating HIPs like Study Abroad, Intercultural Immersion, Internship, and/or Student/Faculty Collaborative Research into your time at UW-Eau Claire.

Required HIPs: GEOG 368 : Geography Field Seminar and GEOG 401 : Geography Capstone 
Optional HIPs: Study Abroad, National Student Exchange, Faculty-led International Immersions (FLIIs), Student-Faculty Collaborative Research

Liberal Education (LE) Core Guidance

Liberal Education Core (LE Core) 

The LE Core comprises 17 learning experiences across 11 learning outcomes. Students must complete a minimum of 36 credits in courses approved for the LE Core. 

  • K1 – Natural Sciences; two experiences (one lab science experience is required in K1 or K2). 

  • K2 – Social Sciences; two experiences (one lab science experience is required in K1 or K2). 

  • K3 – Humanities; two experiences. 

  • K4 – Fine Arts; one experience. 

  • S1 – Written and Oral Communication; two experiences (one experience must satisfy the University writing requirement). 

  • S2 – Mathematics; one experience (must satisfy the University math competency requirement). 

  • S3 – Creativity; one experience (can be fulfilled in a student’s major). 

  • R1 – Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity; two experiences (one experience must meet the UW System Design for Diversity (DD) requirement). 

  • R2 – Global Perspectives; one experience. 

  • R3 – Civic and Environmental Issues; one experience. 

  • I1 – Integration; two experiences (one experience can be fulfilled in a student’s major). 

  • SL—Service Learning; 30 hours 

Additional LE Core Information 

  • Most LE Core learning experiences are course based, and many courses meet more than one learning outcome (e.g., K3 and R2 or K1 and R3). 

  • Some learning experiences can also be met outside of a traditional course (e.g., undergraduate research (S3), study abroad (I1)). 

  • S1 – An English placement score that fulfills the University writing requirement fulfills one S1 experience. 

  • S1 – A foreign Language placement score that qualifies the student to enter the 102 level satisfies one S1 experience. 

  • S1, R2 – A foreign language placement score that qualifies the student to enter the 202 level satisfies one experience in S1 and the R2 experience. 

  • S2 – A math placement score that qualifies the student to enter Math 111, 112, 113 or 114 fulfills the S2 experience. 

  • S3 – Completion of two credits from any approved music ensemble fulfills the S3 experience. 

  • I1 – Any semester long study abroad program can fulfill one I1 experience.