Chicago State University
773.995.2000

Geography

Department Chairperson: Arthur Redman

Faculty: Daniel R. Block, Mark Bouman, Carrie Breitbach, Janet I. Halpin, Gebeyehu Mulugeta

The Department of Geography, Sociology, Economics, and Anthropology offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and minor sequences in geography and in geographic information systems for students majoring in other fields. Geographers at Chicago State focus on three areas: community development, environmental justice, and geographic information systems. Each area is rich with opportunities to build a career while working to solve real-world problems. Geography majors are strongly encouraged to select one of these areas as their concentration. Students may also choose to complete courses leading to certification in secondary teaching in social studies.

Completion of the Secondary Teaching Option in Geography qualifies students for an Initial Type 09 Illinois High School Certificate with a high school endorsement in social science, a geography designation for grades 9-12, and a middle grade endorsement in social science for grades 6-8. Certification requires the successful completion of the Illinois Certification Tests of Basic Skills, Geography, and Assessment of Professional Teaching (Secondary 6-12).

The Honors Program in Geography

Requirements for Admissions to the Honors Program-students must:

  • Have a 3.25 GPA or higher in the major (after 12 credit hours in the major);
  • Have a 3.0 GPA or higher overall;
  • Have second semester sophomore or junior level status;
  • Be a declared Geography Major
  • Identify a faculty member who will serve as a program mentor (both in assessing student progress at the end of each semester and the completion or the honors thesis;
  • Complete an application for admission that is signed by the faculty mentor and approved by the department chair.

Program Requirements-Honors students must:

  • Complete 12 credit hours designated as honors in geography major classes;
  • Within the 12 credits of honors courses, complete at least two, but not more than three designated honors classes at the 3000-4000 level (6-0 credit hours);
  • Within the 12 credits of honors courses, complete at least on, but not more than two semesters of Senior Honors Thesis (GEOG 4990) with a faculty mentor (3-6 credit hours);
  • Earn a B or above in each honors course;
  • Maintain a major GPA of 3.25 or higher (students whose GPAs fall below the minimums will be granted one semester grace period to regain the minimum GPA level;
  • Participate with other Honors students in department-initiated Honors student activities.

Honors sections will require a level of intellectual engagement over and above that of the traditional course. Honors sections will require additional reading and one or more additional projects, papers, or assignments.

The Honors Thesis Project Requirements-In order to complete the honors thesis requirement, a student must:

  • Enroll with a faculty mentor for one or two semesters (3-6 credit hours) in a section of Senior Honors Thesis;
  • Develop a project (in conjunction with the faculty mentor) that contributes intellectually to the field of geography;
  • Defend the honors thesis before a committee consisting of the faculty mentor and 1-2 additional faculty readers;

Submit a publishable manuscript of the thesis project or description of a non-traditional project, such as a documentary film, will need to submit a publishable description of the project

Liberal Arts Option in Geography

General Requirements

Admission to the program is contingent upon good academic standing and acceptance by the department. Students are expected to fulfill assessment requirements of the geography program. Copies of these requirements are available with the program advisors. The department will not accept D transfer credit in the major. 

Completion of 120 hours of work: 6 hours in composition; 36 hours in general education (refer to liberal arts curriculum outline) consisting of 12 hours in humanities, 6 hours in a single foreign language, 12 hours in natural sciences and 6 hours in mathematics; 42 hours in geography; 36 hours in electives selected with the departmental advisor’s approval; and passing the examination on the state and federal constitutions. The department reaches out to surrounding communities through the Neighborhood Assistance Center. It provides technical assistance to neighborhood-based community and economic development organizations and includes the Calumet Environmental Resource Center. Students assist in research and may have the opportunity to intern with local organizations. (Refer to the Neighborhood Assistance Center announcement at the end of this section.)

This program is assessed using uniform assessment instruments.

Specific Requirements

The 33 hour BA in Geography is comprised of an 18 hour core and a 15 hours concentration. Students may complete an additional concentration for a total of 48 hours.

Required Core Courses (18 credit hours)

Introduction (6 )-- GEOG 1000 or 1100, and 1400/131

Physical Geography (3) –2410 or 2440

Human Geography (3) – 2210or 2230 or2500

Methods and Inquiry (3) -- GEOG 2860

Geospatial Technologies (3) – GEOG 2840

Community Development Concentration (15 hours)

GEOG 2500, 4500, 4520, 4530, and one from 2210, 2230, 3540, 3010, 4010, 4590 or consent of department.

Environmental Justice Concentration (15 hours)

GEOG 2500, 3450, 4290, and two from 4250, 4280, or 4460. Students in this concentration are encouraged to select 2440 as their advanced physical geography course from the core.

Geographic Information Systems Concentration (15 hours)

GEOG 4800, 4820, 4830, 4810, and one from 3450, 3010, 4500, 4010, 4590, or consent of department. Students are strongly advised t take CPTR 1150, Introduction to Visual Basic, or its equivalent as an elective course. GIS students are encouraged to consider a minor in Environmental Studies or Environmental Biology. Upon graduation, students can pursue the Graduate Certificate in GIS or the MA in Geography with specialization in GIS at Chicago State University. See information on these graduate programs for admission and program requirements.

General Concentration(15 hours)

Any fifteen hours in Geography, at least three of which are taken at the 4xxx level.

Secondary Teaching Option in Geography

General Requirements:

Students must:

  • Pass the examination on the state and federal constitutions.
  • Complete 124 credit hours in: General Education, 42 credit hours: Area of Specialization, 60 credit hours; Professional Education, 28 credit hours.

Specific Requirements

General Education (42 credit hours)

Composition 6 credit hours

ENG 1270/127 and 1280/128.

Humanities (12 credit hours)

CMAT 1130/113; 3 hours of elective courses in English or Speech; 3 hours humanities elective, 3 hours fine arts.

Natural Sciences (9 credit hours)

6 hours in either biological sciences or physical sciences, with 3 hours in the other discipline;

at least one course must be a laboratory course.

Mathematics (6 credit hours)

MATH 1010/140 and 1020/141.

Social Sciences (9 credit hours)

PSYC 1100/141 and 2040/204; POL 1010/101.

Area of Specialization (54 credit hours)

Required Geography Courses (33 credit hours)

Introduction: GEOG 1000/101 or 1100 and 1400/131

Physical Geography: GEOG 2410/211 or 2440 or 2400

Human Geography : GEOG 2210 or 2230 or 2500

Methods and Inquiry: GEOG 2860

Geospatial Technologies: GEOG 2840

9 hours of USA and Illinois courses: GEOG 3450, 3010, 3015

6 hours of geography electives from: GEOG 4010. 4500, 4250, 4460, 4290

Required Supportive Courses (21 credit hours)

HIST 1200/120, 1210/121, 1300/130, 1310/131, 2200/220**; ECON 1010/101; ANTH 1010/101 or SOC 1010/101.

Professional Education (29 credit hours)

GEOG 0920/092; ELCF 1520/152 and 2000/200; ED 4312/312; ELCF 4500/353*; READ 4100/306*; GEOG 4630/363* and 4750/375*; PSYC 2020/206; SE ED 4301/301, 4304/303 CAS 2630/363

The courses must be passed with at least a grade of C.

* Restricted to students admitted to the College of Education.

** HIST 2200/220 completes the 15 credit hour requirement in Humanities for students majoring in the Secondary Teaching Option in Geography.

Minor in Geography (18 credit hours)

The requirements for minors must be completed prior to graduation in order for the minor to appear on the transcript. Grades of C or better are required in all courses to be counted toward completion of the minor. For more information about minors, see the chairperson of the department.

Required Courses (12 credit hours)

Geography Core - GEOG 1000/101, 1400/131; Human Geography - Select 3 hours from 2210/202, 2230/204, or 4500/316; Physical Geography - Select 3

hours from 2410/211 or 2440,

Elective Courses (6 credit hours)

Completion of 6 credit hours of geography

Elective Courses to be selected from the 2000, 3000 or 4000 level with the approval of the

departmental academic advisor.

The Fredrick Blum Neighborhood Assistance Center

Coordinator: Daniel R. Block

The Fredrick Blum Neighborhood Assistance Center (NAC) provides technical and research assistance to neighborhood-based, community, and economic development organizations. While housed in the Department of Geography, Sociology, Economics, and Anthropology and drawing heavily on the resources and skills of the department, the NAC endeavors to involve faculty and students from across the university. Thus the NAC not only applies discipline-specific skills to the solution of neighborhood problems, it also brings university resources to local communities to promote positive change. Students may become involved in NAC projects through funded research assistantships, internships, and work study. The main goal of the NAC is the fostering of self-reliant community development. This is accomplished by:

  • Assisting in the development of neighborhood planning projects in ways that enable neighborhood residents to develop their own strategies for neighborhood maintenance and revitalization.
  • Performing land use and housing quality surveys, feasibility studies, market analyses, food and social service access analysis, grant writing assistance, and data base construction.
  • Mapping assistance and spatial analyses using the department’s Geographic Information System (GIS) laboratory.
  • Maintaining documents and data pertaining to land use, housing, community health, economic development, and community planning.

The Calumet Environmental Resource Center (CERC) is a unit of the Fredrick Blum Neighborhood Assistance Center and is a repository for environmental information relating to the Lake Calumet region of southeast Chicago. CERC resources are available to students, faculty, and members of the community. The NAC is named after Fredrick Blum, Emeritus professor of Geography, longtime supporter of community planning and neighborhood development, and originator of the idea for the NAC.

Geography (GEOG) Course Offerings

1092/092 GEOGRAPHY TEACHER CERTIFICATION REVIEW (1)

Prerequisite: Concurrent registration in GEOG 4630/363.

Review of essential subject matter, skills, and perspectives for Illinois State Board of Education Teacher Certification Examination in Social Science. Cannot be counted for degree credit. This is a Pass/Fail course.

1000/101 SOCIETIES AND ENVIRONMENTS (3)

Contemporary problems of human and natural environments in the rich and poor regions of the world. The course focuses on Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

(Enrichment core course.) IAI: S4 900N1

1099 FRESHMAN SEMINAR IN GEOGRAPHY (1)

Introduction to the expectations of the university. The nature of a geographic approach to learning. Promotion of effective study skills, utilization of university resources including academic library, computer laboratories. Acclimation to university life.

1100 /110 GLOBILIZATION AND DIVERSITY (3)

Geographical implications of cultural, economic, political, and environmental aspects of globalization in world regions. The persistence of diversity among the world’s people and places despite globalization processes. Additional course fee. This course satisfies the General Education Diversity requirement.

1200/100 GEOGRAPHER’S TOOL KIT: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES IN GEOGRAPHIC THINKING (3)

Reasoning about local and global issues involving concepts of space, power, an environment in nonwestern and western contexts. Analysis of criticism of different perspectives. Use of geographical tools such as maps, databases, observations, and library. (A critical thinking course.) (This course satisfies the elective course requirements for the African American Studies major or minor.)

1400/131 INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY /4 (3)

Basic processes guiding the formation of Earth’s natural landscapes. Map reading, geography and astronomy, earth-sun relations, weather and climates, earth materials, continental drift theory, plate tectonics, energy and mineral resources. Rivers, earth quakes, glaciers, and human-environment interactions. May include integrated field trip. Additional course fee. IAI: P1 909L

2020/253 GEOGRAPHY OF LATIN AMERICA (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1000/101, equivalent, or consent of the department.

Physical, cultural, and economic geography of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America.

2210/202 CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1000/101, equivalent, or consent of the department.

World cultural regions in relation to population distribution and density. Determinants and types of settlement patterns. Writing emphasis course. (This course satisfies the elective course requirements for the African American Studies major or minor.)

2230/204 GEOGRAPHY OF THE WORLD ECONOMY (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1000/101 or equivalent, or consent of the department.

Geography of local, regional, and global economic organization. Perspectives on the emergence of a global economy.

2400/231 TEACHING PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY (3) 

Prerequisite: GEOG 1400/131

Basic processes of the geography, geology, and atmospheric science of the Earth. Relationship of the Earth to the solar system. Focus on teaching methods. Includes teaching practicum. Additional course fee.

2410 FUNDAMENTALS OF WEATHER /4 (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1400 or equivalent, successful completion of university qualifying exams in English and mathematics, or consent of department.

Radiation/energy balance; characteristics of the atmosphere; heat, moisture, and pressure; global, regional, and local weather; severe storms, air pollution.

2440 INTERMEDIATE PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY/4 (3)

Prerequisites : GEOG 1400 or equivalent, successful completion of university qualifying exams in English and mathematics, or consent of department.

Processes that shape the world’s landforms, including tectonics, volcanism, weathering, streams, and glaciers. Their effect on soils, bioregions, and natural hazards. Includes integrated laboratory activities and field trip(s).

2500 THE CITY: ENVIRONMENT AND PEOPLE (3)

Introduction to urban physical and cultural environments, services, and population. The course focuses equally on cities in the Western and non-Western realms in a rapidly urbanizing world. (Enrichment core course.)

2840 INTRODUCTION TO GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGIES (3)

Prerequisites: Three credit hours in Geography, successful completion of university qualifying exams in English and mathematics, or consent of the department.

Fundamentals of remote sensing, global positional system (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), and cartography. Use of remotely sensed, GPS, and other types of spatial data to perform basic GIS queries/analysis and cartographic presentation of analysis results.

2860 CHICAGO’S SOUTHEAST SIDE: GEOGRAPHIC METHODS AND INQUIRY (3)

Prerequisites: Three credit hours in Geography, successful completion of university qualifying examinations in English and mathematics, or consent of the department.

Introduction to the nature and scope of research in Geography through investigation of the human and natural environment around Chicago State University. Formulation of geographic questions, introduction of geographic techniques, completion of guided research project. Methods include mapping, statistics, fieldwork, historical/archival work.

2900/290 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN GEOGRAPHY (1-3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Individually supervised study of selected topics.

3010/308 GEOGRAPHY OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1000/101 or equivalent or consent of the department.

Physical, economic, and political geography of Canada and the United States. Physical relationship and contributions to local, national and world economy. Additional course fee.

3015/315 GEOGRAPHY OF ILLINOIS. (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1000/101, equivalent, or consent of the department.

Physical environment and economic development of Illinois. Agriculture, mining, the industrial growth of greater Chicago.

3020/310 GEOGRAPHY OF CARIBBEAN AMERICA (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1000/101, equivalent, or consent of the department.

Economic, political, and social geography of Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies. (This course satisfies the elective course requirements for the African American Studies major or minor.)

3030/313 GEOGRAPHY OF SOUTH AMERICA (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1000/101, equivalent, or consent of the department.

Regional and political geography of South American countries. Appraisal of industries and resources. Relationship to United States and world economy.

3040/311 GEOGRAPHY OF EUROPE (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1000/101, equivalent, or consent of the department

Economic, political, and social geography of European countries.

3045/319 GEOGRAPHY OF THE RUSSIAN REALM (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1000/101, equivalent, or consent of the department .

Physical, political, social, and economic geography of Russia and its neighbors.

3050/254 GEOGRAPHY OF ASIA (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1000/101, equivalent, or consent of the department.

Physical, regional, economic, and cultural features of Asia.

3055/305 GEOGRAPHY OF JAPAN (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Traditions of feudalism or modern capitalism, harmony in the workplace or worker discontent, model nation or international threat: the contradictions in the development of Japan as a world power are analyzed. A geographical framework will be used to explore land, resources, people, traditions, cities, colonialism, and industrial capitalism and their influence on modern Japan.

3060/306 GEOGRAPHY OF AFRICA (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1000/101, equivalent, or consent of the department.

Physical, sociocultural, political, and economic geography of Africa; with a focus on Africa south of the Sahara. (This course satisfies the elective course requirements for the African American Studies major or minor.)

3229/321 POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY (3)

Prerequisite: HIST 1210/121, equivalent, or consent of the department.

Landforms, population, and economic factors influencing territorial control; emphasis on areas of current friction between nations.

3450/256 CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1000/101 or consent of the department.

Location, utilization, conservation and depletion of major physical resources of importance to the United States.

3550/203 THE CITY: GEOGRAPHY ON FILM (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

The influence of Hollywood and foreign films on the perception of physical and social environments of cities. Pro and anti-urban images contained in feature length films are related to urban landscape realities.

4010/317 GEOGRAPHY OF THE CHICAGO METROPOLITAN AREA (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 2500/111 or equivalent, or consent of the department.

Development, functions, and problems. Land use, population patterns, industry and transportation.

4210/270 GEOGRAPHY OF HEALTH AND DISEASE (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1000/101 or consent of the department.

Physical and cultural factors influencing disease and the delivery of health care services.

4250/361 GEOGRAPHY OF FOOD AND HUNGER (3)

Geography, culture, and economics of food from production to consumption. Differences and disparities in access to food worldwide and locally.

4270/365 GEOGRAPHY OF POPULATION (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

World population patterns, characteristics, and trends. Problems of migration and over population.

4280 GENDER, DEVELOPMENT, & GLOBALIZATION (3)

Prerequisites: GEOG 2210 or GEOG 2230 or equivalent, or consent of department.

Gendered implications of the history of uneven development and development policy. Analysis of gendered impact of planning and policy intended to develop the less developed world. Emergence and significance of cultural and economic globalization and implications for gender and development.

4290 ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE (3)

Prerequisites: GEOG 2210 or GEOG 2230 or equivalent or consent of department .

Environmental justice as an activist movement and a set of ideas. Case studies of uneven distribution of environmental resources and pollution from the US and international locations. Assessment of policy, activism and theoretic al understandings of environmental justice issues.

4300/360 SEMINAR IN GEOGRAPHY (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Special topics and problems. May be repeated for a maximum of nine credit hours under different topics.

4420/328 LANDFORMS OF THE AMERICAS (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1400/131 and 2430/213, equivalent, or consent of the department.

Development and classification of landforms in physiographic provinces of North and South America.

4430/327 GEOMORPHOLOGY (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 1400/131 and 2430/213, equivalent, or consent of the department.

World landforms: diastrophism, volcanism, weathering, and erosion.

4460/362 HAZARDS OF GLOBALIZATION (3)

Interconnection of local, regional and global systems of environment, economy and transportation. Consequences of globalization, focusing on bioinvasion by exotic species and diseases, and culture conflicts resulting from mass communication and transportation.

Additional course fee.

4500/316 URBAN GEOGRAPHY (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 2500/111 or equivalent, or consent of the department.

The study of the city and its problems including those dealing with housing, neighborhoods, transportation, industry, environment, and city planning. Writing emphasis course. Additional course fee. (This course satisfies the elective course requirements for the African American Studies major or minor.)

4510/331 GEOGRAPHY OF URBANIZATION (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 4500/316 or consent of the department.

The origins and spread of cities across the globe. The dynamics of urban growth in pre-industrial, industrial, and postindustrial contexts.

4520/350 PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 4500/316 or consent of the instructor.

Theory and techniques. Analysis of established planning practices. (This course satisfies the elective course requirements for the African American Studies major or minor.)

4530/352 NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Problems associated with declining neighborhoods and development efforts are analyzed. Case study approach incorporating field work.

4540/353 COMMUNITY ANALYSIS (3)

Prerequisite: Geography 4500/316 or consent of the department

Techniques for analyzing a community’s social and economic makeup, natural and built environment, and local assets and challenges.

4560/356 GEOGRAPHY OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

The geographic framework of cities, states, and nations to develop tourist industries is analyzed. Introduction to methods for identifying sites as tourist attractions. Tourism strategies and their economic development implications are explored.

4580/351 URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING SEMINAR (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 4520/350 or consent of the instructor.

Individual and cooperative experience in problem analysis and plan making.

4590/391 URBAN FIELD EXPERIENCE (3-12) 

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Supervised experience in internship as a volunteer worker in a social, private, or governmental agency program.

4630/363 METHODS OF TEACHING SOCIAL STUDIES AT THE SECONDARY LEVEL (GRADES 6 - 12) /FIELD (3)

Co-requisite: GEOG 0920/ 092 and CAS 2630/363. Admission to College of Education; ELCF 4500/353 and READ 4100/306 (or concurrent enrollment in ELCF 4500/353 and READ 4100/306); and consent of the department.

Methods of teaching geography, history, and other social studies in high school grades 9-12 and middle school grades 6-8. Thirty clock hours of field experience. Credit not given for both GEOG 277 and 4630/363.

4750/375 STUDENT TEACHING AND SEMINAR - SECONDARY /FIELD (6)

Prerequisite: Admission to the College of Education; completion of all other coursework in the approved program; a 2.5 grade point average in the area of specialization, in professional education, and in all coursework required in the approved program; and a passing score on the subject matter/content area certification test within the last five years.

Off-campus placement in secondary level schools in two or more grade levels. University and cooperating school supervision. Five full days including seminar for 16 weeks. No other courses may be taken during the semester of student teaching. Credit not given for both GEOG 278 and 4750/375.

4800/342 INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 2840 or consent of the department.

Fundamentals of cartography; data development and acquisition; introduction to data structures and database management; spatial analysis and modeling; GIS applications areas. GIS and Society. Additional course fee.

4810/345 CARTOGRAPHIC DESIGN AND VISUALIZATION (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of 30 credit hours.

Map projections and the concept of distortion, symbolization, and generalization; principles of color, principles of map design, visualization, map animation and map production and reproduction. Additional course fee.

4820/343 ENVIRONMENTAL REMOTE SENSING (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 2840

Photographic and non-photographic techniques of acquiring environmental data, image interpretation and analysis, and fundamentals of digital image processing.

Additional course fee.

4830/344 ADVANCED GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (3)

Prerequisite: GEOG 4800/342.

Advanced concepts in spatial data structures, database development and management, data standards, data errors and quality control, and spatial analysis and modeling. Additional course fee.

4880/380 GEOGRAPHIC MEASUREMENT TECHNIQUES (3)

Prerequisite GEOG 2899/280 ECON 4000/230 or consent of the department.

Analytical methods for geographic decision-making and spatial analysis. Additional course fee.

4890/390 FIELD RESEARCH TECHNIQUES LECTURE AND FIELD /4 (3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Detailed and reconnaissance field work. Classification of natural and cultural features, interview procedures, and preparation of maps and reports based on field data.

4900/395 INDEPENDENT RESEARCH IN GEOGRAPHY (1-3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

Individually supervised study of selected topics. May be repeated for a maximum of six credit hours under different topics.

4990 SENIOR HONORS THESIS (3)

Prerequisites: Senior standing, admittance to the honors in the major program and consent of department.

Directed research and writing. May be repeated for a maximum of six total credits.