Meet Department Advisors
Undergraduate Advising & Support Services
Questions about the major requirements, course schedules, concentration options, honors and thesis options, and scholarships should be directed to Leslie McLees, the undergraduate advisor in Geography and in Spatial Data Science and Technology (SDS). It is recommended that all Geography and SDS majors and minors see the advisor upon entrance to the program. Before contacting the advisor, please check the Frequently Asked Questions below to see if your questions are addressed.
If you have questions specific to geography course offerings and planning, want to explore in-depth what our department can offer academically and professionally, or you are already a major or minor in our department, feel free to schedule an appointment or send an email to Leslie McLees. Because all advising is online, once you create an appointment on the calendar, you will receive a link to a Zoom session with Leslie within a few hours. Please save this link for the meeting.
Before Your Advising Appointment
Prior to your advising meeting, please come prepared by completing the following:
- Review the major requirements. Read over the Major Checksheet front and back, including GPA minimum, concentration options (for Geography), honors requirements, and minor/double major requirements. Be sure that you are aware of these requirements prior to your meeting.
- Update your major checksheet. Complete or update your Major Checksheet with the courses you have taken or plan on taking. Please note that students entering the Geography major beginning in the Fall 2022 term have a different checksheet than those who entered prior to that term. Bring this sheet with you to your advising meeting.
- Review your Degree Audit Report. Review your Degree Audit Report on Duckweb to make sure that your personal checksheet matches university records. If there are any discrepancies or errors, bring a copy of this report to your meeting. For help in understanding how to read your Degree Audit, the General Advising Office has a useful YouTube video.
- Read any other background information relevant to your questions. If you are thinking about an internship, study abroad, a double major, honors or any other program possibilities, read the appropriate material prior to your appointment.
Geography Advising FAQs
Listed below are several questions frequently asked about the undergraduate program and degree requirements. Look though these and take the appropriate steps. Some issues you will be able to solve on your own, and others will require you to communicate with someone to resolve the issue.
How do I declare a Geography major, minor, or concentration or the major in Spatial Data Science and Technology (SDST)?
This process can be done completely online. Complete the major declaration form. Make sure you complete the entire form. If you are declaring the Geography major, declare your concentration in the appropriate space. If you are still undecided on your concentration, you can leave it blank, but be sure to complete this form again once you have decided. You can also use this form to drop another major or minor.
I just declared my major or minor as Geography or SDST. What should I do?
It is always a safe bet to schedule an appointment with the Undergraduate Advisor to ensure that your requirements are being met. Definitely have a look at the Geography Major Checklist (which also has information for minors), a.k.a. the “Green Sheet,” or the SDS Major Checklist (the “Grey Sheet”).
How can I change my concentration in geography?
To change your concentration, complete the major declaration form.
Can I do a double concentration in geography?
Several of our majors do chose to complete more than one concentration, especially if they are looking for more depth in a different area and have the opportunity to take more credits. Follow the same process of changing your concentration above, but instead just indicate that you are adding a concentration. While your first concentration must conform to the rules of type of degree (BS or BS) and concentration(see the green sheet), your second concentration does not have to. You can get a BS with a GIScience concentration, but if you chose a second concentration, it can be a Culture, Politics and Place.
I took a course that was supposed to count for a specific requirement, but it isn’t showing up on my degree audit as fulfilling that requirement. What do I do?
This is probably the most common question in advising. Many courses, such as 410, 399 and more are offered as different courses each term. As such, we can’t assign them permanent codes that tell the registrar where to put them in your degree audit. To fix this, email the Undergraduate Advisor with the following information: your name, 95#, the course in question and where you want it to count. The Undergraduate Advisor will confirm that the course can be put there and will email the registrar.
My transfer courses aren’t falling into the right place in my degree audit. What can I do?
If the courses in question are geography courses, send the syllabuses to the Undergraduate Advisor with your name and 95# and a request that these count as transfer credit. You may be asked to schedule an appointment to talk about it. There is no guarantee that the courses will eventually count, but the Advisor will look through them and consider, with faculty input, if and how the course might count towards your geography degree. If the courses in question are outside geography and you want them to count for gen-ed requirements, you must go through the registrar to petition for them to count. Go to the Transfer Articulation website of the registrar for more information.
Can an internship or research credits count towards any of the Geography or SDST requirements?
Yes. They can generally count towards a concentration requirement. However, in order to do so, you must work closely with your supervisor and communicate with the Undergraduate Advisor to create a project that will provide an experience that will fit within one of your concentration credits. Also keep in mind that generally you will receive 1 credit for every 3 hours worked, and you still need 12 total credits in your concentration to fulfill the requirement. You do have the option of splitting it up over a number of terms to fulfill the four-credit requirement.
How do I get my study abroad credits to count towards my geography or SDST major or minor?
Generally you should have worked through the study abroad office prior to your trip, so you will have some idea of what will count. Usually the study abroad office and the registrar have a system that automatically asks for approval from departments, which is granted by the Undergraduate Advisor with faculty input. If any classes fall through the cracks, make an appointment with the Undergraduate Advisor to talk through potential ways to handle the course(s). Any other questions? Either make an appointment with the Undergraduate Advisor or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Major and Minor Maps
Why study Geography? What’s required for a degree? It’s all summarized in our major and minor maps below.