- Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate in written and oral forms. These outcomes are evaluated together because they are connected for our students who often are in careers where their written work is the substance of their oral presentations. We see the linkage of the two to be the most important aspect.
- Students will demonstrate understanding of and the use of one geographical technique such as GIS, remote sensing, cartography, or spatial statistics.
- Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the central themes within the discipline.
- Students will be prepared for careers in the field or for graduate study in geography.
New freshmen who meet University admissions standards are eligible for admission to degree programs offered by the college. A student who wishes to enter the College of Arts and Sciences from another college on the Columbia campus must be in good standing and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher. A student who wishes to enter the College of Arts and Sciences from another UofSC campus must fulfill one of the following requirements:
- Be in good standing, meet the admission requirements for a baccalaureate degree on the Columbia campus, and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher.
- Be in good standing and have completed 30 semester hours with a GPA of 2.00 or higher on a UofSC campus.
Some programs in the College of Arts and Sciences have special admission requirements established by the department or committee that supervises the specific degree program, for example, Cardiovascular Technology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Economics, Environmental Science, the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. These requirements are listed in the sections of this bulletin that describe department and special degree programs.
Degree Requirements (120 hours)
Program of Study
|1. Carolina Core||32-44|
|2. College Requirements||15-18|
|3. Program Requirements||34-49|
|4. Major Requirements||24|
Founding Documents Requirement
All undergraduate students must take a 3-credit course or its equivalent with a passing grade in the subject areas of History, Political Science, or African American Studies that covers the founding documents including the United State Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation and one or more documents that are foundational to the African American Freedom struggle, and a minimum of five essays from the Federalist papers. This course may count as a requirement in any part of the program of study including the Carolina Core, the major, minor or cognate, or as a general elective. Courses that meet this requirement are listed here.
1. Carolina Core Requirements (32-44 hours)
CMW – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written (6 hours)
must be passed with a grade of C or higher
- any CC-CMW courses
ARP – Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving (6-8 hours)
- any CC-ARP courses
SCI – Scientific Literacy (8 hours)
- Two 4-credit hour CC-SCI courses
GFL – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language (0-6 hours)
Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language equivalent to the minimal passing grade on the exit examination in the 122 course is required. Students can demonstrate this proficiency by successfully completing Phase II of the Proficiency Test or by successfully completing the 122 course, including the exit exam administered as part of that course.
It is strongly recommended that students continuing the study of a foreign language begin college-level study of that language in their first semester and continue in that language until their particular foreign language requirement is completed.
GHS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (3 hours)
- any CC-GHS course
GSS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (3 hours)
- any CC-GSS course
AIU – Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (3 hours)
- any CC-AIU course
CMS – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component1 (0-3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-CMS course
INF – Information Literacy1 (0-3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-INF course
VSR – Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility1 (0-3 hours)
- any overlay or stand-alone CC-VSR course
Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements — Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. Some programs may have a higher number of minimum Carolina Core hours due to specified requirements.
Choose at least 1 of the following to fulfill a Carolina Core requirement
must be passed with a grade of C or higher
|GEOG 103||Introduction to Geography||3|
|GEOG 104||Introduction to Physical Geography||3|
|GEOG 105||The Digital Earth||3|
|GEOG 121||Globalization and World Regions||3|
|GEOG 201||Landform Geography||4|
|GEOG 202||Weather and Climate||4|
|GEOG 210||Peoples, Places, and Environments||3|
2. College Requirements (15-18 hours)
Foreign Language (0-3 hours)
- only if needed to meet 122-level proficiency
History (3 hours)
The College of Arts and Sciences requires one U.S. History and one non-U.S. History course. Whichever is not fulfilled through the Carolina Core GHS requirement must be fulfilled through this college requirement. Accordingly, please select one of the following:
- One Carolina Core GHS-approved course primarily focused on U.S. History: HIST 111, HIST 112, HIST 214, or another GHS-approved course determined by the College of Arts and Science to fit this geographic category.
- One Carolina Core GHS-approved course primarily focused on non-U.S. History: HIST 101, HIST 102, HIST 104, HIST 105, HIST 106, HIST 108, HIST 109, GERM 280, FAMS 300, or another GHS-approved course determined by the College of Arts and Sciences to fit this geographic category.
Social Science and Fine Arts or Humanities (12 hours)
- Three hours of Social Science
- Nine hours of Fine Arts or Humanities
3. Program Requirements (34-49 hours)
Cognate or Minor (12-18 hours)
Cognate (12 hours)
The cognate is intended to support the course work in the major. The cognate must consist of twelve (12) hours of courses at the advanced level, outside of but related to the major. The cognate may be taken in one or more departments or programs, depending on the interests of the student and the judgment of the advisor.
Courses offered by departments and programs that are acceptable for cognate credit are outlined in the section titled Courses Acceptable for Cognate Credit in Degree Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.
For cognate course offerings in other colleges, consult the appropriate sections of this bulletin. Some major programs have specific cognate requirements.
It should be emphasized that the cognate is not a second set of elective courses to be chosen at random by the student. The cognate must be approved by the major advisor as being related to the major field of study. Students are urged to consult their major advisors for specific requirements in their major.
Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the cognate.
For Bachelor of Arts degrees, all cognate courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher.
Minor (18 hours)
In place of the cognate a student in the College of Arts and Sciences may choose a minor consisting of at least 18 credit hours of prescribed courses. (Some minors in the sciences require a minimum of 16 hours.) The subject area of the minor may be related to the major. Students pursuing interdisciplinary minors who wish to use courses in their major department for minor credit must petition the College Committee on Scholastic Standards and Petitions for permission to do so.
The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study. It differs from the cognate inasmuch as the courses must be concentrated in one area and must follow a structured sequence. Interdisciplinary minors can be designed with the approval of the assistant dean for academic affairs and advising.
Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher. At least half of the courses in the minor must be completed in residence at the University.
A list of minor programs of study can be found at Programs A-Z.
Electives (16-37 hours)
No courses of a remedial, developmental, skill-acquiring, or vocational nature may apply as credit toward degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences allows the use of the Pass-Fail option on elective courses. Further clarification on inapplicable courses can be obtained from the College of Arts and Sciences.
Note: 4-25 hours of electives will be needed to reach hours to graduate, if completing the B.A. with Distinction.
4. Major Requirements (24 hours)
a minimum grade of C is required in all major courses
Major Courses (6 hours)
|GEOG 495||Seminar in Geography||3|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Interpretation of Aerial Photographs|
|Geographic Information Systems|
|Principles of Remote Sensing|
|Total Credit Hours||6|
Major Electives (18 hours)
- Select 5-6 GEOG courses with advisor’s approval that are tailored towards a topical, methodological, or geographical focus.
Note: Majors may take up to 9 hours of GEOG courses at the 200-level to fulfill major requirements; 6 hours must be at the 500-level. GEOG 595 can be used to fulfill up to 3 hours of geography elective credit, but not the 500-level requirement. Courses used to fulfill Carolina Core or College Requirements may not be used again to fulfill these requirements.
B.A. with Distinction in Geography (36 hours)
Available to students majoring in Geography who wish to participate in significant research activities in their major field under the supervision of a faculty mentor.
A minimum GPA of 3.50 in the major, and 3.30 cumulative, is required to apply for a BA or BS with Distinction in Geography.
- Students must submit a written application for the BA with Distinction in Geography at least eight months before completion of the degree.
- Written sponsorship agreement from a Geography faculty mentor on file in the department.
- An established thesis committee consisting of a tenure-track faculty member in Geography and at least one other tenure-track or research faculty member at the University of South Carolina.
- A written thesis demonstrating significant original work and approved by the thesis committee.
- A public presentation of the Senior Thesis research.
- Successful fulfillment of all requirements below with a minimum GPA of 3.50 in the major and 3.30 cumulative.
- General major requirements, plus 12 additional credit hours including:
Note: South Carolina Honors College students satisfying the above requirements will graduate with “Honors from the South Carolina Honors College” and with “Distinction in Geography.”
A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.
Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.