As a University of Mary Washington geography major, you’ll take classes in cultural, political, economic, and physical aspects of places around the globe. You’ll learn how humans interact with their environments, both human-made and natural, and you’ll have opportunities to broaden your life experience by studying abroad. Thanks to UMW’s strong liberal arts program and interdisciplinary approach, you’ll gain communication and technical skills that will enhance your career — and your whole life.
Areas of Study
The geography major has three areas of emphasis:
- Globalization: A focus on the geographies of globalization and its political, cultural, and economic dimensions.
- Community, Development, and Culture: A focus on how people living in specific places and regions experience and affect social, cultural, economic, and environmental processes.
- Nature and Society: A focus on the climatologic, geomorphic, biogeographic, and social processes that shape the natural environment and affect human life.
University of Mary Washington’s proximity to Washington, D.C., gives students access to the greatest concentration of geography-related work sites in the United States. UMW students have held internships with federal agencies, local governments, private industry, and nonprofit organizations.
To graduate with departmental honors, you must be a declared geography major by the beginning of your senior year. You must have a grade-point average of 3.5 in major courses and a 3.0 grade point average overall at the beginning of the second semester of your senior year. In consultation with an advisor, you’ll propose, research, and write a thesis. You’ll defend it before a committee, which determines whether it merits departmental honors.
At least 35 credits including required introductory and intermediate classes; methods; and upper-level electives. Study abroad may fulfill some requirements.
The Geography Alumni Scholarship is granted to a rising junior or senior geography major who demonstrates excellence and a commitment to the discipline.
The Richard P. Palmieri Award goes to a non-senior geography major who demonstrates excellence in introductory and upper-level courses.
The National Council for Geographic Education award recognizes enthusiasm for and commitment to geography.
The Matthew Fontaine Maury Award recognizes excellence in geographic techniques.
The Harold Thompson Straw award goes to a student who exhibits professional potential for scholarly contribution in geography.
The Meriwether Lewis and William Clark award is for the graduating geography major with the highest GPA in geography courses.