Geography studies the interaction between people and their environments including the ways in which the people, the environments, and the interactions all vary from place to place over the earth. Because it is concerned with the character of people and their cultures on the one hand, and with the character of the earth's surface and its resources on the other, geography is both a social and a natural science. The UW geography program is organized into four major thematic areas: physical geography, people-environmental studies, cartography and GIS, and human geography. There is intentional overlap among the thematic areas and many of our faculty work across subfields (e.g., teach courses in both human and people-environment).
All students pursuing a concentrated minor in geography are required to connect with a faculty member with whom they can work to establish a reasonable course list to complete 9 credits in the department. That faculty member will, ultimately, be responsible for signing off on completion of the minor. Students interested in the geography minor are encouraged to explore the department's faculty pages and contact faculty members with shared research interests.