shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Geography Minor

Page address:

Required for Minor (Core, 9 cr)


  • GEOG 101 – Introductory Physical Geography (3)
  • GEOG 103 – Introductory Cultural Geography (3)
  • GEOG 340 – United States (3)

Required for Minor (Electives, 9 cr, above 100 level)

  • GEOG Electives



    GEOG 100 (3) Elements of Geography
    An introduction to Geography and its themes of study. The course will familiarize students with where places are located in the world together with their cultural and physical features. Students will be tasked to think critically and diversely about various cultures and features of the modern world.
    Fall, Spring
    GE-8, GE-10
    Diverse Cultures - Purple

    GEOG 101 (3) Introductory Physical Geography
    Survey of the processes and features of the earth’s physical environment, earth-sun relationships, weather, climate, natural vegetation, soil, and landforms. Examines their interrelations and spatial distribution using North America and world-wide examples. Some coverage of human-environmental relations.
    Fall, Spring
    GE-3, GE-10

    GEOG 103 (3) Introductory Cultural Geography
    Cultural aspects of interactions between people and their environment focus- ing on spatial patterns of population, agriculture, politics, language, religion, industrialization, and urbanization. Emphasis is placed on the processes that create the cultural landscape and on management of land and natural resources. Fall, Spring
    GE-5, GE-8
    Diverse Cultures - Purple

    GEOG 210W (3) Landscapes and Places
    Introduction to the concepts of landscape and place in a variety of geographical writings.  Emphasizes works with strong regional overtones.  The interaction between the physical and cultural environments is paramount. Field observation and integrating imagery into original student writing documents is also addressed. WI, GE-10

    GEOG 217 (4) Weather
    An examination of the processes involved in weather formation. Students will be introduced to weather map analysis, simple forecasting and observational techniques, and weather instruments. Includes Weather laboratory work.
    Fall, Spring

    GEOG 299 (1-3) Individual Study
    An assignment that is tailored to individual needs of a student. The instructor and the student arrange the type of project for the student, such as a term paper, readings, mapping, field investigation, or computer cartography.
    Pre: Consent
    Fall, Spring

    An examination of the underlying causes of natural disasters occurring over the globe.

    GEOG 315 (3) Geomorphology
    Covers elements of the structure of the earth and the variety of landforms found on the earth’s surface, with emphasis upon the processes, both past and present, that act upon the surface to create the landforms now visible. Local field trips. Fall

    GEOG 340 (3) United States
    Students will develop a knowledge of the similarities and contrasts in regional landscapes and cultures of the United States.
    Fall, Spring

    GEOG 341 (3) World Regional Geography
    Differences and similarities in the cultural and natural environments by the world’s major regions.  Useful survey of world geography for educators and international relations students.
    Fall, Spring
    Diverse Cultures - Purple

    GEOG 342 (3) Geography of Minnesota
    The course involves the natural and human environments of Minnesota. The physical resources, population history, and current issues are emphasized. Spring

    GEOG 352 (3) GIS for Crime Analysis
    This is a hands-on, exercise-based GIS for Law Enforcement course analyzing the contemporary realities of the spatial and geographic aspects of crime. Stu- dents acquire practical tools necessary to conduct effective mapping and spatial analyses of crime using GIS software. Lab activities are designed to benefit those working with public safety and emergency response systems.
    Fall (Odd Years)

    GEOG 370 (4) Cartographic Techniques
    The lecture material addresses map projections, technology changes in produc- tion, basic analysis and depiction of quantitative point, line and areal data. Also, the evaluation of maps and the history of cartography from a European, Oriental, and American Indian perspective is discussed. All maps are drawn using computer assistance.
    Fall, Spring

    GEOG 373 (4) Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
    The course will be an introduction to the analysis of spatial data using the concept of a geographic information system (GIS). Content of the course will be, to a great extent, based on the NCGIA core curriculum with assignments tailored to the data and software available within the department such as ArcGIS.
    Fall, Spring

    GEOG 401 (1) Colloquium
    Overview of geographic work, interests, and research by guest speakers. Fall

    GEOG 409 (1-4) Selected Topics
    The instructor will develop a specific course on a geographic topic, such as soils, landforms, water resources, energy, housing, population geography, or some other topic for the class.
    Fall, Spring

    GEOG 410 (3) Climatic Environments
    The characteristics of particular climates and understanding the factors that control their spatial distribution.
    Pre: GEOG 101, or consent

    GEOG 411 (3) Soils Geomorphology
    This course examines soils and their role in interpreting the history of landform development. Soils chronicle the environment in which they have formed, and reflect the environment they currently support. Understanding their formation and subsequent distribution is essential to good management practices. Appli- cations include the analysis of soil data bases and assimilation of field derived soil profile data.
    Fall, Spring (On-Demand), Summer (On-Demand)

    GEOG 412 (4) Advanced Weather
    Meteorological principles and theory are applied to the analysis and interpretation of weather data in order to better understand the structure and evolution of syn- optic-scale weather systems. Basic knowledge of mathematics will be assumed. Pre: GEOG 217

    GEOG 414 (3) Biogeography
    Analyzes the distribution and concentration of plants and animals throughout the world. Emphasis is placed on the role of evolution, tectonics, and physical barriers to the distribution and migration of species. Special emphasis is placed on the role of humans in the modern redistribution of species.

    GEOG 415 (4) Earth Surface Processes
    This course examines the natural processes that operate on our planet and shape the landscape presently. This will be done through a focus on applied exercises, measurements and direct/indirect observations. Through applied projects students will have an understanding of how these processes interact within a variety of Earth Systems.
    Fall (On-Demand), Spring (On-Demand), Summer

    GEOG 416 (4) Fluvial Geomorphology and Hydrology
    An in-depth investigation into fluvial systems including sediment transport, sedi- ment budget analysis, channel geometry/morphology, drainage basin analysis, geomorphic evolution of fluvial landscapes, hydrology (i.e., runoff generation and channel formation, storm hydrograph and flood analysis, discharge measure- ments) of fluvial systems, and effects of anthropogenic modification and use of fluvial systems.
    Fall, Spring (On-Demand)

    GEOG 420 (3) Conservation of Natural Resources
    Survey of natural resources emphasizing energy, minerals, soils, fisheries, and water resources. Also addresses timber, wetlands, and wildlife on public and private lands.

    GEOG 425 (3) Economic Geography
    Examines national and international economic geographical order and trade activities.  Topics include economic development, competition, international trade, and impacts on the environment and people.

    GEOG 435 (3) Urban Geography
    Hypotheses and generalization related to urban functions, structure, land use, distribution, growth, and sometimes decline. Emphasis will be mostly on the United States’ urban places.

    GEOG 436 (3) Rural Geography
    Introduction to theoretical frameworks for analyzing processes of economic, environmental, and social change in rural regions. Includes basic and advanced geographical principles and techniques for studying non-urban areas. Designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for carrying out research projects on rural environments.

    GEOG 437 (3) Political Geography
    Spatial problems and structure of governments, focusing on countries of the world and their geographic internal order. Covers such topics as boundary problems, strategic locations, and geopolitical explanations of international and internal relations and conflicts.

    GEOG 438 (3) Social Geography
    Concepts and theories concerning global and national social problems and the significance of geographic analytic methods for social research. Study of factors related to variations in regional standards of living.

    GEOG 439 (4) Transportation Modeling & GIS
    Four major sets of ideas will be covered: Introduction to Spatial Organization, Network Analysis, Allocation Methods, and Urban Transportation. The emphasis is on these approaches to understanding the geography of transport by descrip- tion, explanation, and normative or optimal methods.

    GEOG 440 (1-4) Field Studies
    Various excursions to study physical and cultural landscapes inside and outside of Minnesota.

    GEOG 445 (3) Latin America
    Regional geography covering the ecological and human environment of Middle and South America, including the Caribbean. Students can pick specific topics to study in detail. The geographic relations between the USA and Latin America are also covered. Fall

    GEOG 446 (3) Canada
    Students will develop a knowledge of the environmental, cultural, historical, and economic geographies of Canada. Readings of bestselling fiction and scholarly works written by Canadians will provide a Canadian perspective on the nation’s past, present, and future.

    GEOG 450 (3) Europe
    Cultural, environmental, and economic background of Europe west of Russia and Ukraine. Following a general geographic survey, the course will cover major regions and countries.

    GEOG 454 (3) Russian Realm
    Survey of the area of Russia and her neighbors. Examines regional patterns of the physical environment, natural resources, population distribution, cities, and economic activity. Relates people to the land.

    GEOG 456 (3) Africa
    A survey of the physical and cultural resources and economic development of the continent with emphasis on current issues. Topics discussed will focus on Africa south of the Sahara.

    GEOG 458 (3) Geography of East Asia
    Examines the physical and human environments of eastern Asia, mainly China, Korea and Japan. The class will be assisted by visual sources and hands-on use of primary documents.

    GEOG 464 (4) Teaching Earth Science
    An applied course tailored to meet practical needs of a teacher, related to cur- riculum development and earth science lab equipment and supplies.

    GEOG 471 (4) Digital Field Mapping with GPS
    This course covers the basic strategies for field mapping using data acquired from global positioning systems (GPS).
    Pre:  GEOG 373 or equivalent

    GEOG 473 (4) Intermediate GIS
    Comprehensive examination of computer-assisted systems for manipulation and analysis of spatially-referenced data, including data structure and organization, input and output problems, data management, and strategies for analytical work. Pre: GEOG 373

    GEOG 474 (4) Introduction to Remote Sensing
    This is an introductory course on theories and techniques of remote sensing. Focus will be placed on providing students with a general overview of the ap- plication of remote sensing to practical problems, and hands-on experience for image processing and analysis.

    GEOG 475 (4) Applied Remote Sensing & GIS
    This course provides students the opportunity to develop further knowledge of remote sensing. Emphasis will be placed on introducing advanced theories and techniques for digital image processing and helping students obtain independent research skills using remote sensing data.
    Pre: GEOG 373, GEOG 474

    GEOG 476 (3) Spatial Statistics
    Descriptive statistics, probability, hypothesis testing, introduction to non-para- metric statistics, correlation, introduction to regression analysis, spatial statistics, and principles of data representation in graphs and tables.

    GEOG 477 (1-3) Topics in Techniques
    This offering will include a variety of selected technical topics in geography, including but not necessarily limited to manual cartographic drafting and negative scribing, photomechanical techniques in production cartography, aerial photo interpretation, and advanced coverage of digital analysis of satellite-derived remote sensor data and global positioning systems.
    Pre: Consent

    GEOG 478 (3) Spatial Analysis with GIS
    Introduction to theoretical frameworks for spatial analysis and geographic quantitative methods.  Includes basic and advanced geographic principles and techniques for studying spatial patterns.  Designed to equip students with the skills necessary to carry out research projects that demand advanced statistics.

    GEOG 479 (1-4) GIS Practicum
    This offering will include supervised project work in raster-based and/or vector- based GIS, using problems and data drawn from local or regional agencies or other professional-level organizations with whom the Geography Department maintains a relationship. Students must have completed one of the prerequisite courses, or professional-level experience.
    Pre: GEOG 373 or GEOG 473, or consent

    GEOG 480 (1-4) Seminar
    Topics vary in physical, cultural, economic, political, and historical geography, as well as environmental conservation and geographic techniques.
    Pre: GEOG 373

    GEOG 491 (1-4) Senior Paper
    Fall, Spring

    GEOG 497 (1-10) Internship
    An applied work and learning experience. The student will provide a written internship report on professional practicum and the work supervisor will be consulted on how much the student has accomplished.
    Pre: Consent
    On Demand


    New/Modified Courses Under Construction:
    GEOG 417: Quatnerary Environments (4) (cross-listed with Anthropology 417) - This course will be a interdisciplinary endevour into the last 2.6 million years of Earth's history. We will examine the impacts of climatic variability on geomorphology, archeology, biology and more. Students will learn about current theories regarding how environments in the Quaternary changed and will learn about the methods archeologists, paleoclimatologists and geomorphologists use to reconstruct those past changes. This course will be co-taught be instructors in Geography and Anthropology to understand both natural system change and the impacts those changes had on humanity.

    GEOG 313: Natural Disasters (4) - This course is currently being restructured as a applied evaluation of the processes in our natural world that can lead to catastrophic disasters. This will include incorporating understanding of hazards like Tsunami, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Landslides, Earth Fissures, Ground Subsidence, and much more, in to real world scenarios where disaster could be imminent. Students will then contemplate uncertianty in data and hazard prediction and evaluate hazard potential in different geographic locations to determine risk.