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Geography

Learn about the earth, environment and humanity

Studying geography rewards you with a deep understanding of Earth's processes and the connections between humans and our environment. Geography is unique in that you can choose to emphasize your studies on the natural sciences or social sciences. Geography majors learn how to conduct research, solve social and environmental problems, think critically, and organize thoughts and ideas according to the scientific method.

School of Humanties, Education, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Programs of Study

Geography

Associate in Arts for Transfer (MAA758/MAA759)

The Geography for Transfer degree prepares students to approach the solving of real world problems through application of comparative perspectives inherent in geographic education. Students will gain an in-depth awareness and understanding of Earth’s natural environment and processes, culture, politics and economics for the globalized world.

Students will also learn how to use resources, field equipment, spatial technology, and map data to understand and solve geographic problems.

This degree assists students with seamless transfer to a California State University.

More Ways to Learn

Why study geography?

Pursuing geography is ideal for students seeking further studies in the natural sciences, who want to become environmental researchers, or those who want to study culture and work in education or government.

Transfer Options

Eighteen CSU and three UC institutions have geography undergraduate degrees:

  • CSU San Bernardino, Long Beach, Fullerton, Dominguez Hills, Los Angeles, San Marcos, Northridge, Chico, Humboldt, Sacramento, Fresno, Stanislaus, Sonoma, San Francisco, as well as San Diego State University, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and San Jose State University
  • UC Los Angeles, Berkeley, and Santa Barbara

Career Options

  • Academic, including K-12 and college educator
  • Cartographer
  • Computer Programmer
  • City or Urban Planner
  • Ecologist or Environmental Consultant
  • Geospatial Analyst
  • GIS Specialist
  • Hydrologist
  • Market Analyst
  • Park Ranger
  • Real estate and retail markets

Meet your faculty

Geography faculty at MVC are here to help you accomplish your academic goals.

  • Chat bubble icon
    Anya Marquis
    Associate Professor
    Learn about Anya
  • Chat bubble icon
    Jim Hayes
    Associate Professor

Featured Courses

MVC offers a variety of geography courses that touch upon the scientific, social and technical aspects of this field of study.
  • Course Name: Physical Geography, 3 units with optional 1 unit lab
  • Course Number: GEG-1, 1H or 1L
  • About this course: The interacting physical processes of air, water, land, and life that impact Earth's surface. Topics include weather and climate, the water cycle, landforms and plate tectonics, and the characteristics of plant and animal life. Emphasis is on interrelationships among systems and processes and their resulting patterns and distributions. There is a heavy emphasis on maps as descriptive and analytical tools.
  • Honors, GEG-1H: The honors course off­ers an enriched experience for accelerated students by limited class size, seminar format, student generated and led discussions and projects, the application of higher level thinking, reading, and writing skills analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. 
  • Lab component, GEG-1L: Practical application of scientific principles through geographically based in-class exercises using a variety of tools, such as maps, photos, and data in various forms.
  • Course Name: Human Geography, 3 units
  • Course Number: GEG-2
  • About this course: The geographic analysis of the human imprint on the planet. A study of diverse human populations, their cultural origins, di­ffusion and contemporary spatial expressions emphasizing demography, languages, religions, urbanization, landscape modification, political units and nationalism, economic systems and development. Emphasis is given to interrelationships between human activities and the biophysical environment.
  • Course Name: World Regional Geography, 3 units
  • Course Number: GEG-3
  • About this course: A study of major world regions, emphasizing current characteristics and issues including cultural, economic, political, and environmental conditions. Topics may include the natural environment, population distribution, cultural practices, political institutions, economic development, agricultural practices, and urbanization.
  • Course Name: Geography of California, 3 units
  • Course Number: GEG-4
  • About this course: An introduction to California’s physical and cultural diversity as well as the issues facing individual regions. The course introduces students to a geographic approach to observing, understanding, and explaining California’s ethnic diversity, culture, environment, natural resources, geologic and human history, and environmental impact. Emphasis is placed on contemporary social, economic, and environmental issues that Californians are facing in the context of California’s history and reputation as a leader in cultural, social, and technological innovation. Topics include the formation of California’s physical landscapes and physiographic regions, natural resources, weather and climate, biogeography and ecology, environmental change, water resources, air quality, agriculture, technology and manufacturing, population, Native American history and demographic change, culture and ethnic and racial diversity.
  • Course Name: Map Interpretation and Analysis, 3 units
  • Course Number: GEG-7
  • About this course: Maps are tools that we use to navigate, explore, and understand our world. ‑is course introduces us to maps and their interpretation and analysis as forms of data, information, and as tools of communication about our world. The elements of map design, including data sources, projections, scale, and symbology are examined. The role that map design, error, and subjective choices play in creating maps that inform, impress, or mislead, as well as other map purposes, may be covered. Fundamental skills, including the use of map grids, scale, and symbols to identify and interpret landscape features are developed. Methods and the use of tools for measurement and analysis of distances, areas, direction, and route finding with maps, will be practiced. The relationship between remote sensing data/satellite images and aerial photography may be examined, including image and air photo analysis techniques. 
  • Course Name: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, 3 units
  • Course Number: GEG-8, includes a lab
  • About this course: Study of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and science. Examines fundamental concepts including the utility of GIS in numerous career fields, digital data models, spatial database design, and approaches for spatial analysis of geographic data. Lab introduces students to applications of GIS for exploring environmental and social issues while developing core skills for working with, evaluating, and extracting information from digital map data. GIS and GPS applications will be used for data gathering, management, analysis, and display.
  • Course Name: Field Studies in Geography, 1 unit
  • Course Number: GEG-30A, B, C, and D
  • About this course: A field course with trips to regional points of geographic interest. Can be delivered as a series of weekend field excursions or as one, week-long geography expedition to a site of interest. Includes guided field-based observations and investigations of regional geography including a variety of topographic expressions, basic geographic processes, and cultural landscapes. Students may be required to camp outdoors in campgrounds. Designed to supplement other courses in geography and to increase interest and understanding of the world we live in.