Geography major

mhcc.edu/SocialScience

geographer

Faculty Adviser

Dr. Chris Gorsek: 503-491-7321 | Room AC2674 | Chris.Gorsek@mhcc.edu

Geography students learn about: the Earth’s climate and soil; forms and features of the land; and how people relate to it all. Students also learn how to study, make sense of, and create maps. Because space and place affect many topics (such as health, climate, plants, and animals) geography can relate to many other college majors.

Students who would like to transfer to a four year college to study geography should work with their transfer school and an MHCC adviser.

Curricular Outcomes

At the completion of this curriculum, students should be able to:

  • Explain the dynamics of weather and climate on the planet
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the various biomes on the planet
  • Explain the various political, economic and environmental challenges faced in the various regions on Earth
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the main religious belief systems of the world
  • Explain the various environmental threats facing the planet today
  • Demonstrate the ability to interpret and create maps

Students interested in pursuing the Geography major can complete the following courses toward the Social Science requirement or electives in the AAOT (recommended), AS, AGS or ASLA degrees. Admitted students may also log on to Navigate to start the process of building an academic plan based on this major and can notify an adviser for review.

GEOG105Introduction to Physical Geography3
GEOG106Introduction to World Regional Geography (Cultural Literacy course)3
GEOG107Introduction to Cultural Geography (Cultural Literacy course)3
GEOG202The Geography of Europe (Cultural Literacy course)3
GEOG206Geography of Oregon (Cultural Literacy course)3
GEOG209Geography of the Middle East and North Africa (Cultural Literacy course)3
GEOG214Geography of Mexico and Central America (Cultural Literacy course)3
GEOG290Environmental Problems and Restoration3

The following Geography courses will count toward electives:

GEOG2053
GEOG208The Geography of the U.S. and Canada3
GEOG265Introduction of Geographic Information Systems3
GEOG270Criminology and the Geography of Crime3

Professional Associations and Transfer Schools

geographer

Exploring geography as your major? Learn more with MHCC's Career Coach, which covers: skills needed for each career, wages, employment rates, and live job postings in the Greater Multnomah County Area.

Careers related to geography:

The following shows just one example of how students can complete an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree while also taking lower-division geography courses. Be sure to work with an MHCC adviser and the transfer institution you'd like to attend to ensure correct courses are being taken. Not all courses are offered every term. Click on a course number to see what term(s) the course is typically offered.

  • Full time = 12 or more credits per term; takes about 2 years to complete.
  • 3/4 time = 9 to 11 credits per term; takes about 3 years to complete.
  • Part time = 6 to 8 credits per term; takes about 4 years to complete.

Sample Plan (full time)

Plan of Study Grid
First QuarterCredits
GEOG105 Introduction to Physical Geography 3
WR121Z Composition I (Course offered online) 4
Arts & Letters (ART260 recommended) 4
Elective / university requirement 4
 Credits15
Second Quarter
GEOG106 Introduction to World Regional Geography (Cultural Literacy course) 3
WR122Z
Composition II (Course offered online)
or Technical Writing (Course offered online)
4
MTH105Z Math in Society 4
Elective / university requirement 4
 Credits15
Third Quarter
GEOG107 Introduction to Cultural Geography (Cultural Literacy course) 3
Lab Science (GS106 recommended) 3-5
Electives / university requirements 8
 Credits15
Fourth Quarter
GEOG206
Geography of Oregon (Cultural Literacy course)
or The Geography of the U.S. and Canada
3
Social Science (SOC204 recommended) 4
Oral Communication 3-4
Lab Science 3-5
 Credits15
Fifth Quarter
GEOG202
The Geography of Europe (Cultural Literacy course)
or The Geography of the U.S. and Canada
3
GEOG265 Introduction of Geographic Information Systems 3
GEOG290 Environmental Problems and Restoration 3
Lab Science 3-5
Arts & Letters (ART205 recommended) 3-4
 Credits16-17
Sixth Quarter
Arts & Letters 3-4
Health & Physical Education 3
Science / Math / Computer Science 3-5
Elective, if needed to reach 90 credits 4
 Credits14-15
 Total Credits90-92

GEOG105 Introduction to Physical Geography

Credits 3Fall/Spring

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W; each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This geography course explores the physical environment. The main focus is on the natural environmental processes that occur on the surface and near surface portions of our planet. General topics include the atmosphere, energy flow, weather and climate, water and soils, biogeography (plants and animals), biomes, land forms, plate tectonics, weathering, streams, glaciers, deserts and coastal processes. Cartography (map making), map interpretation and the effects of human modification of the environment (such as acid precipitation, ozone depletion, deforestation and desertification) are also discussed.

This course fulfills: Human Relations; Social Science

GEOG106 Introduction to World Regional Geography (Cultural Literacy course)

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W; each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course explores the various realms of the world. Realms are the largest areas into which our planet can be divided. The difference between these realms is examined in terms of both the natural environment and the cultural characteristics of each of these unique sections of our planet. Issues relating to human modification of the natural environment, politics, economics and poverty are emphasized. Regions that are normally explored include North America, Middle America, South America, Europe, Russia and the former Soviet Republics, North Africa and Southwest Asia (including the Middle East), South Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia and the Pacific as well as Antarctica and international waters.

This course fulfills: Cultural Literacy; Human Relations; Social Science

GEOG107 Introduction to Cultural Geography (Cultural Literacy course)

Credits 3Spring

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W; each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

Cultural geography focuses on all aspects of human life on our planet. Topics generally include culture, language, religion, economics, development, transportation, political organization, urban systems, the cultural landscape, energy resources and the relationship between humans and the natural environment. Emphasis is placed on North America but other cultural perspectives are also cons idered.

This course fulfills: Cultural Literacy; Human Relations; Social Science

GEOG202 The Geography of Europe (Cultural Literacy course)

Credits 3Winter - odd years

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W; each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course explores Europe from the geographical perspective. General topics include the history, culture, economics, international trade links, politics, international relations, transportation systems, pollution and natural environments and hazards of the western portion of Eurasia. Specific topics include the processes involved in the creation of the European Union, the devolutionary factors at work against the European Union and the past and present European urban system.

This course fulfills: Cultural Literacy; Human Relations; Social Science

GEOG206 Geography of Oregon (Cultural Literacy course)

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W; each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course explores the state from a geographical perspective that focuses upon where things are, what they are made of, why they are there and what their future is likely to be. Course topics include the history, culture, economics, politics, international trade links, transportation systems and natural environments of the state of Oregon. A portion of the class is also dedicated exclusively to Portland and its surrounding communities, which is the largest urban area in the state and a very important regional urban center.

This course fulfills: Cultural Literacy; Human Relations; Social Science

GEOG208 The Geography of the U.S. and Canada

Credits 3Fall - odd years

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W; each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This is an area studies course covering the United States and Canada, which approaches things from a geographic perspective. That perspective explores what the region is like at present, asks how it came to be that way and what it may look like in the future. This class provides the student with information regarding the physical and cultural geography of the northern portion of North America. Specific topics include the history of the region, NAFTA, immigration and current political and environmental concerns.

GEOG209 Geography of the Middle East and North Africa (Cultural Literacy course)

Credits 3Winter - even years

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W; each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

The class explores the Middle East and North Africa from the geographical perspective. Included topics are the history, culture, economics, international trade links, politics, international relations, transportation systems, pollution and natural environments, and hazards of this important part of our world. Specific topics: the physical geography of the area and its environmental challenges, conflict in the area, issues related to resources such as water and oil, and the potential for peace in the region.

This course fulfills: Cultural Literacy; Human Relations; Social Science

GEOG214 Geography of Mexico and Central America (Cultural Literacy course)

Credits 3Spring - odd years

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W; each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course explores Mexico and Central America as well as the Caribbean from a geographical perspective including what things are like in a particular area, how they came to be that way and what the future of that area is likely to be. Topics include history, culture, economics, trade, politics, international relations, transportation, pollution, natural hazards and climate of this neighboring portion of our world. Specific discussions include the territorial contraction of Old Mexico, the US-Mexican War, recent conflicts in Central America, Liberation Theology, illegal immigration and drug smuggling into the United States, the development and subsequent decline of maquiladoras in Northern Mexico and NAFTA. Offered at irregular intervals.

This course fulfills: Cultural Literacy; Social Science

GEOG265 Introduction of Geographic Information Systems

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: CIS120L; or instructor consent.

This course covers the fundamentals of how to manage, manipulate and display spatially referenced data for land-use planning and decision making. Students work with GIS software applications. This course is also offered as FT228. Students may not receive credit for both GEOG265 and FT228.

Additional Course Fee: $15.00

GEOG270 Criminology and the Geography of Crime

Credits 3Spring

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W; each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course is designed to give students a deeper understanding of criminal behavior and the interactions between human beings and the environment as it relates to unlawful behavior and victimization. Topics include discussions relating to basic criminological theories as well as the geography of crime, defensible space theory, broken windows theory and routine activities theory, among others. This course is also taught as CJA270. The student may receive credit as GEOG270 or CJA270, but not both.

GEOG290 Environmental Problems and Restoration

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W; each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course is an introduction to the natural environment and the problems associated with the presence and activities of human beings on earth. The basic principles of ecological science are introduced as is an exploration of environmental ethics, philosophy and politics. Environmental degradation and solutions to it are a key focus.

This course fulfills: Human Relations; Social Science

GEOG298 Independent Study - Reading and Conference: Geography

Credits 3Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W; and MTH020; each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course focuses on a more in-depth study of a geographic topic through reading a book or a series of shorter publications on the subject at hand. The student will meet with the instructor three times during the course of the term to discuss his or her progress. The student will also write a term paper describing the main themes of assigned reading(s) and the student's own evaluation of the book or articles.

Course offered online

Cultural Literacy course