How We're Different
Aquinas is one of only two liberal arts colleges in Michigan to offer a geography major.
Faculty have expertise in the triad of geography: physical geography, human geography, and geographic techniques.
Students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through faculty-directed research projects(e.g, Mohler-Thompson Summer Program) and internships in the local community (e.g, City of Grand Rapids, Grand Valley Metro Council, Michigan Department of Transportation, and others).
Aquinas geography graduates are employed in a wide variety of jobs including: urban planner, dam inspector, property tax assessor, environmental educator, GIS director, and college professor.
A strong, broad curriculum in geography prepares students well to continue on to graduate school. Since 2006, 100% of graduates applying to geography graduate programs have been awarded assistantships or fellowships.
In the past 10 years, geography majors have gone on to study at graduate schools across the U.S. and the world including: Syracuse University, University of Oregon, University of Georgia, Rutgers University, Cal Poly, University of Wyoming, Swansea University(Wales), University of Texas at Austin, and numerous regional institutions.
Graduate David Baylis ’06 was a Fulbright-Hays Fellow in Turkey for 2014.
Both cartography (map making) and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) are full semester classes, giving students a strong background in geographic techniques.
We use the same GIS software as local, state, and federal agencies, so that students have the skills for entry-level employment in the field of GIS.
Most geography programs are found in large universities where faculty work mostly with graduate students, but at Aquinas, our geography undergraduates are our only majors.
Thirty-two (32) semester hours. Required courses: GY101, GY120, GY140, GY320, GY385, either GY490 or GY491, GY499 and either MS151 or MS252.
Of the remaining courses, at least one must be systematic and one must be regional. Students must obtain a grade of “C” or higher if they want to count the class toward a geography major or minor.
A transfer student majoring in Geography must complete a minimum of eighteen (18) credit hours in geography at Aquinas College.
GY101 Earth Environments (4) NL
GY120 Human Geography (4) PGC, GP
GY140 World Regional Geography (3) PGC, GP
GY320 Cartography: Map Making and Interpretation (4)
GY385 Geographic Information Systems - GIS (4)*
GY490 Advanced Techniques and Topics (4)
GY491 Seminar: Readings in the Development of Geographic Thought (3)
GY499 Geography Capstone Research Seminar (1) SC
MS151 Elementary Statistics (3) QR
MS252 Statistics (3)