City and Regional Planning, Minor


Department of Geography & City & Regional Planning

Michelle Calvarese, Chair
Science Building, Room 182

Degrees and Programs Offered

BA in Geography, B.A.
BS in City and Regional Planning, B.S.
CERT in Community and Regional Planning, Certificate of Adv Study - Continuing & Global Education
MN in Geography, Minor
MN in Meteorology, Minor
MN in City and Regional Planning, Minor

Courses Offered

The world of the 21st century is a place where there are very complex interactions between an increasingly fragile environment and the people who make up the many varied and diverse cultures on it. Geographers are uniquely trained to "see the big picture" so that they can more fully understand these complex interactions of the environment and the many cultures of humankind.

The Geography Department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography, a minor in geography, a minor in meteorology, and an interdisciplinary minor in urban studies. The geography course offerings support undergraduate preparation for careers in environmental study, teaching, weather, regional and urban planning, and preparation for graduate work.

Central to geographic inquiry is a concern with the human occupancy of the earth, the character of the human environment, and the interrelationships that link humans and the physical world. In sum, geography seeks to provide a broad understanding of the world, its people, and its problems. Geography seeks to provide applied specializations and technical skills that can address economic, social, and environmental problems at scales that range from local to global by employing a spatial framework for organizational purposes analogous to the chronological framework employed in history.

Geography integrates much information from the natural and social sciences and because of the diversity of subject matter from which it obtains data, offers a broad, liberal education applicable to many fields of employment.

The department offers a variety of courses that allow students to address different objectives. First, we provide, for both majors and non-majors alike, a greater understanding of the world as an element of a liberal education which has become an increasingly important component of a complete university education. Second, we provide courses that assure a depth of knowledge in subject matter and technique for majors and minors in geography. Third, we serve those students in related disciplines who wish to strengthen programs of study through a selection of courses in geography.

Although there are no options in the degree program, students may select courses that focus on various areas of study.

Examples of such focused study areas could include the following:

  • Geographic Studies: Coursework for the student interested in the world and its spatial patterns. Traditional study which may lead to graduate work and a career in higher education, or with local, state, and federal agencies utilizing geographic analysis, including the use of geographic information systems (GIS).
  • Environmental Studies: Coursework to develop competence in environmental techniques with particular emphasis on such topics as meteorology, pollution, environmental impact analysis, geographic information systems (GIS), and human-environment relationships may lead to graduate work in geography, or employment in various state and federal agencies dealing with environmental problems.
  • Urban and Regional Planning: Coursework for the student interested in the study of how to create communities that balance new development and essential services, environmental protection and innovative change and which may lead to graduate work and a career with local or state agencies. Courses could cover a wide range of subjects including planning, environmental studies, legal issues, and geographic information systems (GIS).

Students must regularly consult with their academic adviser. Such consultation will facilitate course selection and enable the student to develop a program consistent with individual interests and needs.


A laboratory facility is available for student use. The Urban Planning and Environmental Research Laboratory is a 32-station, state-of-the-art, computer laboratory used for instruction and research in urban planning, geographic information systems (GIS), environmental studies, remote sensing, and a variety of other applications.


City and Regional Planning Minor

The City and Regional Planning Minor consists of 21 units of urban planning and geography courses as well as courses related to urban issues from other departments in the College of Social Science. The minor degree provides exposure to urban and regional issues in American cities and how urban and regional planning can help to address these problems.

Coordinator: Consult department chair, Geography Department.

Faculty Advisers: Undergraduate advisors of the Geography Department, Anthropology Department, and Sociology Department.

Required Courses

Concepts and Issues* (9 units)
GEOG 160 or SOC 163 (3 units)
CRP 110 (3 units)
GEOG 81 (3 units)

Methods and Techniques* (6-9 units)
Select from the following list of courses: GEOG 30, 132, 141; PLSI 90; SOC 175

Electives (3-6 units)
With the approval of a program advisor, elect 3-6 units with no more than 3 lower-division units from the following list of courses: AFRS 1, 104W, 135; ANTH 120; BA 154; CLAS 3; CRIM 2; ECON 40, 50; FIN 180; CRP 191T; GEOG 128, 132, 141, 142, 143, 146, 160, 190, 192; HIST 137; PLSI 90, 103, 160, 163, 181; SOC 111, 125, 131, 163. Senior students may elect internship by registering for SSCI 185 (1-3 units).

Total (21 units)

* Students with a course equivalent to one in this category, taken in their major, may, with the approval of the coordinator, substitute additional units from the electives list for the units required here.

Note: The minors also require a minimum of 2.0 GPA and 6 upper-division units in residence.



Instruction at introductory and advanced levels is conducted by a faculty whose teaching and research interests are diverse. All major facets of the discipline are represented as are a number of specializations, which include medical geography, economic studies of China, urban revitalization, political ecology of natural resource management, environmental monitoring using remote sensing, urban air quality, urban and regional planning, environmental planning, and climate change and global governance.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
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