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Phone: 512.245.2170
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Email: geography@txstate.edu

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Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Click here for a list of writing intensive geography and geology courses.

1105 (GEOL 1147) Meteorology Laboratory. (0-2) Laboratory observations, calculations and exercises of meteorological data and phenomena. Prerequisite or corequisite: GEO 1305, Meteorology.

1305 (GEOL 1347) Meteorology. (3-0) An introduction to atmospheric science providing information on the properties of the atmosphere, the scientific principles that govern weather and climate, and interactions between the atmosphere and the other components of the Earth system.

1309 (GEOG 1302) Introduction to Cultural Geography. (3-0) This course introduces students to the geographical perspective. It focuses on spatial distributions of human activities and investigates underlying geographical processes that account for present and past cultural patterns such as population, folk and popular culture, language, religion, gender, ethnicity, politics, urban and rural land use, and economic development. (MC)

1310 (GEOG 1303) World Geography. (3-0) This course stresses the similarities and differences of the major world regions. Emphasis is given to human behavior in a spatial context. (MC)

2310 Introduction to Environmental Geography. (3-0) Introduces the geographic perspective to examine the Earth’s environment and its opportunities, constraints and risks. Principles of scale space and distributions will be used in examining the environment.

2410 Introduction to Physical Geography. (3-2) A systematic study of the various elements that make up the Earth’s physical environment, weather, climate, vegetation, soil and landforms. Prerequisite: MATH 1315 or above (excluding MATH 1316) with a grade of "C" or higher. 

2420 Introduction to Geographic Information Techniques. (3-2) The course will introduce the foundations of geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing, cartography, data analysis, and other tools and methods used by geographic information scientists. Maps, data collection, using and creating Internet content, and data analysis and display will be topics in the course. 

2426 Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems. (2-4) This course is an introduction to geographic information systems (GIS), a tool for integrating and analyzing spatial data to visualize relationships, seek explanations and develop solutions to pressing problems. The foundations and theory of GIS will be emphasized.

2427 Management and Implementation of GIS. (2-4) This course addresses strategies for successful GIS management and implementation in an organization-wide context and is organized around four primary issues: implementation planning, data management, technology assessment, and organizational setting. Prerequisite: GEO 2426 or equivalent. 

3134 Water Quality Monitoring and Management. (0-3) This course incorporates the water quality training of Texas Watch so students can receive certification and become Texas Watch water quality monitors. In addition, students learn to compile, analyze, and present water quality data for watershed management. May be repeated once for credit. Corequisite or prerequisite: GEO 3434.

3301 Quantitative Methods in Geography. (3-0) This course introduces the quantitative methods used by geographers to describe, explain and predict spatial organization. Course topics include statistical techniques, from summary descriptive measures through simple linear regression, and the utility of statistical software for solving geographic problems.  Prerequisite: MATH 1315 or above (excluding MATH 1316) with a grade of "C" or higher.

3303 Economic Geography. (3-0) This course investigates the geographic organization of economic activity with emphasis on the interconnections from global to local scales. Technological advances, resource creation and destruction, supply and demand, distribution and development, environmental impacts, and economic justice are addressed. Theoretical models are used to interpret past and current situations. (MC)

3305 Climatology. (3-0) Introduction to the elements of  climate and their use in environmental monitoring and analysis.  Prerequisite: GEO 1305 or 2410 with a grade of "C" or higher.

3306 Geography of the American South. (3-0) A regional analysis of the American South with emphasis on both physical and human topical issues and current problems. (MC)

3307 Geography of Europe. (3-0) The course presents a systematic and regional investigation of the physical and cultural processes and phenomena that have created the characteristic landscapes of Europe. Topics include the climate, landform regions, trade, transportation, urban growth, population change, and evolution of economic integration in the region. (MC)

3308 Latin America. (3-0) A regional survey of the physical and cultural geography of Latin America. (MC)

(WI) 3309 United States and Canada. (3-0) This course provides a systematic and regional analysis of the United States and Canada with emphasis on contemporary economic, environmental, political and social issues. (MC)

3310 Urban Geography. (3-0) The study of city systems, form and development with emphasis on functional patterns, economic base, industrial location, service, and social area analysis. 

3313 Natural Resource Use and Planning. (3-0) Problems involved in the use and conservation of natural and agricultural resources.

(WI) 3320 Community and Regional Planning. (3-0) History and development of planning in the United States, organizational and legal frameworks for planning, and an analysis of planning approaches and procedures, particularly within the context of the comprehensive plan.

(WI) 3321 Energy Resource Management. (3-0) An analysis of energy sources, their distribution and characteristics, and the problems associated with their use and management. 

3323 Location Analysis. (3-0) Location and movement stressed in terms of the factors considered in locating industry, business, housing and community facilities. 

3325 Geomorphology. (3-0) This course provides a study of landforms, the processes and materials that form them and change them over time. Students will be introduced to bibliographic research and the interpretation of landforms and landscapes in the field from photographs or maps. Prerequisite: GEO 2410 or GEOL 1410 or equivalents with a grade of "C" or higher. 

3328 Geography of North Africa and the Middle East. (3-0) A regional treatment dealing with the physical features and cultural activities of the people in North Africa and the Middle East. (MC)

3329 Geography of Texas. (3-0) A physical and cultural geography of Texas with special emphasis on human resources and economic activities. (MC)

(WI) 3332 Geography of South and Southeast Asia. (3-0) This course is a systematic and regional overview of the physical and human geography of the countries of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Topics include the monsoons, cultural diversity, rapid economic development, agricultural systems, and environmental problems. (MC)

3333 Geography of China and Japan. (3-0) This course provides a regional overview of the physical and human geography of the countries of East Asia. This course also systematically examines China, Korea and Japan by closely examining such topics as the impacts of high population densities and intensive land use practices. (MC)

3335 Oceanography. (3-0) An introductory course about the physical, chemical, geologic and biologic characteristics of the oceans and coastal areas. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the oceans as a component of the global environment. Prerequisite: "C" or higher in GEO 2410 or GEOL 1410 or BIO 1320 or BIO 1430. 

3340 Political Geography. (3-0) Political geography concerns the interrelationship between political activities and spatial distributions. Topics include the concept of the state, international spheres of influence and confrontation, boundaries, contemporary world issues and problems, and geographic aspects of electoral politics. (MC)

3349 Population Geography. (3-0) An in-depth study of the spatial distribution and movement of human populations. The course will emphasize current issues and analytical techniques. Topics will include the impact of population growth, spatial diffusion processes, migration trends and theories, explanation of regional demographic differences, and techniques such as population projections. (MC)

3351 Geography of Health. (3-0) This course introduces concepts of health, health care, disease, and illness from a geographical perspective. The course will examine how people and societies interact geographically with the environment in ways that result in varying degrees of health. The focus will be on understanding health from the perspective of populations rather than individuals in a geographic context.

(WI) 3353 American Ethnic Geography. (3-0) A geographical analysis of ethnic groups in the United States with emphasis on their settlement patterns, spatial interactions and current problems. (MC)

3411 Maps and Mapmaking. (3-2) An introduction to reference and thematic map use and design. The course introduces basic cartographic mapping techniques for quantitative and qualitative data, teaches about geospatial analysis and interpretation, and enables students to design basic maps. 

3416 Principles of Remote Sensing. (3-2) Introduction to the acquisition, mensuration, interpretation, and mapping of aerial photographs and satellite images for environmental monitoring and inventorying. Prerequisite: GEO 2410 with a grade of "C" or higher. 

3426 Advanced GIS. (2-4) This course builds on the principles introduced in GEO 2426 and presents an in-depth examination of the technical aspects involved in spatial data handling, analysis, and modeling. Prerequisite: “C” or better in MATH 1315 or above (excluding MATH 1316) and GEO 2426.

3434 Water Resources. (3-2) This course analyzes within a geographical perspective the formation, use, conservation and management of water resources. Students will develop a working knowledge of the hydrologic, water quality, legal, economic, political and societal factors that determine water availability, hazards, use, demand and allocation. Prerequisite: GEO 2410 or equivalent with a grade of "C" or higher. 

4190 Independent Study. (1-0) Individual study under direct supervision of a professor. May involve field trips. This course may be repeated for credit, but a student may not exceed six hours of credit in Independent Study. 

4290 Independent Study. (2-0) Individual study under direct supervision of a professor. May involve field trips. This course may be repeated for credit, but a student may not exceed six hours of credit in Independent Study. 

4306 Geography of the Southwest. (3-0) Though primarily defined by aridity, the southwestern United States is extremely diverse in its environments and its people. This course explores how people have related to this land. This course also examines current issues and future trends in natural resources and cultural processes in the region.

(WI) 4310 Regional Field Studies. (3-0) Observation, description and analysis of a geographical environment based upon off-campus study in that environment. May be repeated once, provided the second study is in a different region, for a total of 6 semester hours. 

4313 Environmental Management. (3-0) This course provides an analysis of the causes of environmental problems, from local to global scale, and the evaluation of attempts at management and solutions of those problems. Emphasis will be placed on the role that geography can play in environmental degradation and management. Prerequisite: GEO 2410 with a grade of "C" or higher.

(WI) 4314 River Basin Management. (3-0) The purpose of this course is to study principles and practices of large-scale river basin management. Emphasis is on integrated management of land and water resources, including economic development and environmental protection issues. Prerequisite: GEO 2410 with a grade of "C" or higher. 

4316 Landscape Biogeography. (3-0) Investigation of present-day and post-Pleistocene spatial patterns of plants, animals, and biogeograpical processes. Human interactions with biogeographical patterns is also addressed, as are methods for reconstructing Holocene patterns of biogeographic distribution. Course to be taught every other year. Prerequisite: GEO 2410 with a grade of "C" or higher. 

4321 Planning Methods and Procedures. (3-0) A practical course on the design, analysis and implementation of planning studies and procedures, with emphasis on methods utilized in planning for housing, community facilities, industry, commerce and transportation including a discussion of renewal, community development, fund generation and programming.  Prerequisite: Grade of "C" or better in GEO 3320.

(WI) 4322 Interpretive Environmental Geography. (3-0) Students learn principles, themes and techniques for effective interpretation of environmental information to audiences ranging from park visitors to professional conferences. Interpretive themes are drawn from geographic concepts including physical and cultural landscapes and cultural ecology. Techniques emphasize effective use of traditional and digital presentation methods. 

4325 Fluvial Processes. (3-0) Students analyze modern principles of river processes and forms within a geographical perspective. This course examines the fundamental mechanics of fluvial channels with an emphasis on quantitative geographic evaluation of their processes. The course emphasizes natural scientific perspectives and includes linkages to ecology, engineering, resources management and policy. Prerequisite: GEO 3325 or 3434 with a grade of "C" or higher. 

(WI) 4328 Geography of the Russian Realm. (3-0) This course presents a regional and systematic overview of the physical and human geography of the countries of the former Soviet Union. The course examines in-depth issues such as the legacy of the degraded landscape and environmental problems left by decades of Soviet industrialization. (MC)

4334 Groundwater Resources. (3-0) This course examines, within a geographical perspective, the major concepts and principles that control groundwater availability and use. Students will analyze aquifer characteristics that determine their water quantity and quality. Constraints on aquifer use including environmental, economic, societal and legal factors will be analyzed for optimizing aquifer management and water-use policy. Prerequisite: GEO 3434 with a grade of "C" or higher. 

4335 Directed Research. (3-0) Individual and group research projects at the advanced level that are not offered in the present curriculum. Permission and project approval must be obtained from the faculty member prior to registration. This course may be repeated for credit, but a student may not exceed six hours of credit in Directed Research. 

4336 Transportation System. (3-0) This course is an examination of the evolution of urban transportation systems, policies, institutions and methods in the United States. Principles, procedures and techniques of transportation planning in the State of Texas are covered and students are introduced to the literature in transportation geography and methods of transportation analysis. 

4338 Land Use Planning. (3-0) A study of the patterns, characteristics and impacts of land use at the local and regional levels. Also, how effective management through the use of such planning tools as the comprehensive plan, capital improvements, programming, subdivision regulations, and zoning influences the utility of land. 

4339 Environmental Hazards. (3-0) Analysis of environmental hazards with respect to human use of the land. Includes geologic hazards and problems caused by floods and meteorological conditions. Prerequisite: GEO 2410 with a grade of "C" or higher.

(WI) 4340 Fundamental Themes in Geography. (3-0) Students will become familiar with the K-12 Geography Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and the national geography content standards, identify instructional resources and materials, design instructional units, and fully develop grade-level-appropriate, inquiry- based lessons and student assessments.  

4341 Water Policy. (3-0) This course covers the evolution of water policy from the awareness of issues, through the political and legal process, to the implementation of specific plans, programs, and facilities. Prerequisite: GEO 3434 and 4313 with a grade of  "C" or higher.

4350 Solid Waste Planning and Management. (3-0) A survey of the methods of solid waste disposal including waste storage, collection, transportation and disposal, and their short and long-range effects on the environment. A practical course in the planning, implementation and management of alternate methods of sanitary waste disposal. Prerequisite: GEO 2410 with a grade of "C" or higher. 

4355 Geography of Crime. (3-0) This course provides understanding of geographical aspects of crime and criminal behavior. Students are exposed to theories and analysis methods and models explaining and predicting crime spatial patterns. Computer exercises give students hands on experience on crime pattern analysis.

4380 Internship in Geography. (3-0) On-the-job training in a public or private-sector agency. Students must apply to the department internship director at least six weeks prior to registering for the internship course. This course may be repeated one time for additional internship credit. 

4390 Independent Study. (3-0) Individual study under direct supervision of a professor. May involve field trips. This course may be repeated for credit, but a student may not exceed six hours of credit in Independent Study.

4391 Environmental Geography of the Yellowstone Region. (3-0) Group investigation of the physical and cultural components of the Yellowstone region and its resulting landscape. Emphasis will be on the interaction between physical and cultural systems. 

4393 Studies in Geography. (3-0) A course that is designed to consider a selected study in geography. Course studies may vary depending on faculty and student interests and may be applied to the appropriate undergraduate geography major. Repeatable once with different emphasis. 

4411 Advanced Cartographic Design. (2-4) This advanced course in cartography focuses on thematic map design. The objective is to produce a cartographic portfolio of well-designed, professional grade maps. Theoretical concepts and principles will be introduced using practical examples and written assignments. Prerequisite: GEO 3411 with a grade of "C" or higher.

(WI) 4412 Digital Remote Sensing. (3-2) Introduction to the digital image processing of satellite scenes including restoration, enhancement, classification, change detection, and mapping for environmental monitoring and inventorying. 

4417 Digital Terrain Modeling. (3-2) The course focuses on the mapping, transformation, mensuration, visualization and applications of digital elevation models in geography. Prerequisite: GEO 3416 with a grade of "C" or higher.

4422 Web Mapping. (2-4) The course introduces students to modern interactive and dynamic mapping and GIS techniques that allow internet-based cartographic representations of temporal and non-temporal geospatial objects and phenomena. Prerequisite: GEO 3411 or equivalent with a grade of "C" or higher.

4426/3426 Advanced Geographic Information Systems I. (2-4) This course builds on the principles introduced in GEO 2426 and presents an in-depth examination of the technical aspects involved in spatial data handling, analysis and modeling. Prerequisite: GEO 2426 or equivalent with a grade of "C" or higher. 

4427 GIS Design and Implementation. (2-4) This course involves students working as a team on a substantive GIS project, which is designed and conducted by the class. Students will develop and demonstrate competence in GIS techniques at the professional level. Prerequisite: GEO 3426 or equivalent with a grade of “C” or higher. Junior or Senior Standing.

(WI) 4430 Field Methods. (2-4) Methods and techniques for observing, measuring, recording and reporting on geographic phenomena are investigated in this course. Students will learn the use of instruments and materials in the collection of data for mapping and field research in the local area. Prerequisites: GEO 2410 and 3301 or equivalents with a grade of "C" or higher.

Courses in Nature and Heritage and Tourism (NHT)

4301 Planning and Development of Nature and Heritage Tourism. (3-0) This course applies basic planning and development principles to the special issues of nature and heritage tourism. Particular emphasis is placed on locational analysis, site analysis, and planning for sustainable use. 

4302 Internship in Nature and Heritage Tourism. (0-10) Students will work in private- or public- sector settings to gain practical experience in the planning, development and management of nature and/or heritage tourism. Internships must be approved by the director of the Center for Nature and Heritage Tourism. Students will be expected to perform at high professional standards and will interpret the internship experience within the context of current literature. Prerequisite: NHT 4301

Courses in Geology (GEOL)

1410 (GEOL 1403) Physical Geology. (3-2) The study of materials making up the earth, the processes that act upon them, and the results of these processes; the development of tools for the interpretation of earth’s history and structure, and the major geologic concepts. 

1420 (GEOL 1404) Historical Geology. (3-2) A continuation of physical geology leading to consideration of the geologic history of the earth (with special emphasis on North America), the evolution of life, the continents through geologic time and the principles and procedures used in the interpretation of earth history. Prerequisite: GEOL 1410

2410 Mineralogy. (2-6) Study of the crystal systems, physical properties, classification and hand specimen identification of common rock-forming and ore minerals. One semester of chemistry recommended. Prerequisites: Chemistry 1141/1341, and "C" or better in GEOL 1410 and 1420.

3400 Petrology. (3-3) An introduction to the hand specimen and microscopic study of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. This course includes the origin of mineral assemblages that make up rocks and the environments of formation. Prerequisite: "C" or better in GEOL 2410.

3410 Sedimentation and Stratigraphy. (3-3) Principles of the weathering, transportation, deposition and lithification of sediments. Primary structures and textures of sediments are used to determine environments of deposition. The recognition and classification of strata into stratigraphic units. Prerequisite: GEOL 2410 completed with a grade of C or higher. 

3430 Structural Geology. (3-3) Description, classification and origin of earth structures and the stresses involved in their formation. Solution of structural geology problems using analytical geometry, geologic maps, contouring of data, and preparation of cross sections. Prerequisites: GEOL 1410 and 1420 (or equivalents). 

3440 Paleontology and Biostratigraphy. (3-3) Identification of ancient invertebrate faunas and their applications in reconstruction of paleoenvironments, paleogeography and the means by which "time" correlations can be effected in sedimentary strata. Field-intensive course, one full day in the field per week. Course will be offered alternating summers. Prerequisites: GEOL 1410 and 1420 (or equivalents).

4121 Directed Study. (1-0) Independent study of a particular subject area in geology. Specific topic to be discussed and agreed upon prior to registration. May be repeated once with different emphasis and professor for additional credit. Prerequisite: Approval of the instructor.

4320 Topics in Field Geology. (1-6) On-site directed investigations of geology in locations remote from campus.

(WI) 4330 Applied Geology. (1-6) Application of practical geologic laboratory and field methods to environmental, engineering, and planning projects. Prerequisites: GEOL 1410 and 1420.

(WI) 4421 Hydrogeology. (3-3) This course will provide the student with an introduction to the science of hydrogeology, a conceptual and quantitative understanding of groundwater from a geological/ mathematical/ geochemical perspective, and experience with hydrogeology applications. Prerequisites: GEOL 1420 (or equivalent) and a minimum of three hours of college-level chemistry.


Writing Intensive (WI) Geography Courses 

GEO 3309    U.S./Canada
GEO 3320    Community and Regional Planning
GEO 3321    Energy Resource Management
GEO 3332    Geography of South and Southeast Asia
GEO 3333    Geography of China and Japan
GEO 4310    Regional Field Studies
GEO 4313    Environmental Management
GEO 4314    River Basin Management
GEO 4322    Interpretive Environmental Geography
GEO 4328    Geography of the Russian Realm
GEO 4340    Fundamental Themes in Geography
GEO 4430    Field Methods
GEO 4412    Digital Remote Sensing 
GEOL 4330  Applied Geology
GEOL 4421  Hydrogeology

Writing Intensive (WI) Requirements:

Students must have a minimum of nine hours of “writing intensive” coursework to graduate from Texas State.  Student who complete the core requirements of two required American history (HIST 1310 and HIST 1320) and philosophy (PHIL 1310) at Texas State have their WI requirement fulfilled by these courses.  Transfer students who have completed these courses at other institutions will not receive WI credit for the courses and must fulfill the WI requirement with coursework completed at Texas State.  Three hours of WI credit will be awarded for technical writing (ENG 3303).  Geography courses that fulfill the WI requirement are listed above.  Additional related coursework in other departments may also be taken.  See an advisor if you would like assistance in selecting courses that will fulfill your WI requirement. 

Primary Contact

Stella LoPachin - Evans Liberal Arts Building (ELA) 130
Phone 512-245-0372 / Email

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