Geography literally means "the writing of the earth." In Calvin's geography department, we investigate physical and cultural landscapes and the interactions between them.

Overview

In Calvin's geography major, you will investigate physical and cultural landscapes and learn how to view them within the context of a Christian worldview.

You will also:

  • work alongside a faculty member through a summer research fellowship
  • choose from a variety of interim courses, such as "The Geography of Terrorism"
  • learn mapping and analysis in our geo-spatial laboratory

Careers in Geography

  • Geochemist
  • Structural Geologist
  • Geomorphologist
  • Federal Surveyor
  • Employee for NASA
  • More

See job placement rates for Calvin grads.

Student involvement

Spend a summer gaining research experience in your field; join the ESC (Environmental Stewardship Coalition); Travel to West Virginia on spring break to petition against mountaintop removal.

Course Requirements 2013-14

Geography major

(at least 36 semester hours)

  • GEOG-120 Earth Systems
  • GEOG-200 People, Place and Community
  • GEOG-210 Human Impacts on the Environment
  • GEOG-230 The Global Economy
  • GEOG-252 Geomorphology
  • GEOG-261 Geographic Information Systems and Cartography
  • GEOG-310 Urban Geography
  • GEOG-380 Seminar in Geographic Thought
  • Departmentally approved electives to bring the total to at least 36 hours, including one elective at the 300-level.

Cognates (4 semester hours)

  • One from:
    • MATH-132 Calculus for Management, Life, and Social Sciences
    • MATH-143 Introduction to Probability and Statistics
    • MATH-171 Calculus I
    • PSYC-255 Statistics and Research Design
    • SOC-255 Social Science Statistics
  • All geography majors must enroll in GEOG-190 for at least two semesters and GEOG-290 for one additional semester.

Geography minor

(18 semester hours)

  • GEOG-120 Earth Systems
  • GEOG-200 People, Place and Community
  • Departmentally approved electives to bring the total to at least 18 hours, including one elective at the 300-level.

Request a catalog

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Advising?

Calvin College Course CatalogCurrent students please download your course catalog for complete degree requirements.

Scholarships

Dollar amounts reflect awards given for the 2013-14 academic year.

Debra Deur Scholarship
  • award amount: $3,800
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need required
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
John and Lillian Van Oosten Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,900
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.0+
  • financial need required
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
View all scholarship opportunities

Faculty

Johnathan Bascom

Johnathan Bascom
Professor
department chair
Department of Geology Geography & Environmental Studies
NH 085
jbascom@calvin.edu
(616) 526-7053

James Skillen

James Skillen
Assistant Professor
Department of Geology Geography & Environmental Studies
NH B77
jrs39@calvin.edu
(616) 526-7546

Deanna van Dijk

Deanna van Dijk
Professor
NH 079
dvandijk@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6510

Jason VanHorn

Jason VanHorn
Assistant Professor
Department of Geology Geography & Environmental Studies
NH 075
jev35@calvin.edu
(616) 526-7623

Talk to us

Ralph Stearley Ralph Stearley
Program Director
NH 071
rstearle@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6370

Admissions

Connect with your counselor via email, phone, or in person. They'd love to hear from you and answer your questions!

Or, ask us your questions on Facebook.

In the fall and spring our counselors travel throughout the world to meet with students—see if they'll be in your area!

Teach This

Interested in teaching? You can gain certification in Geography as a:

Calvin's teacher education program also contains education-specific course requirements that you must complete prior to certification. See course requirements for:

Professor Robert Keeley talks about the education program.

Learn More

Explore Calvin's teacher education program.

Contact Deanna van Dijk, Ken Bergwerff, for more information about teacher certification in Earth/space Science .

Contact Ken Bergwerff for more information about teacher certification in Geography

Contact Robert Schoone-Jongen for more information about teacher certification in Social Studies

Read the teacher education guidebook for more detailed information about certification.

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