Geography Minor

Study Geography at Clemson University

Within the Department of History and Geography we geographers deliver a top-tier curriculum that explores the complexities of our contemporary world. Much more than simply “memorizing maps” geography focuses on places and spatial relationships in a holistic approach to the study of the globe.

Students majoring in areas like history, education, urban planning, tourism, sociology, etc… often feel that geography naturally supplements their other coursework by grounding what they learn in the contemporary world. In a sense, geography gives context to why their major courses of study are important. Coursework in geography helps students acquire geographic knowledge and skills needed to understand the spatial characteristics and interactions of important physical, demographic, cultural, political, and economic systems. Students will discover that geography helps them to ask better informed questions and to understand the global challenges that their own majors are training them to tackle. The program offers a rigorous curriculum that well prepares our minors to continue their education in graduate school or enter the workforce equipped with key writing and analytical tools.

As an integrative discipline, geography allows for an incredible breadth of topics to discover. The minor program in geography is designed to introduce students to the core of the discipline and to give them an opportunity to sample more specialized courses that pique their interest. As a Geography Minor at Clemson, you will have the opportunity to explore the geographies of culture, economics, food and historical preservation, regional studies that focus on a single part of the world, such as the American South, North or Latin America, plus occasional special topics and Creative Inquiry courses.

Requirements for a Minor in Geography:

  • 3 Credits in Geography at the 1000 level.
  • 15 Credits in Geography at the 3000 and 4000 level.
  • At least one 4000-level Geography course.
  • One of the following courses may be taken as part of the 15-credit, upper-level requirements but may not be substituted for the required 4000-level geography course: R S (SOC) 4710, BIOSC 4420.



Course Descriptions, Geography Minor

The aim of this course is to enrich students’ global knowledge of geography as well as to develop students’ ability to interpret geographical landscapes. Specifically, students will be exposed to a global survey of population, resource, economic and cultural patterns, and their impacts on economic development. An emphasis will be placed on the distinctions between the technologically advanced and less advanced regions of the world. Regionally specific examples will be used to illustrate the various themes discussed and students are expected to familiarize themselves with fundamental place name geography. Finally, the course will seek to relate current social, economic, and political issues and events in various parts of the world to the geographic processes examined.

World Regional Geography introduces you to major world regions and fundamental geographic concepts. It focuses your thinking about the ways in which the world is organized. It builds your base of general knowledge and orients you to thinking geographically, which means learning about your relationship to the wider world in everyday life. Geography 103 is a survey of the environments, cultures, and human problems of selected world regions, or what your textbook identifies as “geographic realms.” Geographic realms are large areas of the world with significant elements that tie them together. Geographers tend to identify these elements as either cultural or environmental. The geographic realms explored here are the largest regions on the planet; as regions, they have strong elements in common. This course also introduces you to the discipline of geography and gives you new perspectives on how different areas of the world have developed and functioned. Population, environment, the historical development of regional cultures, economic development, and political organization are key themes in this course.

This course analyzes the patterns and processes of geographic organization of economic activities as well as distribution of factors and resources from global to local scales. Economic and geographical concepts, ideas, theories, as well as historical and current information are investigated in search of an understanding of the interrelationships and connections between the economy, the environment, culture and political behavior across space and scales. Subjects for this course include (but are not limited to) economic globalization, economic philosophy, capitalism, global regulatory institutions, corporations, resource use, population, labor, and migrations.

This course explores the linkages among cities, and the linkages of cities to their surrounding regions. Students will explore models of urban location and development, the impact of transportation on city form, and notions of urban markets and hierarchies. In addition, the course considers urbanization trends outside of North America.

Cultural geography is a popular subdiscipline within Geography concerned with all the many ways culture is experienced and manifested in places around the world at various scales. In this course we will explore the crucial issues of cultural diversity and uniformity, the crisis of the extinction of languages and indigenous knowledge and the problem of crafting a sustainable culture in our post-modern, consumer society through reading, discussion, and activities.

This course provides an introduction to the physical, economic, political, and human/cultural geography of Latin America and the Caribbean. Special emphasis is placed on situating both of these dynamic world regions in a global context and in exploring historical and contemporary issues that can serve to illuminate local conditions. Class tasks range from but are not limited to developing an understanding of the physical systems, historical settlement patterns and shifting land use associated with colonization, contemporary urbanization and migration, and international trade.

This course is a regional and topical analysis of the physical and human factors responsible for the contemporary patterns of settlement, land use, and cultural systems in the United States and Canada. Topics discussed include: physiography, climate, vegetation, religious and political landscapes, demography, economic patterns, urban processes, and biodiversity and environmental issues. The course is designed to introduce the region to those students with little or no knowledge of North America, and to help students familiar with the region to understand better its geographical attributes. The main objective of the course is to gain knowledge of the evolving spatial relationships, interactions, and processes that make up North America’s diverse human and physical systems.