This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Mission Statement

The Department of Geography at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), is one of the largest in the nation. During the last forty years, its faculty and students have compiled an enviable record of academic achievement and public service. Because of the size and quality of its faculty, the department can offer prospective students an unusually large array of intellectual opportunities that far exceed those offered by most other institutions.

The Department of Geography offers two B.A. major options: (1) Geography–Standard Program and (2) Geography–Geographic Information Science (GIS). The department also offers a minor in Geographic Information Science (GIS). Our department offers training in the following main areas: (i) Human Geography, (ii) Environmental and Physical Geography, (iii) Regional Studies and (iv) Geographic Information Sciences. Our broad-based Geography Standard Program prepares students to understand the environment around us and interpret the patterns found across the Earth’s surface. Comprised of 43 units, the major allows flexibility in course selection while providing a solid background in human, physical and regional aspects of the discipline. The geography major option in GIS focuses on development and the use of cutting-edge geospatial technologies to assess spatial and environmental problems and provide solutions. The major features a strong technical component based on development and applications of GIS, digital cartography and remote sensing, along with training in geospatial analysis and decision-making, and also data visualization.

Academic Advisement

Seeking academic advisement is essential to academic success and timely graduation. Undergraduates must consult with an advisor as soon as they declare Geography as their major and before registration each semester. Graduate students must consult with the graduate advisor before registering for classes. Contact the department chair for undergraduate advisement and the graduate coordinator for questions about graduate study. Academic advisement is also available to students through both the department advisor and staff advisors in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Student Services Center/EOP. Please call (818) 677-2658 to schedule an appointment.


A CSUN Geography degree can launch a career in a number of fields, some examples of which are geographical analyst working for major corporations; local, state and federal government agencies; consultant for environmental firms; GIS administrator in either government or industry; or teaching in K-12 and community colleges. Our goal is to provide our majors with a broad education in geography while giving them real-world skills that will prepare them for careers in a variety of areas. More geographers than ever before are employed in exciting jobs, using skills in cultural, regional and physical geography, as well as geospatial technologies that have revolutionized the workplace. A recent survey of CSUN alumni indicates that geographers have a higher level of job satisfaction and higher income than other disciplines.

The degree also can provide a foundation for pursuing advanced or professional degrees in social, environmental or physical sciences.


Technical skills taught in geography include computer mapping, field observation and data collection, GIS, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), land-use analysis, map analysis, presentation graphics, professional report writing, sediment analysis, statistics, topographic surveying and weather station instrumentation.

Clubs and Societies

Scholarships and Awards

The Geography department offers scholarships and awards for its students. Please see scholarships for more information.


Computer Labs, Classrooms and Technology

The department houses two state-of-the-art geospatial computer labs geared toward geographic information systems and all of our classrooms are designed as Smart classrooms with the latest technology to meet student needs. We are developing a series of courses with content designed for tablet devices as a part of the myCSUNtablet initiative. In addition, the department has extensive field and lab equipment for our physical geography program. See the Geography department website for more information.


Chair: Edward Jackiewicz
Sierra Hall (SH) 150
(818) 677-3532