Become a 21st-century leader ready to deal with today's environmental and social challenges. Major in Geography and deepen your knowledge about the relationships humans have with the environment. Get technical and theoretical training while exploring Earth's climate, landscapes, ecosystems, and global social, political, and economic systems. Recent Geography alumni have pursued work in environmental agencies, government service, regional and city planning, international humanitarian aid, and the geographic information technology sector.

 First Semester Planning

We recommend that students register for approximately 15 credits each semester and no more than 16 credits in their first semester. Your schedule should be well-balanced and include coursework from a variety of subjects. A diverse schedule will help you begin your studies in potential majors and minors; explore a breadth of new knowledge across departments at Rutgers to meet SAS Core Curriculum learning goals; and survey broader academic interests through elective courses as you work to attain the required 120 degree credits for graduation.

Your schedule will look something like this: 

College Writing or English course per placement results (3 credits)

Major Exploration course (3-4 credits)

Major or Minor Exploration course (3-4 credits)

Course beyond main academic interest, such as SAS Core or elective course (3 credits)

Course beyond main academic interest, such as SAS Core or elective course (3 credits)

 Byrne or First-Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS) (1 credit) 

 Total Credits: 15-16



Introductory courses recommended by faculty. Include at least one of these in your schedule:

Course Title

Course Number


Subject on University Schedule of Classes

Human Geography: Space, Place and Location



Geography (450)
Earth Systems 01:450:101 3 Geography (450)
Transforming the Global Environment 01:450:102 3 Geography (450)

Your first year of college is an opportunity for you to explore fields of interest to enhance your understanding of yourself, the world around you, and your main academic and career goals. Think of your schedule as including courses you must take (English, courses to explore potential majors, etc.) and courses you can take (everything else!) All courses are part of your degree - if necessary, review the components of the SAS degree on this page.

Through these degree components, you will curate your own unique educational experience - but we understand that this level of flexibility and freedom can feel overwhelming for new students. Like a recommendation based on a book or TV show you enjoyed, the information below can help you identify related courses to consider in your first semester.

Course Title

Course Number


Subject on University Schedule of Classes

Global Awareness 01:558:101 3 International Studies (558)
Introduction to Environmental Studies 01:381:101 3 Environmental Studies (381)
Extinction 01:070:111 4 Anthropology (070)

The Schedule of Classes provides information about the courses being offered in a particular semester. There are literally thousands of courses offered each semester at Rutgers, and you may find it helpful to narrow down your options by looking for courses in subjects related to your potential major or minor. Use the recommendations below to find possible introductory courses in other subjects. 

To find potential courses in other subjects related to this one:

1. On the Schedule of Classes, select the current term, location "New Brunswick" and level "undergraduate". Click continue.

2. In the Search By box, click the "search multiple subjects" link. Select the following departments:

Anthropology (070)

Geological Sciences (460) also known as Earth and Planetary Sciences

Latin American Studies (590)

Sociology (920)

3. In Section Status, deselect Closed

4. In Level of Study, deselect 300 and 400. In general, 100 and 200 are appropriate for first-year students, 300 and 400 are often more appropriate for students with more familiarity with the subject. If you are interested in registering for a 300 or 400 level course, consult with an advisor before registering. 

Review these courses for possible inclusion in your first-semester schedule, or to consider for future semesters.



Additional information Beyond the Classroom

For your first semester, we want you to focus on selecting appropriate courses, begin to understand the expectations and rigor of college, and identify resources to help you succeed at Rutgers. But, we also know that it is important to provide information for future planning.

In addition to the information below, students interested in exploring possible career options may find this resource from the Office of Career Exploration and Success helpful - you'll find that a degree in this subject prepares you for a wide variety of career options!

We offer pre-approved Study Abroad programs in the following areas:

  • Africa
    • Ghana, Legon CIEE Arts and Science
    • Accra, Ghana: CIEE Arts and Sciences
  • East Asia and the Pacific
    • Australia, Brisbane (University of Queensland)
    • China, Hong Kong (University of Hong Kong)
    • Shanghai, China: CIEE Business, Language and Culture
  • Europe and Central Asia
    • Ireland, Cork (University College Cork)
    • Spain, Valencia (University of Valencia)
    • Norway, Oslo (University of Oslo)
    • United Kingdom, Manchester (University of Manchester)
    • Thessaloniki, Greece: American College of Thessaloniki
    • Prague, Czech Republic: CIEE Central European Studies
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
    • Valparaiso, Chile: CIEE Language in Context
  • Middle East and North Africa
    • Amman, Jordan: AMIDEAST Area and Arabic Language Studies
  • South Asia
    • Hyderabad, India: CIEE Arts and Sciences

Departmental honors are awarded to Geography Majors who achieve either (1) a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.50 or higher within the major following the penultimate semester prior to graduation; or (2) a GPA lower than 3.50 within the major following the penultimate semester prior to graduation, but with an approved and completed honors thesis.

Highest honors are awarded to students who achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher within the major following the penultimate semester, and an approved honors thesis.

The Geography program prepare students for various positions in local and state government and businesses, including geographic information system specialist, data analyst, planning analyst, project manager/coordinator. As a liberal arts major, Geography also provide a great foundation for further studies. Several graduates have continued with more advanced degrees in public health, law, planning, and geography.

Read more about the careers of recent students under the Geography department's Prospective Students page.

The American Association of Geographers have excellent resources about careers for Geographers.