College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2013-2014

Department of Geography, Planning, and Recreation

Geographic Science and Community Planning, Bachelor of Science

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Community Planning and Development - Emphasis (ending Summer 2022)
  • Geospatial Sciences - Emphasis (ending Summer 2022)
This plan will not be available to new students after Summer 2022

This major integrates geographic knowledge and GIS mapping technologies with the problem-solving fields of community planning and urban design. Known as Geodesign, this educational framework prepares students to create more livable and sustainable communities, while contributing to a better world.


What Can I Do with a Bachelor of Science in Geographic Science and Community Planning?

This degree encourages you to pursue careers  in community planning and design, digital mapping known as geographic information systems (GIS), and physical and environmental geography. Known as Geodesign, you will be prepared to apply geographic science to better analyze existing landscapes and design more livable and sustainable places through 2-D and 3-D modeling tools. You can choose an emphasis that focuses on community planning and development, or geospatial sciences and GIS. Our courses feature many engaging, real-world projects that prepare you well beyond graduation, and you will benefit from personal faculty attention through our smaller courses.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Research and consulting
  • Land appraisal
  • Climatology
  • Resource conservation

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Ecologist
  • Geomorphologist
  • Economist
  • Hydrogeologist

University Requirements

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 43-44 of major requirements
  • Be aware that you may not use courses with a GSP prefix to satisfy liberal studies requirements
  • elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA C
Highest Mathematics Required STA 270
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Research Optional
University Honors Program Optional
Progression Plan Link Not Available


Major Requirements
  • Take the following 43 - 44 units with a Grade of "C" or better in each course and a minimum GPA of 2.5:

    *Required for Geospatial Sciences emphasis
    **Required for Community Planning & Development emphasis

    You are strongly encouraged to complete one of the two emphasis areas below if you are considering a career in geospatial sciences or community planning. However, no emphasis is required to complete your GSP degree.

    Emphasis Requirements (Optional, Select One):

    • Geospatial Sciences Emphasis (18 units)
      • GSP 259, GSP 320, GSP 365, GSP 433 (14 units)
      • Additional coursework in geospatial sciences selected with advisor consent (4 units)
      Community Planning and Development Emphasis (18 units)
General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit. 

    You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

  • Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan Option
  • This program is available as an Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan.  Integrated Programs provide the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates working on their bachelor’s degree to simultaneously begin work on a master’s degree, allowing them to complete both degrees in an accelerated manner.  Students must apply to the master’s program by the application deadline, and meet all requirements as listed on the Integrated Program website to be considered for admission.  Admission to programs is competitive.  Many qualified applicants are denied because of limits on the number of students admitted each year.  Be sure to speak with your advisor regarding your interest in Integrated Programs.

Campus Availability

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