Geography Program Description


A.S. Geography
A.S. Environmental Studies and Sustainability
AA-T Geography for Transfer

Certificates of Achievement

Professional Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program Disclosure
Field Data Mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Program Description

Geography is the science of place and space. Geographers study the relationships among geographic places, natural systems, society, cultural activities, and the interdependence of all these over space.

There are two main branches of geography: human geography and physical geography. Human geography is concerned with the spatial aspects of human existence - how people and their activities are distributed over space, how people use and perceive space, and how people interact with the physical environment. Physical geographers study the physical elements and spatial processes that make up and shape the environment, including energy, air, water, weather, climate, landforms, soils, animals, plants, etc. Many aspects of geography are studied and analyzed using a variety of spatial technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and remotely-sensed imagery. These tools are becoming more and more commonplace throughout society.

Geographers also study the linkages between human activity and natural systems. Geographers were, in fact, among the first scientists to sound the alarm that human-induced changes to the environment were beginning to threaten the balance of life itself. Geographers today are active in the study of diverse topics, such as global warming, desertification, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, groundwater pollution, flooding, origin and diffusion of disease, urban and regional planning, global trade, social problems (e.g. poverty, ethnic conflict), and many more.

The CRC Geography program offers courses that satisfy lower division General Education requirements in both the physical and social sciences. In addition, the program offers two associate's degrees: an A.S. degree in Geography and an A.S. degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. Both degrees provide students with a solid foundation in these disciplines and prepare students to complete upper-division coursework leading to the baccalaureate degree. Students may also earn a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Students planning to transfer to a four-year school with a major in Geography or Environmental Studies should consult the lower division requirements at the university they plan to attend.

Career Opportunities

  • Natural Resource Management
  • Environmental Conservation
  • Environmental Scientist/Analyst
  • International Development
  • Urban and Regional Planning
  • Tourism
  • Education (K-12 through University)
  • Cartographer
  • Climatologist
  • Park Ranger
  • Transportation Specialist
  • Real Estate Analyst
  • International Business
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Land Surveyor
  • Research Scientist
  • Remote Sensing Specialist
  • Demographer
  • GIS Analyst
  • and many more (please contact the program for additional information).

Some Career Opportunities may require more than two years of college study.


  • Comprehensive course offerings as well as specialized training in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Program's students have won top awards at state, regional and national levels since 1999
  • Field study courses to Yosemite, Pt. Reyes, and Monterey/Big Sur
  • Internships available with regional governmental agencies
  • Three courses fulfill the CRC and CSU multicultural requirement
  • Day, evening, and online sections

Note to Transfer Students:
If you are interested in transferring to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in this major, it is critical that you meet with a CRC counselor to select and plan the courses for your major. Schools vary widely in terms of the required preparation. The courses that CRC requires for an associate’s degree in this major may be different from the requirements needed for the bachelor’s degree.

For information about the student learning outcomes for this program, see

Field Study Classes at Cosumnes River College
Nature is often the best classroom! Come learn outside in Cosumnes River College’s field study courses. These classes consist of short classroom sessions followed by extended trips to some of the most unique and beautiful environments in California, including Big Sur, Monterey Bay, Mt. Lassen, Point Reyes, Yosemite and more! These short-term classes are offered by several departments, including Biology, Geography, Geology and Photography. For more information about specific classes, consult the class schedule or contact each department.