B.A. in Geography with Data Science Option

The B.A. in Geography with Data Science Option builds on geography coursework in data management, data visualization and the societal implications of data science while offering students additional opportunities to engage in coursework in programming, machine learning, and advanced statistics and probability. This series of coursework allows students to graduate with evidence of data science experience on their transcript.

Admissions, Advising & Student Resources

Please see our Undergraduate Programs section for information about declaring the major in geography, career paths, scholarships, and other student resources. If you are ready to declare the geography major, please visit Declare the Geography Major to begin the two-step major declaration process. If you have additional questions, please contact an adviser via the Advising page.

Visit Degree Planning for guidance on choosing courses to satisfy the major requirements listed below.

Geography Major Data Science Option Requirements

The geography major data science option is a minimum-requirements major, which means students must meet the following requirements in order to declare the major:

  • Complete any GEOG-prefix course at the 200-level or higher with a minimum grade of 2.0.
  • Minimum cumulative UW GPA of 2.00.

Students who meet the minimum requirements listed above may declare the major in any quarter. There is no application required.

The requirements for geography majors with the option in data science are as follows:

  • Foundations: GEOG 258, GEOG 360 and GEOG 381; plus one course from either the Environment, Economy, and Sustainability track or Globalization, Health, and Development track (20 credits). Check out the three-quarter planner to find when these courses are offered, then review the list of Geography courses by track to choose your "broad track" elective.
  • GEOG 315: Explanation and Understanding in Geography (5 credits). This course covers the beginning steps in the research process. Students develop basic library and writing skills as preparation for future research methods classes and independent research. Recommended preparation includes 10-15 credits of prior GEOG curriculum coursework.
  • Methods: One course from among GEOG 317 or 326, or other courses approved by petition to the Geography Advising Office (5 credits).
  • Electives: Complete all of the requirements below (36-39 credits).
    • Programming: either CSE 142 or CSE 160; either CSE 143 or CSE 163
    • Machine Learning: either STAT 311 or MATH/STAT 390; one of CSE 416/STAT 416, STAT 435, or INFO 371
      • Students may substitute QSCI 381 for STAT 311 or STAT 390 if planning to take CSE/STAT 416
      • Students may substitute STAT 341 or STAT 391 for STAT 390 if planning to take STAT 435
      • Students may substitute STAT 220, STAT 221/CS&SS 221/SOC 221, STAT 290, QMETH 201 or Q SCI 381 for STAT 311 or STAT 390 if planning to take INFO 371 (note this requires taking INFO 370 as well)
      • To request a substitution, please contact geogadv@uw.edu and include the following information in your email:
        • Your Full Name
        • Your UW Student Number
        • Name the requirement & the course you would like to substitute
    • GIS, Mapping, and Society: GEOG 458; GEOG 461; GEOG 465; GEOG 482
      • Students may substitute GEOG 462 for GEOG 461
      • Students may substitute GEOG 426 or GEOG 469 for any one of the GIS, Mapping & Society courses listed above
      • To request a substitution, please contact geogadv@uw.edu and include the following information in your email:
        • Your Full Name
        • Your UW Student Number
        • Name the requirement & the course you would like to substitute
        • If you are requesting to substitute a course outside of the Department of Geography, please also include the following:
          • Explain your reasons for wanting to substitute this course for a geography (GEOG-prefix) course in your major requirements
          • Include the syllabus for the course you wish to substitute

Total required: 66-69 credits. No single course may be counted toward more than one degree requirement. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA in courses applied to the major

The Geography B.A. with Data Science Option is awarded upon:

  • Completion of all geography major requirements as noted above.
  • Completion of all General Education requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences.
  • Completion of a minimum of 180 credits, with a cumulative UW GPA of 2.0 or above (final 45 credits must be earned in-residence). 
  • Submission of graduation application by the end of the third week of the quarter you intend to graduate.
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