Honors in Geographical Sciences

Students earning Honors in Geographical Sciences take two semesters (three credits each semester) of honors courses. The first semester is an applied course, through which you collect data, conduct research, or teach university students. The applied course will result in the production of a short paper, dataset, and/or research proposal, to be expanded on in the following semester. The second semester is an analysis course, through which you use the data and skills accumulated in the previous semester to create a final honors product. The product will vary with each honors path, and may include a scholarly thesis, lesson plan, teaching assessment, GIS application, literature review, or data visualization. All honors students will be required to present their results at an academic forum (UMD research symposium, AAG meeting, Geographical Sciences research symposium, etc.).

  • Semester 1: 1 Applied course (GEOG384/5H, GEOG4/398H, GEOG396, GEOG358C)
  • Semester 2: 1 Analysis course (GEOG397, GEOG498H)


Honors Program Eligibility

  1. GPA of 3.2 overall, and 3.5 in Geographical Sciences by the end of junior year.
  2. Minimum of 56 credit hours earned.

If eligible, choose an Honors Path and fill out an application:

Applied Semester:

  1. Independent Research Path: GEOG398H: Find a Geographical Sciences professor with whom to conduct research. This faculty member is the mentor for GEOG398H.
  2. Internship Path: GEOG384/5H:Find an internship with a research component. In your honors application, explicitly state how your internship involves research. Your internship supervisor must sign off on this statement. Mr. Allen Eney is the faculty mentor for GEOG384H.
  3. Field study path: (GEOG358C):Enroll in a Geographical Sciences field study course with a research component. For ex: China Study Abroad. Dr. Mila Zlatic is the faculty mentor for GEOG358C
  4. Teaching path: GEOG396:Visit the Geographical Sciences advising office to determine your eligibility to become an undergraduate teaching assistant. Dr. Rachel Berndtson is the faculty mentor for GEOG396.

Analysis Semester:

  1. Independent Research Path: GEOG397, guided by your faculty advisor from 398H.
  2. Internship Path: GEOG397, guided by a faculty advisor you identify whose research aligns with your internship research. 
  3. Field study path: GEOG498H, guided by Dr. Mila Zlatic.
  4. Teaching path: GEOG397, guided by Dr. Rachel Berndtson.


Previous honors students 

  • Road to Sustainable Cities: An Analysis of Sustainable Urban Transportation Systems for Future Cities (Steven Hurley)
  • Planning Urban Greenspace In a Time of Rapid Development in Beijing, China (Randy Hayek)
  • Probabilistic Route Analysis for Terrorist and Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCO’s) at a Global, Multi-modal Scale (Brady Woods)
  • I’m Just Here So I Won’t Lose Points: Combating Marshawn Lynch Syndrome in GEOG 211 (Colleen Shipley and Vincent Bergamo)
  • The Impact of New Subway Construction on Development Patterns in Beijing (Kevin Denny)