Topics in Geography

I.     Course Prefix/Number: GEG 290

       Course Name: Topics in Geography

       Credits: 1-4 (0-4 lecture; 0-4 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

May vary by topic

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course explores major issues in the field of geography. Topics will be selected from subspecialties such as: elements of the environment; population geography; the rainforest; and development and industrialization. Course has different focus and/or scope from other courses currently offered in the department and can be repeated on different topics up to three times for up to nine semester hours of credit.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Students will identify, compare, and contrast major concepts and constructs relating to the specific topics selected for study.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

One major topic or several minor topics relating to an overall theme will be selected for study.  Examples of possible topics and themes are as follows:

Topic Examples

Environmental Hazards:  An in depth study of environmental issues such as global warming, NPS (non-point source) pollution, deforestation, overpopulation; how these environmental issues are studied by geographers and what can be done to alleviate these problems.

Development and industrialization:  An in depth study of industrialization using country case studies.  How do geographers define “developing country” and what issues face those countries?  What is the impact on the environment and global economy from development and industrialization?

Theme Examples

The Rainforest:  A review of the distribution and arrangement of the tropical rainforest, it’s resources and importance to the world.  Where is deforestation a problem?  What are the solutions and how are these implemented?

Population:  A look at population geography through the analysis of actual census data and individual country population policies.  An emphasis on understanding the dynamics and terminology associated with this topic.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture and class discussion will be used extensively.  Occasionally, small group work and reporting will be used.  There will be frequent written assignments that will be short in character.  Reading and clipping from newspapers will be incorporated in the class.  Transparencies, films, film strips, slides, and video tapes will be used as appropriate.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

This course relies on the student’s ability to read and understand college-level text material.  Students will be required to write for the class the equivalent of 12-15 pages of material that will be graded.  This writing may take the form of essay questions on an exam, summaries of journal articles, a research or term paper, and/or a series of shorter analytical papers.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Materials will be assigned according to the specific topic requirements.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Examinations, quizzes, class participation and occasionally filling in maps and/or writing papers and giving presentations.

At least one exam will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at