Topics in Geography

I.     Course Prefix/Number: GEG 290

       Course Name: Topics in Geography

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

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

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, class discussions and articles, videos and other media used.

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

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students are expected to attend each class, having read the assigned textbook material before coming to class, bringing with them any questions they might have on the text or other related materials.  They are also expected to be actively engaged in the class sessions through such things as attentiveness to lectures and films, note-taking, asking questions, doing the assigned writing, and involvement in class discussions.

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

IX.   Instructional Materials

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

The typical materials for a geography course will be used (textbooks, an atlas, library materials, movies, sound/slide programs, and other media).  Materials will be assigned according to the specific topic requirements.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Examinations, quizzes, class participation and occasionally maps filling and/or paper writing and presentations depending on the topic presented.

At least two exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.

XI.   Other Course Information


Class policy on make-up exams, late assignments, etc.

Important Dates: *
XX/XX: Last day to withdraw and have course dropped from record
XX/XX: Last day to change to Audit
XX/XX: Last day for students to submit materials to make up incomplete from the previous semester
XX/XX: Last day to withdraw from classes with a "W"

* These dates differ for each semester. You'll find the correct dates on the Academic Calendar.

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

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.