National University

General Course Information for SCI300: Geography

Course: SCI300 - Geography
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Description: Integration of human cultural and physical geography, and the connections among the physical, biological and human realms. Examination of the relationships between the surface features of the earth, climate, ecosystems and human cultures (e.g., politics, languages, economics). Includes students' interactions with the world in which they live.
Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand the concepts of map scale and projections, ordinal directions, latitude and longitude, the equator, the prime meridian, and time zones.
  • Understand how to interpret different types of maps and how to effectively use an atlas.
  • Gain some historic perspective in the history of human mapping and exploration of our universe and our world.
  • Identify and interpret major geographical features of the earth's surface, including continents/land masses, mountain ranges (including oceanic ranges), bioclimatic zones, and major bodies of water (including oceanic, freshwater, and groundwater).
  • Understand the tools and technologies that geographers use to gather, process, and report information from a spatial perspective. These include the compass, aerial photographs, satellite imaging, global positioning systems, geographical information systems, and computer graphics and image processing.
  • Explain the origin and formation of the universe, the development of the theory of plate tectonics, the tectonic and gradational processes that shape the geomorphology of the earth, factors affecting the earth's climate, the classification of climate, and the complexities of long-term climate patterns and predictions.
  • Learn the geological time scale, the various geologic dating methods, binomial classification system, the distribution patterns and diversity of life on earth. Understand the destructive impacts
  • Understand the destructive impacts of acid rain, ozone depletion, soil erosion, deforestation, desertification, waste disposal, pollution, and threats to biodiversity as a result of human activities.
  • Understand how history, culture, and geographic location can determine economic success or failure, political strength or fragmentation of a state.
  • Understand the development and the diffusion of language and religion; and the circumstances under which language and religion can unify or divide humans as a group.
Specified Program Learning Outcomes:
  • Analyze a global problem such as poverty, hunger, the spread of disease, or environmental degradation from several disciplinary perspectives.
  • Analyze issues as they impact the global environment.
  • Describe the relationships between economic and cultural change in regions of the globe.
  • Describe the relationships between economic change and processes of nation-state formation over the last several hundred years.
  • Evaluate scholarship on globalization for its veracity and reliability.
  • Explain the integration of knowledge in a global contact and engage in collaborative research across disciplines.
  • Explain the varied experiences of different social groups interacting with the global economy over the past several hundred years.
  • Identify and appreciate the cultural perspectives of world view.
  • Synthesize theoretical perspectives and empirical data into a coherent argument.
  • Use information communications technology for knowledge sharing and the interdisciplinary approach.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures