Senior Thesis Requirement
All candidates for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Geography are required to complete a thesis during their senior year. This is a two-semester project under the direction of an advisor selected from the department's faculty. An advisor is chosen based on research interests and specialization shared in common with the student. The faculty advisor directs the student's research and acts in the role of mentor as well as thesis editor. A second reader is also assigned from the faculty. All thesis research is independent and original. Theses are not simply reviews, proposals, or "term papers." They include some combination of field, laboratory, library, archive, and survey work that requires data collection, analysis, and both written and oral presentation. Honors students may also use their thesis as their senior honors paper. Moreover, students may present the results the of their research at the annual meetings of the Association of American Geographers (spring), the Southeast Division of the Association of American Geographers (fall), and/or the Applied Geography Conference (fall).
The department houses the University of Louisville Center for Geographic Information Systems using the latest ArcView/ArcGIS software, and also possesses an additional well equipped computer/spatial analysis laboratory, a large map collection, and assorted air photo, field survey and sampling equipment that may be used in student research. Faculty members have ongoing research programs that may also provide data as well as other avenues for students to be involved in undergraduate research.