I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons. — Will Rogers

Human Geography

Human Geography Syllabus
Human Geography Course Home Page - College Board

Why Geography?

Student #1

First of all, I did not know much about geography before I joined the class. I never understood how much geography affected the things around me. I always thought there were reasons behind certain things such as why a market is placed somewhere and why they wouldn't move it to another location. But now I understand that geography is very important, it has just as much effect as history itself.

One main thing I learned was how geography is used for an advantage for politics or for businesses. One good example was gerrymandering. Geography explains other things such as why crops are grown in a certain location or why a factory is located next to a farm or another factory. All the small things in life are affected by geography, and yes geography is about maps but the maps are like a chart. They help represent where a certain group of people live. So if there where many families with children in a certain location it causes the state to put something family friendly around that neighborhood such as a park or a public pool.

Geography helped me open my mind to understand things in life. I believe that this class is also one of the most useful classes to take in high school. Not only do you learn locations of countries or states it helps you see things in a very different way.

Student #2

In the past year, I have learned a lot besides knowing where places were. What fascinated me the most was the demographic transition. Just by looking at at it you can infer many things. For example you can know their economy, women's rights, or if a disease had hit -- all by noticing the amount of people there are based on age.

What I also learned was how much globalization has affected the world. Languages are becoming extinct as English is becoming a lingua franca and folk culture is starting to diminish. This connects to the advances in communication which has helped globalization to occur. This is one of the wonders of geography. Each topic can relate in some way to another which only builds your knowledge and understanding of the world we live in today.

Student #3

I have learned many things about geography since the beginning of the school year. I've learned that the United States of America is a country with individual states or individual countries that have given up a part of their freedom for strength in numbers; including Nevada. Nevada's primate city, Las Vegas is twice as largest as the second largest city. Also, Nevada is the most urbanized state in the U.S..An example of a small scale map is global, while large scale would be of our hometown with more detail. Now, an area's population says plenty about the place: a high population of twenty year olds indicates a college town.

What kept my attention was the distribution of people in cities. Typically in North America (United States) the poor stay in the inner circles of the city, while the wealth branch out into suburbs farther away. However it is the opposite for most European countries. Sustainability was another favorite topic, including everything from The Greenhouse Effect to the shrinking of the Aral Sea. Specifically, the greenhouse effect describes the increased CO2 admissions into the atmosphere that do not pass through the ozone layer and traps heat in causing global warming. The Aral Sea is shrinking because the river that supplied it water had been diverted to irrigate crops. Unfortunately, the salt from bottom of the sea is blown onto to the crops prohibiting growth. Of course, from this year I've learned much more but these were some highlights I won't be forgetting.

Student #4

There are a lot of different things I hadn't actually known about Geography. I always thought it was simply learning where things are; I never actually knew the 'why things are the way they are' though. From learning about simple cartography, (which if you asked me what it meant at the beginning of the year, I'd likely guess drawing carts as a joke but also as I had no clue what it was), but also to population transitions, from the connection of language to boundaries of country lines, or that there is a Georgia in Asia.

This class was also fun, and intriguing to me. It may just be a personality trait for me but I like classes that allow for an open discussion. There may be a lot of book work but even just listening in class, you get to learn a lot. The casual analogies that were created to explain gerrymandering, or folk versus popular cultures is something I couldn't learn just from the book, as the book did have a bad time explaining things sometimes. But as an overall, I just never really noticed there is more then a 'where' in geography until this school year, and honestly, just to think a bit more deeply about why things occur, the view has changed. Plus, I can actually engage better with my dad when he talks about his Facebook current events so that's a plus too.

Human Geography A.P. Course Overview

The Human Geography A.P. course is equivalent to an introductory college-level course in human geography. The course introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface.

Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine socioeconomic organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their research and applications. The curriculum reflects the goals of the National Geography Standards (2012).


There are no prerequisites for A.P. Human Geography. Students should be able to read college-level texts and apply the conventions of Standard Written English in their writing.

Goals of A.P. Human Geography

  • Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to
    • Interpret maps and analyze geospatial data.
    • Understand and explain the implications of associations and networks among phenomena in places.
    • Recognize and interpret the relationships among patterns and processes at different scales of analysis.
    • Define regions and evaluate the regionalization process.
    • Characterize and analyze changing interconnections among places.

Topic Outline for A.P. Human Geography

  • The A.P. Human Geography course is organized around seven major topics:
    • Geography: Its Nature and Perspectives
    • Population and Migration
    • Cultural Patterns and Processes
    • Political Organization of Space
    • Agriculture, Food Production, and Rural Land Use
    • Industrialization and Economic Development
    • Cities and Urban Land Use

Structure of Advanced Placement Human Geography Exam

Length of Exam: 2 Hours & 15 Minutes

Section I: Multiple Choice | 75 Questions | 60 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score
  • Define, explain, and apply geographic concepts
  • Interpret geographic data
Section II: Constructed Response | 3 Questions | 75 Minutes | 50% of Exam Score
  • Questions may require that students:
    • Synthesize different topical areas
    • Analyze and evaluate geographical concepts
    • Supply appropriately selected and well-explained real-world examples to illustrate geographic concepts
    • Interpret verbal descriptions, maps, graphs, photographs, and/or diagrams
    • Formulate responses in narrative form