Investigating Grade Level Impact of the Advanced Placement Human Geography Course and Student Interests in Pursuing Geography in Higher Education




Scholz, Michael A.
Scholz, Ruojing W.
Boehm, Richard G.

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The Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education


This study investigated the impact of the APHG course at different grade levels and students' pursuit of geography in higher education. Data was collected in an on line survey on students' choices of majors or minors in geography as well as their interest levels in taking geography courses, and seeking careers. Students enrolled at Texas State University in the Spring semester of 20 I 3 participated in the survey. Results of the survey showed that: I) the APHG course increased the number of geography majors especially when it was taken at a higher grade level in high school; and, 2) the higher the grade level in which the APHG course was taken, the higher the interest level students had in choosing geography as a major as well as in taking geography courses. Data analysis from the survey also indicated that students taking the APHG course reported that they were more likely to pursue a career in geography. Findings from this study will assist academic geographers and professional organizations (such as NCGE) in determining whether to encourage offering the APHG course at the 9th grade level. In addition, findings will assist students, parents, teachers, and school counselors in making decisions on the appropriate grade levels in which to offer AP courses.



geography, AP human geography, geography major, course interest, career interest in geography


Scholz, M.A., Scholz, R.W., & Boehm, R.G. (2017). Investigating grade level impact of the advanced placement human geography course and student interests in pursuing geography in higher education. Research in Geographic Education, 19(1), pp. 67-81.


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