Course Syllabus

Welcome to GEOG101: World Regional Geography

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Student Handbook.


Course Description

Study the physical features of the Earth and its atmosphere, including landscape development, weather, climate, and geology, and learn how the cultural, economic, and political activity of humans affects those features. Become adept at tasks that require both spatial and critical thinking skills.


Course Introduction

This course studies world regions by comparing their physical and cultural landscapes. Who lives in the region? What are their lives like? What do they do for a living? It looks at physical factors like location, climate, and terrain, and human factors like traditions, ethnicity, language, religion, economics, and politics. Ultimately, we aspire to understand each region's unique natural and cultural characteristics.

As we progress through the course, we will discuss each major world region in detail, emphasizing their cultural and societal structures. We will place them within a global framework, and look at how we define and redefine our map of the world. We will study global issues like international conflict, cooperation, environmental degradation, population growth, and globalization.

This course includes the following units:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Geography
  • Unit 2: Europe
  • Unit 3: Russia
  • Unit 4: North America
  • Unit 5: Middle America
  • Unit 6: South America
  • Unit 7: Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Unit 8: North Africa and Southwest Asia
  • Unit 9: South Asia
  • Unit 10: East Asia
  • Unit 11: Southeast Asia
  • Unit 12: Australia and New Zealand
  • Unit 13: The Pacific and Antarctica

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • discuss the fundamental elements of the geographic grid, time zones, and how the world is mapped;
  • discuss the major "tools" of the geographer, including GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems), GIS (Geographic Information Systems), remote sensing, and cartography, and describe how those tools are used to study world regions;
  • identify geographic realms (or regions) and the reasons for their boundaries, such as language, religion, ethnicity, population, politics, and the physical landscape;
  • discuss the historical, social, and environmental processes that have shaped the world's major cultural regions and influenced the human landscape;
  • compare and contrast the climate, physical landscape, and natural environment of world regions;
  • identify and evaluate environmental issues like air and water pollution in different world regions;
  • describe the economic geography of selected world regions, including primary sources of income, availability of natural resources, and the effects of globalization;
  • discuss how populations are distributed and why populations migrate;
  • compare and contrast major political systems and their worldwide distribution; and
  • use a variety of thematic maps to analyze worldwide distribution patterns of population, religion, language, politics, vegetation, climate, and other elements of geography.

Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.


Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are articles, lectures, and videos. The primary text is World Regional Geography: People, Places and Globalization.

All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource, and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.


Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.

There are also map checks in this course. These are designed to help you study, and do not factor into your final course grade. You can take these as many times as you want until you understand the concepts and material covered. You can see all of these assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's navigation bar.


Earning College Credit

This course is eligible for college credit via Saylor Academy's Direct Credit Program. If you want to earn college credit, you must take and pass the Direct Credit final exam. That exam will be password protected and requires a proctor. If you pass the Direct Credit exam, you will receive a Proctor Verified Course Certificate and be eligible to earn an official transcript. For more information about applying for college credit, review the guide to college credit opportunities. Be sure to check the section on proctoring for details like fees and technical requirements.

There is a 14-day waiting period between attempts of the Direct Credit final exam. There is no waiting period between attempts for the not-for-credit exam and the Direct Credit exam. You may only attempt each Direct Credit final exam a maximum of 3 times. Be sure to study in between each attempt!


Tips for Success

GEOG101: World Regional Geography is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 49 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context, and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
  • As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory, and will make you more likely to retain information over time.
  • Although you may work through this course completely independently, you may find it helpful to connect with other Saylor students through the discussion forums. You may access the discussion forums at


Technical Requirements

This course is delivered entirely online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one for free here. Although you can access some of the course without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.
  • If you plan to attempt the optional Direct Credit final exam, then you will also need access to a webcam. This lets our remote proctoring service verify your identity, which is required to issue an official transcript to schools on your behalf.

For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.



This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

This course also has an optional final exam that can give you an opportunity to earn college credit. This exam requires the use of a proctoring service for identity verification purposes. The cost for proctoring for this optional exam is $5 per session.

Last modified: Friday, August 20, 2021, 10:43 AM