2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jun 21, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

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Geographic Information Sciences (B.S.)

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Program Coordinator/Contact

Bob Watrel, Department Head
Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences
109 Wecota Hall

Program Information

Geographic Information Science concerns the use of geographic information and data acquired from satellites and airborne platforms, and from ground based measurements and surveys of human activity and the environment. Geographic Information Science students learn how to work with geospatial data to study relationships, patterns, and trends. In the U.S. the explosion of geospatial data and their increasing use in business, government, and people’s everyday lives has led to a growing demand for qualified Geographic Information Science graduates. Geospatial science is developing rapidly, associated with developments in mobile, satellite and airborne remote sensing, computational, and big data technologies.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates with a major in Geographic Information Sciences will:

  • Demonstrate foundational and specialized knowledge in both the physical and human sciences and their interconnectedness at local, regional, and global scales. (Cross-curricular Skill: Critical and Creative Thinking)
  • Interpret the ethical consequences of global issues concerning the environment to strengthen commitment to local, national, and global citizenship. (Cross-curricular Skill: Ethical Reasoning)
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the application of appropriate geographical technologies and techniques to address issues in the physical and/or human sciences. (Cross-curricular Skill: Problem Solving)
  • Communicate geographic ideas clearly and effectively (e.g., maps, writing, oral presentations, posters, photos, flowcharts, tables, graphs, and illustrations).
  • Apply observations from laboratory and/or field experiences to analyze problems and offer solutions. (Cross-curricular Skill: Critical and Creative Thinking)
  • Demonstrate the ability to collect, organize, analyze, and synthesize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial-temporal context. (Cross-curricular Skill: Information Literacy)
  • Explore complex local, regional, and global issues using a geographical perspective to formulate questions and draw informed conclusions that are based on critical scientific analysis and interpretation of information. (Cross-curricular Skill: Inquiry and Analysis)
  • Demonstrate openness to new perspectives and diverse others, evaluate the complexity inherent to multiple perspectives, and demonstrate the ability to reassess their personal perspective when appropriate. (Cross-curricular Skill: Diversity, Inclusion and Equity)

Academic Requirements

Students must earn at least a “C” in each course used to meet the major requirements.

Course Delivery Format

The Geographic Information Sciences program includes lecture, discussion, laboratory research, fieldwork, and travel, with limited online coursework.

Requirements for Geographic Information Sciences Major: 120 Credits

Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences 

System General Education Requirements

Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences Requirements

Bachelor of Science Requirements: 13+

  • Natural Sciences  Credits: 10+
    • Any two lab sciences.
    • Coursework must include 2 prefixes.
    • MATH and STAT courses do not count toward the science requirement.
  • AHSS 111 - Introduction to Global Citizenship and Diversity Credits: 3  
  • One declared minor outside of the major prefix OR a second major OR a teaching specialization. The minor may be a traditional minor within one department or it may be interdisciplinary involving more than one department. The minor can be in a different college. The minor must be declared no later than the student’s third semester of enrollment.
  • Capstone course in the major discipline
  • Upper division coursework Credits: 33

System General Education and/or major coursework may satisfy some or all of the above requirements. Consult program advisor for details.

Select from the following

Select one of the following options - GIS Analyst or GIS Developer. Credits: 15

Total Required Credits: 120

Summary of Program Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences

System General Education Requirements* 30 Credit Hours
Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences Requirements* 13+ Credit Hours
Major Requirements 41 Credit Hours
Electives** 53 Credit Hours

*System General Education Requirements, Major Requirements, and Supporting Coursework may satisfy some or all of the above requirements.  
**Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Academic Advising Guide Sheet

The goal of the academic advising guide sheets and sample plans of study is to promote undergraduate student success by guiding all students to timely completion of an undergraduate degree. Students are not limited to the course sequence provided for their academic program. Instead, the sample plan of study is one possible path to completing your degree and is meant to be used as a guide for planning purposes in consultation with an academic advisor. The plans also help students prepare for meetings with their academic advisor and track their progress in their selected academic program.

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