Geographic Information Science and Technology - BS, Computation, Design and Analysis Track

The BS degree in Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST) requires coursework in either the Computation, Design, and Analysis (CDA) track, Earth Systems Analysis (ESA) track, or the Human Systems and Society (HSS) track.

The Computation, Design, and Analysis (CDA) track is intended for students interested in the computational, analysis, and software development aspects of GIST. This track emphasizes the computational and information technology that underpins GIST and focuses on technical issues, algorithm development and performance, and software tool development.

Students will receive a rigorous and modern-day education and training in GIST with application knowledge in physical and human geography. Employers require problem solvers, not button pushers, to address problems in various application domains. The B.S. in GIST is designed to:

  • Provide modern-day exposure to the rapidly changing field of GIST
  • Balance education and training with a focus on competency
  • Provide application and problem-solving experiences
  • Support student activities and research
  • Provide students with professional experience
  • Produce high-quality geographers with strong GIST knowledge and skills

Geospatial technology graduates are in extremely high demand and, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, are one of the highest growth areas in the federal government, particularly in homeland security activities, as well as in energy, software and engineering firms, biomedical and biohazard research, among many others. A 35% annual rate of growth in geospatial technology-related degrees are projected by the U.S. Department of Labor. Students have employment opportunities with the following corporate and government entities:

  • Government agencies (federal, state, county, and city): management and planning of urban infrastructure, inventory and assessment of natural resources including agriculture, forestry, and water resources.
  • Energy industry: assessing biofuel production and identifying locations suitable for renewable energy resources and mineral exploration.
  • Health science industry: determine hotspots of health events and explore causes.
  • Military and intelligence community: numerous opportunities exist in military branches and agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and other intelligence organizations.
  • Commercial industries: business analytics and marketing, as spatial information can be used to target marketing campaigns, and suitable site assessment to locate companies.
  • Geospatial industries: software development, geotechnical engineering, and technology development. 

Students select courses with the assistance of the academic advisor in an individualized advising system.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
GEOG 203 Planet Earth 3
GEOG 213 Planet Earth Lab 1
MATH 140 Mathematics for Business and Social Sciences 3
Life and physical sciences 1 4
Select one from the following:
Weather and Climate
and Weather and Climate Laboratory
Introductory Biology I  
Principles of Geology
and Principles of Geology Laboratory
Fundamentals of Chemistry I  
College Physics  
Communication 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
GEOG 201 Introduction to Human Geography 3
MATH 142 Business Calculus 3
POLS 206 American National Government 3
Life and physical sciences 1 4
Selct one of the following:  
Introductory Biology II  
Fundamentals of Chemistry II  
Historical Geology  
College Physics  
and Oceanography Laboratory
Communication 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Second Year
GEOG 232 Cartography and Visualization 3
POLS 207 State and Local Government 3
Select one of the following: 4
Programming I  
Introduction to Computer Science Concepts and Programming  
American history 3
Social and behavioral sciences 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
GEOG 352/GEOL 352 GNSS in the Geosciences 3
STAT 303 Statistical Methods 3
Physical Geography 3
Select one of the following:
Global Climatic Regions  
Pattern and Process in Biogeography  
American history 3
Language, philosophy and culture 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Third Year
GEOG 361 Remote Sensing in Geosciences 4
GEOG 390 Principles of Geographic Information Systems 4
GEOG 392 GIS Programming 4
Creative arts 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
ESSM 459
Programming for Spatial Data Applications
or Geodatabases
GEOG 312 Data Analysis in Geography 3
GEOG 475 Advanced Topics in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) 4
Directed elective 2 4
 Semester Credit Hours14
Fourth Year
Human Geography 3
Select one of the following:
Economic Geography  
Introduction to Urban Geography  
Cultural Geography  
Select from the following:
Introduction to Urban Geography  
Geography of Energy  
Resources and the Environment  
Pattern and Process in Biogeography  
Coastal Processes  
Interpretation of Aerial Photographs  
Spatial Thinking, Perception and Behavior  
Field Geography  
Digital Image Processing in the Geosciences  
Dynamic Modeling of Earth and Environmental Systems  
Terrain Analysis and Mapping  
Principles of Geocomputation  
Directed elective 2 6
Track elective 3 6
 Semester Credit Hours15
GEOG 476 GIS Practicum 3
GEOG 478 WebGIS 4
Directed elective 2 8
 Semester Credit Hours15
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

Two courses in the degree plan must be Writing Intensive courses designated by the department in the schedule of classes. Also, International and Cultural Diversity Elective (3 hours) and Cultural Discourse (3 hours) must be incorporated into the degree.