Geographic Information Science (GIS) minor

The Geographic Information Science (GIS) minor, as distinct from the Geography minor, is focused upon meeting the needs of students who wish to acquire grounding in geographical representation and analysis techniques. The minor is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in industry and in government where the application of these techniques combined with knowledge of their own major field is required. It will develop professional competence for positions in public and private agencies where competence in GIS, mapping or remote sensing techniques is required.

Areas of study include cartography, remote sensing, and geographical information systems. This minor provides a unique opportunity to combine and understand the interrelationships among the various aspects of Geographic Information Science through an integrated program.


With successful completion of requirements, a GIS Minor Certificate is issued with a student's diploma at Commencement. Requirements are shown below.

Faculty contact: Alan MacEachren

GIS Minor Requirements: 18 credits

No credit toward the minor will be given for courses with a grade lower than C

Choose 6 courses (18 credits) from the following categories:

3 credits

  • GEOG 160 Mapping Our Changing World (grade of `C' required to progress in the minor)


6 credits (select two courses from the following three)

  • GEOG 361 Cartography: Maps and Map Construction
  • GEOG 362 Image Analysis
  • GEOG 363 Geographic Information Systems


9 credits (6 credits must be at the 400 level)

  • GEOG 361 or 362 or 363 (course not taken above; does not double-count) 
  • GEOG 417 Satellite Climatology
  • GEOG 461W Dynamic Cartographic Representation
  • GEOG 463 Geospatial Information Management
  • GEOG 467 Applied Cartographic Design
  • GEOG 469 Energy Industry Applications of GIS
  • GEOG 481 Topographic Mapping with Lidar
  • GEOG 485 GIS Programming and Customization
  • GEOG 495G GIS Internship (within in the Geography Department)
  • FOR 255 GPS and GIS Applications for Natural Resources Professionals 
  • FOR 455 Remote Sensing and Spatial Data Handling
  • LARCH 450 Geodesign: Geospatial Technology for Design
  • SOILS 450 Environmental GIS

Total: 18 credits

Other courses can be used at the discretion of the faculty contact.

Cartography courses: GEOG 160, 361, 461W, 467

GIS courses: GEOG 160, 363, 461W, 463, 469, 485, FOR 255, SOILS 450

Remote Sensing courses: GEOG 160, 362, 417, 461W, 481, FOR 455