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Geospatial Information Sciences (B.S.)

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School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

Geospatial Information Sciences (B.S.)

Geospatial Information Science (or GIScience) is the quantitative study of relationships of things in space and time. In recent years, powerful new technologies and techniques have emerged that greatly improve our ability to acquire, archive, analyze and communicate information regarding people, places and other things on or near the Earth's surface. These same technologies and techniques allow us to combine this information into multi-tiered databases describing the physical, social and other aspects of all or portions of the Earth. Such databases can then be analyzed in novel ways that take the data's spatial nature into account. The insights produced by these sorts of databases and analyses are revolutionizing many fields of science, government and business, and through now-commonplace consumer products such as web-based mapping systems and GPS units, are directly impacting the everyday lives of ordinary individuals.

Graduates of the Bachelors of Science in Geospatial Information Science program will understand the logical, mathematical and technological underpinnings of GIScience, and be skilled in solving geospatial problems to the point where they will be able to move into professional roles handling the geospatial needs facing typical corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations. Their level of understanding will transcend simple familiarity with common GIScience software packages; while these graduates will be skilled in the use of such systems, they will also understand the underlying principles upon which software systems are based. This will allow our graduates to transfer their knowledge from one software system to another, and more importantly, to view geospatial problems as issues that can be solved by applying basic theories, techniques and methodologies, and not be limited to solutions encapsulated in particular software systems.

Mission and Objectives

The mission of the Bachelor of Science in Geospatial Information SCiences program is to provide students with a rigorous understanding of the fundamental theories and concepts underlying GIScience, as well as to provide them with extensive hands-on experience with contemporary GIScience hardware and software. However, this program should not be confused with software training seminars or workshops; the goal of the Bachelor of Science in GIScience program is to give students a firm grasp on the theories, ideas and techniques that underlay software and hardware systems, and thus provide them with a foundation of knowledge and skill that transcends any individual piece of hardware or software. Graduates of this program will be able to successfully compete for professional positions within GIScience and related fields, and be admitted into the best graduate schools globally.

Students within the program will:

Bachelor of Science in Geospatial Information Sciences
Degree Requirements (120 hours)

I. Core Curriculum Requirements1: 42 hours

A. Communication (6 hours)

3 hours Communication (RHET 1302)

3 hours Communication Elective (GEOG 3377)

B. Social and Behavioral Sciences (15 hours)

6 hours Political Science (GOVT 2301 and 2302)

6 hours American History (HIST 1301 and 1302)

3 hours Social and Behavioral Sciences Elective (SOC 1301, SOC 2319, CRIM 1301, or CRIM 1307)

C. Humanities and Fine Arts (6 hours)

3 hours Fine Arts (ARTS 1301)

3 hours Humanities (HUMA 1301)

D. Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (6 hours)

3 hours Mathematics (MATH 1325, MATH 2413 or MATH 2417)

4 hours Quantitative Reasoning (MATH 1326, MATH 2414 or MATH 2419)

E. Science (9 hours)

GEOS 1103 Physical Geology Laboratory

GEOS 1104 History of Earth and Life Laboratory

GEOS 1303 Physical Geology

GEOS 1304 History of Earth and Life

1 hour Science elective

1 Curriculum Requirements can be fulfilled by other approved courses, including courses from accredited institutions of higher education. The courses listed here provide the most efficient way of satisfying both core curriculum and major requirements.

II. Major Requirements: 52 hours

Major Preparatory Courses (17 hours)

CS 1136 Computer Science Laboratory

CS 1336 Programming Fundamentals

CS 1337 Computer Science I

CS 3333 Data Structures

SOCS 3361 Social Issues and Ethics in Computer Science and Engineering

SOCS 3405 Introduction to Social Statistics with Lab

Major Core Courses (19 hours)

GEOG 3304 Tools for Spatial Analysis

GEOG 4380 Spatial Concepts and Organization

GEOS 3110 Environmental Geology Laboratory

GISC 2301 Introduction to Geospatial Information Science

GISC 2302 Introduction to Geodesy

GISC 3301 Introduction to Remote Sensing

SOCS 3323 Geographic Information Systems

Major Related Courses (16 hours)

BA 3351 Introduction to Management Information Systems

CGS 4352 Human Computer Interactions I

GEOG 3341 Politics, Place and Space

GEOG 3357 Spatial Dimensions of Health and Disease

GEOS 2406 Geospatial Science and Methods

III. Elective Requirements: 26 hours

Advanced Electives (6 hours)

Any non-GISC class that is either (i) upper division, or (ii) lower division but requires at least one prerequisite course.

Free Electives (20 hours)

This requirement may be satisfied with lower- and upper-division courses from any field of study. Students must complete at least 51 hours of upper-division credit to qualify for graduation.