Department of Geography & Geosciences

 

Holloway Hall

BS in Geography: Geographic Information Science Track

Download the checklist.

Why specialize in Geographic Information Science?

Our graduates who specialize in GIS are called upon to examine an amazingly wide array of environmental, governmental, and business problems. The following is only a sample of the work they conduct on a daily basis:

  • What will be the impact of forest buffers on water quality in the Chesapeake Bay?
  • How should we protect sensitive and critical natural areas from an oil spill?
  • What is the most scenic path for a new mountain bike trail in the state forest?
  • Where is the best location for a new K-Mart?
  • What are the optimal routes for a new public transportation system on the Eastern Shore?
  • Where should we redraw the voting districts to match the change in population?
  • How have the settlement patterns of the Eastern Shore changed over time?

The common thread of these questions is that location is central to the solution. Within the Geographic Information Science (GIScience) track, you will learn the skills and acquire the knowledge necessary to solve these and many more problems.

Our Alumni

Our alumni are employed at all levels of federal, state, and local government as well as private-sector firms. The Geography faculty are consistently overwhelmed by the number of companies attempting to hire our graduates, often before they have finished their academic programs! Many of our alumni take these jobs after completing a course of study at some of the world's most prestigious graduate schools. Some examples of recent employers:

  • US Department of Commerce (Bureau of the Census)
  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • National Geospatial Agency
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Maryland Department of Planning
  • Richland County (SC) GIS Department
  • Office of Information Technology, Baltimore County, Maryland
  • Department of Comprehensive Planning, Worcester County, Maryland
  • Environmental Systems Research Institute
  • Space Imaging, Inc
  • TransCAD, Inc
  • Boeing Geosystems
  • PBS&J
  • and many, many more

If you enjoy looking at maps, examining the world around you for patterns and anomalies, and working with computers, then studying geography with a concentration in GIScience may be the beginning of an exciting, dynamic career solving society's most important problems.

What is the Program of Study?

The 21st century is the information age and geographers are leading the way with amazing new information technologies. Tremendous opportunities await students who choose to gain skills and knowledge related to the science and technology of geographic information. The GIScience track includes courses in:

  • Introductory and advanced geographic information systems (digital mapping systems used to solve spatial problems)
  • Remote sensing (the analysis and interpretation of aerial photos and satellite imagery)
  • Cartographic visualization (the visual representation of spatial data, e.g. maps), and
  • Spatial statistics.

In addition to our comprehensive academic program, we have a truly exceptional GIScience learning environment where you will find experienced faculty and state-of-the-art facilities (hardware, software, networks, and data) in the brand new Henson Science Hall on the SU campus.

Coursework Required:

General Education Requirements

Geography Core Requirements

Track Requirements

Required courses:

  • COSC 117 Programming Fundamentals
  •             OR
  • COSC 118 Introduction to Scientific Programming
  •             OR
  • COSC 120 Computer Science I
  • GEOG 419 Advanced GIScience

Complete at least two courses from the following:

Complete two courses in human and/or physical geography at the 300/400 level

Complete at least one course from the following: 

  • ART 227 Digital Design and Layout
  • COSC 220 Computer Science II
  • COSC 482 Computer Graphics
  • INFO 211 Information Systems Concepts for Management
  • INFO 386 Database Management Systems