BS in Geography: Geographic Information Science Track
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 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
- Maryland Department of Natural
- Maryland Department of Planning
- Richland County (SC) GIS Department
- Office of Information Technology, Baltimore
- Department of Comprehensive
Planning, Worcester County, Maryland
- Environmental Systems Research Institute
- Space Imaging, Inc
- TransCAD, Inc
- Boeing Geosystems
- 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
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
- Remote sensing (the analysis and interpretation
of aerial photos and satellite imagery)
- Cartographic visualization (the visual
representation of spatial data, e.g. maps), and
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.
Geography Core Requirements
- COSC 117 Programming
- COSC 118 Introduction to Scientific
- COSC 120 Computer Science
- GEOG 419
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
- COSC 220 Computer Science
- COSC 482 Computer Graphics
- INFO 211 Information
Systems Concepts for Management
- INFO 386 Database Management Systems