Minor in Geographic Information Science (GISci)

Geographic Information Science is the study of geography through the lens of digital technology.  This field comprises the use of geographic information systems (an assemblage of computer-based technologies designed to facilitate the capture, organization, analysis, and display of geographic data), remote sensing (primarily interpretation of satellite imagery), and spatial modeling (viewing, analyzing, and mapping spatial data) to examine geographic patterns and processes—PLUS research on the nature, development, and use of these tools.

The minor consists of:

  1. a core course,
  2. a mid-level course in each of three specializations within GISci, and
  3. an advanced course that builds on one of the three mid-level courses.

Important advising and minor declaration information:  Geographical and Sustainability Sciences (GSS) majors may not declare the minor in Geographic Information Science, regardless of their declared Geographical and Sustainability Sciences track. The GISci minor is designed for non-majors.

Course Requirements

Core course—one of these:

Course Requirements.
Course Name Semester Hours
GEOG:2050 (044:005) Foundations of GIS 3 s.h.
GEOG:3010 (044:118) Geographic Information Systems and Science 3 s.h.

Mid-level specialization courses—all of these:

Course Requirements.
Course Name Semester Hours
GEOG:3500 (044:105) Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing 3 s.h.
GEOG:3520 (044:110) GIS for Environmental Studies 3 s.h.
GEOG:3540 (044:109) Introduction to Geographic Visualization 3 s.h.

Advanced course—one of these:

Course Requirements.
Course Name Semester Hours
GEOG:3570 (044:146) Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR): Principles and Applications 3 s.h.
GEOG:4020 (044:181) Field Methods: Mapping and Mobile Computing 3 s.h.
GEOG:4150 (044:137) Health and Environment: GIS Applications 3 s.h.
GEOG:4500 (044:145) Applications in Environmental Remote Sensing 4 s.h.
GEOG:4520 (044:128) GIS for Environmental Studies: Applications 3 s.h.
GEOG:4570 (044:139) Spatial Analysis and Location Models 3 s.h.
GEOG:4580 (044:141) Introduction to Geographic Databases 3 s.h.
GEOG:4650 (044:142) Simulation in Environmental Geography 3 s.h.

Please note:

  • The number of courses and their levels are the same as most other minors in CLAS. The minor requires a minimum of 15 s.h. in GSS, including 12 s.h. in U of I courses numbered 3000 or above.
  • Students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.00 in the minor. Courses for the minor may not be taken pass/nonpass.
  • 3 s.h. of transfer credit will be accepted, while at least 12 s.h. must be taken at The University of Iowa.
  • The core course is taught every semester. The mid-level courses are taught every year. Other courses are taught at least every other year, but may be more often.

It is highly encouraged to contact the department to request an assignment of a minor advisor.

Majors in Geography may not minor in Geographic Information Science.