Geographic Information Science (BS)

Don't just learn how to use GIS software -- learn how to create it.

GIS takes computer science to a new level, specializing in technology that puts companies like Google on the forefront of innovation and navigating the globe. One of only a very few programs of its kind in the United States, our GIS program pairs the practical skill of computer science with conceptual knowledge of geographical problem solving and spatial thinking.

This innovative program focuses on the computational dimension of geographic information science and technology. As a GIS student, you will learn

  • concepts in spatial thinking and geographic problem solving
  • mathematical and statistical spatial modeling
  • computational principles in GIS
  • commercial and open source GIS and related software
  • programming in multiple languages (e.g., Java, C++, and Python)
  • to use your knowledge knowledge base in geography and computer science skills to address urban, environmental and social issues

These essential programming skills combined with GIS knowledge will form the basis for designing and implementing GIS software.

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Career Opportunities

Students in the GIS bachelor's program are well positioned to find high-paying jobs at private companies like Google, Esri, GPS navigation software companies and software development companies, or with local or national government. Job activities will range from designing desktop systems, implementing web and mobile applications, and developing workflow systems. Public sector job activities involve customizing spatial models and systems for agencies such as the military or U.S. government, including web or mobile applications, customized desktop systems and project management.

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs such as those using GIS are projected to grow twice as quickly as jobs in other fields, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Similarly, 80 percent of jobs in the next decade will require technical skills, such as those found in our GIS program.

Study the cutting edge of technology and science by creating new navigation and mapping tools for use on a global scale.

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Course Information 

View the major map for the degree.  This map outlines a major’s critical requirements, elective and required courses, along with optimal course sequencing.

 

The BS degree program in geographic information science focuses on the computational dimension of geographic information system technology. Students in the program learn:

  • commercial and open source GIS and related software
  • computational principles in GIS
  • concepts in spatial thinking and geographic problem solving
  • mathematical and statistical spatial modeling
  • programming in multiple languages (e.g., Java, C++, and Python)

These essential programming skills combined with GIS knowledge form the basis for designing and implementing GIS software.

Degree Offered

Geographic Information Science (BS)
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of

Location
Tempe, Online

Major Map

A major map outlines the degree’s requirements for graduation.

View Major Map

Application Requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.
Freshman
Transfer
International
Readmission

Affording College

Scholarships
Find and apply for relevant scholarships.

Financial Aid
ASU has many financial aid options. Almost everyone, regardless of income, can qualify for some form of financial aid. In fact, more than 70 percent of all ASU students receive some form of financial assistance every year.

Career Outlook

Career opportunities are found in private and public sectors in the GIS and computer science worlds. In the private sector, students may find employment with top software development companies. Job activities range from designing desktop systems and implementing Web and mobile applications to developing workflow systems. Public sector job activities, such as with local or national governmental agencies, involve customizing desktop and project management systems as well as spatial models and systems, including both Web and mobile applications.

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:


Career*growth*median salary
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists 29.3%$60,930
Computer Programmers-8%$77,550
Computer and Information Research Scientists10.7%$108,360
Geographers-1.6%$76,420
Geographic Information Systems Technicians 3.3%$83,410
Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists 3.3%$83,410
Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists 1%$94,030
Remote Sensing Technicians 6.8%$44,650
Computer and Information Systems Managers 15.4%$127,640

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

  • Bright Outlook
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