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Geographic Information Science B.A.

Geography, Urban, Environmental & Sustain Studies
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2015
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 55
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
The core of the Geographic Information Science major is the study and use of geographic information systems (GIS). Central to this program are the theoretical and applied fundamentals of the collection, management, analysis, and representation of spatial data. The program builds on this core by exploring both traditional and novel methods for geo-visualization and by exploring applications of GIS to environmental, resource, and policy/management issues. Methods include teaching various remote sensing technologies used to collect and classify remotely sensed data, critically discussing the implications of geo-spatial technologies on individuals and society, and demonstrating how geo-spatial technologies are used effectively in urban and regional planning processes. Students also learn about GIS project management and research process, professional ethics, and presentation. The major blends well with other majors such as anthropology, biology, chemistry, computer science, criminology, engineering, environment and sustainability, geography, geology, history, mathematics, political science, sociology, statistics, and urban and regional studies. Students are encouraged to double major. Honors Requirements: Candidates must have a 3.00 overall GPA and a 3.30 in the major. An honors project and paper must be completed in GEOG 4999. Students who wish to have such work considered for honors must complete a departmental form prior to the second semester of their senior year. Completed projects and papers must be approved by the sponsoring faculty member and other members of the department.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
Required prerequisites
Introductory Requirement (1 cr)
Transfer students with 24 or more credits and current UMD students who change colleges to CLA are exempt from this requirement. New first-year students with 24 or more PSEO credits may request to be waived from this requirement.
UST 1000 - UMD Seminar (1.0-2.0 cr)
General Requirements
The Board of Regents, on recommendation of the faculty, grants degrees from the University of Minnesota. Requirements for an undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota Duluth include the following:
  1. Students must meet all course and credit requirements of the departments and colleges or schools in which they are enrolled including an advanced writing course. Students seeking two degrees must fulfill the requirements of both degrees. However, two degrees cannot be awarded for the same major.
  2. Students must complete all requirements of the Liberal Education Program.
  3. Students must complete a minimum of 120 semester credits.
  4. At least 30 of the last 60 degree credits earned immediately before graduation must be awarded by UMD.
  5. Students must complete at least half of their courses at the 3xxx-level and higher at UMD. Study-abroad credits earned through courses taught by UM faculty and at institutions with which UMD has international exchange programs may be used to fulfill this requirement.
  6. If a minor is required, students must take at least three upper division credits in their minor field from UMD.
  7. The minimum cumulative UM GPA required for graduation will be 2.00 and will include only University of Minnesota coursework. A minimum UM GPA of 2.00 is required in each UMD undergraduate major and minor. No academic unit may impose higher grade point standards to graduate.
  8. Diploma, transcripts, and certification will be withheld until all financial obligations to the University have been met.
Program Requirements
1. A second field or study (either a minor or another major). 2. If students choose to double major in any of the following combinations GIS, GEOG, ES, or URS, they must follow the fall 2012 or later degree requirements for all programs. Following these requirements addresses the overlapping of courses across programs. 3. Students with the GIS major cannot pursue the GIS certificate.
Required Core (37 cr)
GEOG 1414 - Physical Geography [LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN] (4.0 cr)
or GEOL 1110 - Geology and Earth Systems [LE CAT4, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN] (4.0 cr)
GEOG 1304 - Human Geography [LE CAT6, LECD CAT06, SOC SCI] (3.0 cr)
or GEOG 2305 - Geography of Cultural Diversity [CDIVERSITY] (3.0 cr)
And all of the following:
GEOG 2552 - Introduction to Maps and Geospatial Information [LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR] (3.0 cr)
GEOG 3532 - Map Design and Geographic Visualization (4.0 cr)
GIS 3563 - Geographic Information Science I: Theory and Analysis (4.0 cr)
GIS 3564 - Geographic Information Science II: Applied GIS (4.0 cr)
GIS 3580 - Earth Imagery (4.0 cr)
GIS 4585 - Applied Statistics in GIS (4.0 cr)
GIS 3597 - Internship in GIS (3.0-4.0 cr)
GEOG 4612 - Field Techniques (4.0 cr)
Electives (14 cr)
Take 2 courses for a minimum of 8 credits from GIS 3xxx-5xxx. Additional GIS 2xxx-5xxx courses will apply to the 'Other Electives' area. To fulfill this requirement take courses from the 'Other Electives' area to reach a minimum of 14 elective credits across both sub-requirements.
Take 2 or more course(s) totaling 8 or more credit(s) from the following:
· GIS 3xxx-5xxx
· Other Electives
Take 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
· BIOL 5808 - Landscape Ecology: Theory and Application (3.0 cr)
· ES 3xxx
· FORS 3167 - GEOG 3167 Cultural Geography of Iceland (3.0 cr)
· FORS 3205 - GEOG 3205 Mapping in Belize (3.0 cr)
· FORS 3800 - COMM 3800/GEOG 3800 Grassroots Activism in India (4.0 cr)
· GIS 2xxx-5xxx
· CS 1121 - Introduction to Programming in Visual BASIC.NET [LE CAT3, LOGIC & QR] (3.0 cr)
or CS 1141 - Introduction to Programming in C# (3.0 cr)
or CS 2121 - Introduction to Programming in Java [LE CAT3, LOGIC & QR] (3.0 cr)
· CS 3211 - Database System Concepts (4.0 cr)
or CS 4611 - Database Management Systems (4.0 cr)
Advanced Writing Requirement (3 cr)
WRIT 31xx - Adv Writing (3 cr)
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