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The Geographic Information Systems Minor is designed to prepare students with the basic training necessary to enter the rapidly expanding field of geographic information science. The curriculum in the minor is multidisciplinary in content and interdisciplinary in approach, drawing on a variety of geographic and computational science components. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is an integrative approach to help solving complex spatial problems in most professional fields and at different scales. GIS has irrevocably altered the way we capture, store, analyze, and visualize spatial information. Although it has its roots in cartography and the graphical display of information, its breadth spans from geographic data acquisition, geospatial database construction and management, spatial analysis, and geovisualization. Public and private sector organizations work with an overwhelming amount of spatial data in their day-to-day operations. With so much spatial information, GIS has become essential to the effective operation of both public and private organizations.

Employment opportunities are limitless for students who are proficient in this interdisciplinary field. GIS professionals work in places like government agencies, utility companies, marketing firms, non-profit organizations, and publishing companies. Federal government agencies such as NGA, FEMA, USGS, DOD, EPA, and NASA routinely recruit individuals with strong GIS backgrounds.


Eight credits of coursework must be unique to the minor. For policies governing all minors, see AP.5.3.4 Minors.

Banner Code: GIS

Minor Requirements

Total credits: 18-20

Students should refer to the Admissions & Policies tab for specific policies related to this program.

All coursework must be completed with a minimum GPA of 2.00.

Required Courses

GGS 110Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies3
GGS 300Quantitative Methods for Geographical Analysis3
GGS 311Introduction to Geographic Information Systems3
GGS 463RS: Applied Geographic Information Systems3
Total Credits12


Select 6-8 credits from the following: 16-8
Field Mapping Techniques
Introduction to Digital Cartography
Data Analysis and Global Change Detection Techniques
Remote Sensing
Introduction to Hyperspectral Imaging
Advanced Digital Cartography
Air Photography Interpretation
Satellite Image Analysis
Web Mapping
Special Topics in Geographic Techniques
GGS Internship
Introduction to Computer Programming (Mason Core)
Computing for Scientists (Mason Core)
Total Credits6-8