Ohio University

Geographic Information Science Major B.S.

  • Technical background in quantitative geographic analysis, geographic information systems, and mapping
  • Abundant opportunities in private sector and government agencies
  • Careers as geospatial data technician, geospatial database manager/administrator, cartographer, remote sensing imagery analyst, GIS analyst, software designer, GIS educator

Admissions Information

Degree Requirements

Major code BS4235

Faculty Contact: Dr. Harold Perkins

Program Overview

Geographers are interested in the spatial patterns observed on Earth. Bridging the natural and social sciences, geography is the interdisciplinary study of environments and how people interact with the environment. It is important to study geography because many of the world's problems require understanding the interdependence between human activities and the environment. Geography is, therefore, a beneficial major for students because its theories and methods provide them with analytical skills relevant to occupations focused on solving social and environmental problems. The Geography Department offers eight majors that help students tailor their focus of study.

The Geography – Geographic Information Science (GIScience) major provides students a strong technical background in quantitative geographic analysis, geographic information systems, and related mapping technologies. Whether pursuing a career or graduate studies, students completing the major will be proficient with GIS, remote sensing, and cartographic theory and software-based applications.

The department is committed to excellence in both teaching and advising. Several faculty members have received teaching awards, and the department is known across campus for the quality of its advising. A geography major meets meet one-on-one with his or her faculty adviser every semester during advising week, and students are always welcome to talk with their adviser at any time throughout the semester whenever questions may arise. In addition to advising students about their academic programs, faculty provide timely information about internships, nationally competitive awards, and other opportunities as they arise. Many students complete internships, and over the last few years have received nationally competitive awards.

Careers and Graduate School

Career opportunities for students with a degree in Geographic Information Science (GIS) are abundant in both the private sector and with government agencies. Career tracks include, but are not limited to, the following: geospatial data technician, geospatial database manager/administrator, cartographer, remote sensing imagery analyst, GIS analyst, software designer, GIS educator, and project manager.

Browse through dozens of internship opportunities and full-time job postings for Ohio University students and alumni on Handshake, OHIO's key resource for researching jobs, employers, workshops, and professional development events.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Change to Program Policy: No selective or limited admission requirements.

External Transfer Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Degree Requirements

University-wide Graduation Requirements

To complete this program, students must meet all University-wide graduation requirements.

College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences

View the College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences.

Geography – Geographic Information Science Major (B.S.)

The major requirements for the B.S. degree in Geography - Geographic Information Science is a minimum of 44 hours of geography.

Geography Foundations

Complete the following geography foundation courses with at least the minimum grade indicated for each course:

  • GEOG 1100 - Physical Geography Credit Hours: 4 (C or better grade required)
  • GEOG 1200 - Human Geography Credit Hours: 3 (C or better grade required)
  • GEOG 2680 - Introduction to GIS and Mapping Sciences Credit Hours: 4 (C or better grade required)
  • GEOG 2710 - Introduction to Statistics in Geography Credit Hours: 3 (C- or better grade required)
  • GEOG 4800 - Capstone Experience in Geography Credit Hours: 3

Geography Regional Course

Complete one regional course from the following:

  • GEOG 3300 - Geography of Europe Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOG 3310 - Geography of Africa Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOG 3330 - Appalachia: Land and People Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOG 3340 - Historical Geography of the United States Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOG 3350 - Geography of Latin America Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOG 3380 - Geography of Asia Credit Hours: 3.0

Program Requirements

Core Courses

Complete the following three required courses:

  • GEOG 3600 - Cartography I Credit Hours: 4.0
  • GEOG 4660 - Principles of Remote Sensing Credit Hours: 4.0
  • GEOG 4730 - Principles of GIS Credit Hours: 4.0

Core Electives

Complete two of the following courses:

  • GEOG 3610 - Cartography II Credit Hours: 4
  • GEOG 3650 - Air Photo Interpretation Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 4670 - Advanced Remote Sensing Credit Hours: 4
  • GEOG 4710 - Quantitative Methods in Geography Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 4760 - Advanced Spatial Analysis and GIS Applications Credit Hours: 4
  • GEOG 4770 - Advanced Topics in GeoInformatics Credit Hours: 3

Applied and Topical Courses

Complete 2 courses at the 3000/4000 level for at least 6 hours, excluding courses listed as foundation courses, regional courses, core courses, or core electives, as well as non-lecture courses that serve to provide credit for internships, independent study, honors thesis, and honors tutorials.

Recommended Courses

The following courses are highly recommended and students are encouraged to take some of them to satisfy the University General Education Requirements and the College of Arts and Sciences Requirements.

  • CE 4150 - Geodetic Surveying Credit Hours: 2.0
  • COMS 2400 - Information Diffusion Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CS 2300 - Computer Programming in JAVA Credit Hours: 4.0
  • CS 2400 - Introduction to Computer Science I Credit Hours: 4.0
  • CS 2401 - Introduction to Computer Science II Credit Hours: 4.0
  • CS 2650 - Professional and Ethical Aspects of Computing Credit Hours: 2.0
  • ET 2100 - Programming in C Credit Hours: 4.0
  • ETM 3030 - Applications of Object Oriented Programming Credit Hours: 3.0
  • MIS 2011 - Introduction to Information Analysis and Design Nonmajor Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PHIL 1200 - Principles of Reasoning Credit Hours: 3.0
  • VICO 2401 - Multimedia Production for Visual Communication Credit Hours: 3.0
  • VICO 2561 - Introduction to Basic Web Design Credit Hours: 3.0