Add a Minor in Geographic Information Science

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:

  • A core course
  • A mid-level course in each of three specializations within GISci
  • 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 Track in Geographical and Sustainability Sciences. The GISci minor is designed for non-majors.


Pick one of these
Course numberCourse NameSemester Hours
GEOG:2050 (044:005)Foundations of GIS3
GEOG:3010 (044:118)Geographic Information Systems and Science3

All of these
Course numberCourse NameSemester Hours
GEOG:3500 (044:105)Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing3
GEOG:3520 (044:110)GIS for Environmental Studies3
GEOG:3540 (044:109)Introduction to Geographic Visualization3

Pick one of these
Course numberCourse NameSemester Hours
GEOG:3570 (044:146)Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR): Principles and Applications3
GEOG:4020 (044:181)Field Methods: Mapping and Mobile Computing3
GEOG:4150 (044:137)Health and Environment: GIS Applications3
GEOG:4500 (044:145)Advanced Remote Sensing4
GEOG:4520 (044:128)GIS for Environmental Studies: Applications3
GEOG:4570 (044:139)Spatial Analysis and Location Models3
GEOG:4580 (044:141)Introduction to Geographic Databases3
GEOG:4650 (044:142)Simulation in Environmental Geography3

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 semester hours in GSS, including 12 semester hours in University of Iowa courses numbered 3000 or above.
  • Students must maintain a grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.00 in the minor. Courses for the minor may not be taken pass/nonpass.
  • 3 semester hours of transfer credit will be accepted, while at least 12 semester hours 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.
  • Majors in geography may not minor in geographic information science.

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

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