A-Z Index

Geographic Information Science

Program(s) Available: B.A.S., B.S., Minor, Cert

A major in geographic information science (GIS) is perfect for those interested in spatial technology, urban planning, precision agriculture, remote sensing and cartography. If any of this interests you, keep reading!

Why Study Geographic Information Science at Northwest

Not everyone is born with the gift of spatial awareness, but the GIS industry is a growing field! The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates surveying and mapping job opportunities will increase by 4 percent in the coming decade.

Northwest also recently partnered with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which provides students with profession-based experience while increasing NGA map production capability to meet national security challenges. This partnership also opens doors for Bearcats to obtain internship and employment experience!

Students can access incredible resources and tools, such as the computer labs in the Valk Center. These labs house the latest versions of industry-standard GIS software to ensure students' competitiveness in the job market. Field trips also provide opportunities to learn about GPS technologies outside the classroom.

This program requires a minor. 

Pick your path

Geographic Information Systems

Check out the Geographic Information Science classes you will take with the 4-year plan.

This program requires a minor. 


B.A.S (for transfer students)

For transfer students the Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) is a flexible, individually tailored degree for students pursuing a vocational, technical or associate degree. Coursework for these degrees build on workplace skills and practical career training provided by an associate degree. Students may find a B.A.S. appealing for the following reasons:

  • Shorter time to degree by maximizing the transfer of vocational and technical courses toward a four-year degree
  • Requires fewer Northwest Core courses (general education courses)
  • A personalized and flexible degree plan
  • Cost-effective

Please note this program is not a traditional four-year program. It is structured for transfer students. Check out more on the benefits of our B.A.S. programs.

Minor program (geospatial technology)

A minor in geospatial technology is also available. This 24-credit-program teaches students the foundations of computers and information technology, maps and map interpretation, basic application programming, computer programming, database applications and database systems. For a list of required courses, visit the academic catalog.

Certificate Program

The 15-hour certificate program must be completed with a Bachelor's degree; it is not a stand-alone program. For a list of courses, visit the academic catalog.

Career Opportunities

  • GIS technician
  • GIS analyst
  • Farming entrepreneur
  • Mapping and cartography technician
  • Precision agriculture

What Can I Do With a Major in Geographic Information Science?

Student Organizations

GeoClub offers academic and social opportunities for students studying Earth science, geology and geography. This club sponsors various activities such as: 

  • Field trips to geologically and geographically important areas in the United States
  • Trips to the Kansas City Gem and Mineral Show
  • Setting up educational displays at the Kansas City Gem and Mineral Show, B.D. Owens Library and Garrett-Strong Science Building
Student Organizations

Profession-Based Learning Experiences

Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their own academic development. Two types of study abroad programs are available: faculty-led and traditional.

Profession-Based Learning Experiences

Research Opportunities

Faculty-led research provides an opportunity for students to produce original research with the goal of publishing their work. This is available for students showing interest in furthering their education. 

Research Opportunities
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