Geographic information science is the study of geography using digital technology. The field uses geographic information systems (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 study geographic patterns and processes and to examine research on the nature, development, and use of these tools.

The undergraduate minor in geographic information science requires a minimum of 15 s.h. in geographical and sustainability sciences courses, including 12 s.h. in University of Iowa courses numbered 3000 or above. Students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 in all courses for the minor and in all UI courses for the minor. Coursework in the minor may not be taken pass/nonpass.

Geography majors may not earn the minor in geographic information science.

The minor requires one core course, three mid-level specialization courses, and an advanced course that builds on one of the three mid-level courses. Students may consult with the department's academic advisor for help in selecting the advanced course.

The minor in geographic information science requires the following coursework.

Core Course

One of these:
GEOG:1050Foundations of GIS4
GEOG:3010/IGPI:3010Geographic Information Systems and Science3

Mid-Level Specialization Courses

All of these:
GEOG:3500/IGPI:3500Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing3
GEOG:3520/IGPI:3520GIS for Environmental Studies3
GEOG:3540/IGPI:3540Geographic Visualization3

Advanced Course

One of these:
GEOG:3570Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR): Principles and Applications3
GEOG:4150/GHS:4150/IGPI:4150Health and Environment: GIS Applications3
GEOG:4500/IGPI:4500Advanced Remote Sensing4
GEOG:4520/IGPI:4520GIS for Environmental Studies: Applications3
GEOG:4580/IGPI:4581Introduction to Geographic Databases3
GEOG:4650Simulation in Environmental Geography3

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans represent one way to complete a program of study. Actual course selection and sequence will vary and should be discussed with an academic advisor. For additional sample plans, see MyUI.

Geographic Information Science, Minor

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
Students pursuing the Geography major cannot also pursue the Geographic Information Science (GIS) minor.
12 semester hours of the Geographic Information Science minor must be 3000-level or above and taken at the University of Iowa.
First Year
Geographic Information Systems and Science
or Foundations of GIS
3 - 4
Second Year
GEOG:3520 GIS for Environmental Studies 3
GEOG:3540 Geographic Visualization 3
Third Year
GEOG:3500 Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing 3
Fourth Year
Minor: GIS advanced course a 3
 Total Hours15-16
Refer to the General Catalog for a list of recommended courses.