Geographic Information Science (BS)
Accelerated Program

GIS takes computer science to a new level, specializing in technology that puts companies like Google on the forefront of innovation and navigating the globe. One of only a very few programs of its kind in the United States, our GIS program pairs the practical skill of computer science with conceptual knowledge of geographical problem solving and spatial thinking.

This innovative program focuses on the computational dimension of geographic information science and technology. As a GIS student, you will learn

  • concepts in spatial thinking and geographic problem solving
  • mathematical and statistical spatial modeling
  • computational principles in GIS
  • commercial and open source GIS and related software
  • programming in multiple languages (e.g., Java, C++, and Python)
  • to use your knowledge knowledge base in geography and computer science skills to address urban, environmental and social issues

These essential programming skills combined with GIS knowledge will form the basis for designing and implementing GIS software.


Career Opportunities

Students in the GIS bachelor's program are well positioned to find high-paying jobs at private companies like Google, Esri, GPS navigation software companies and software development companies, or with local or national government. Job activities will range from designing desktop systems, implementing web and mobile applications, and developing workflow systems. Public sector job activities involve customizing spatial models and systems for agencies such as the military or U.S. government, including web or mobile applications, customized desktop systems and project management.

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs such as those using GIS are projected to grow twice as quickly as jobs in other fields, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Similarly, 80 percent of jobs in the next decade will require technical skills, such as those found in our GIS program.

Study the cutting edge of technology and science by creating new navigation and mapping tools for use on a global scale.

The GIS program at ASU qualifies students to pursue the GIS Certification Institute’s (GISCI) professional certification. The GISCI is a non-profit organization that promotes the advancement of proficient GIS professionals through its international GISP®, which enhance credentials to improve employment opportunities in Geographic Information Systems.

Note: This program may lead to a professional licensure or certification. For more information, visit: 

Course Information 

For more information on the program's courses, admission requirements and transfer agreements, see the degree's  academic program web page.

Students in the BS program in geographic information science begin their study by gaining a strong foundational understanding of geographic information systems, statistical analysis and computer programming. Students expand on this foundation through upper-division coursework in the major that enables the pursuit of deeper and more focused understanding of the application of geographic information science technologies to complex environmental and societal issues.

Degree Offered

Geographic Information Science (BS)
Liberal Arts and Sciences, The College of

Tempe, Online

Major Map

A major map outlines the degree’s requirements for graduation.

View Major Map

Application Requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.

Affording College

Find and apply for relevant scholarships.

Financial Aid
ASU has many financial aid options. Almost everyone, regardless of income, can qualify for some form of financial aid. In fact, more than 70 percent of all ASU students receive some form of financial assistance every year.

Career Outlook

Graduates in geographic information science pursue career opportunities in both the private and public sectors. Some of the career opportunities for graduates of the Bachelor of Science program in geographic information science include:

  • cartographers and photogrammetrists
  • geographic information system technicians
  • geospatial information scientists and technologists
  • location analysts
  • mapping technicians
  • remote sensing scientists and technologists

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:

Career*growth*median salary
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists 4.5%$68,380
Computer Programmers-9.4%$89,190
Computer and Information Research Scientists 15.4%$126,830
Geographic Information Systems Technologists and Technicians 5.7%$92,870
Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists -3%$107,210
Remote Sensing Technicians 4.7%$52,460
Computer and Information Systems Managers 10.4%$151,150

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

  • Bright Outlook
  • Green Occupation

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