The bachelor of science (B.S.) in Geospatial Information Science (GISci) program is for students who have a strong mathematics background and are interested in GIS careers that emphasize analytical skills. This program has two principal objectives:
- to provide a formal program and specialized course of study to persons interested in a career involving geospatial technologies such as GIS, the Global Positioning System (GPS), and/or remote sensing, and,
- to recognize students who undertake a rigorous plan of study involving theory and applications of GISci.
A student who earns the B.S. in GISci degree at OSU will be well-versed in general GISci knowledge and will have competency utilizing GISci hardware and software for the planning, development and maintenance of spatial and nonspatial databases. Most important, students who complete the B.S. will have higher order skills involving the analysis of geospatial data and will be capable of communicating findings with larger audiences.
Specific degree requirements for the B.S. in Geospatial Information Science (GISci) can be found here.
Job and Career Opportunities:
GISci is increasingly viewed as an attractive career pathway. In fact, the growing demand for persons with expertise involving GISci is illustrated by a 2010 U.S. Department of Labor estimate that more than 200,000 Americans routinely utilize geospatial information within their jobs. As geospatial specialists, you will use spatial data for problem solving that can’t be done with traditional maps and charts. For example, a geospatial analyst may combine land cover data collected by a satellite with property boundaries collected using a GPS receiver. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016), employment of geoscientists, whose jobs require heavy knowledge and skills in geospaial science, is projected to grow 10% from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for geoscientists was $89,910 in May 2014. The highest 10% earned more than $187,200.
There are a variety of jobs requiring GISci skills. Some common GIS job titles include:
- Geospatial Scientist
- GIS Analyst
- GIS Administrator
- GIS Application Developer
- Remote Sensing Specialist
Plenty of career opportunities exist in both the public and private sectors, and at the federal, state, and local levels. Organizations employ GISci grads include:
Why Choose OSU Geography for Your BS in GISci Degree?
Since the early 1990s the OSU Geography Department has distinguished itself in GISci instruction and research. In 1996 the Department launched the state’s first Certificate in Geographic Information Systems and in subsequent years has expanded GISci course offerings to address growing student interest and demand. The Department is well-known nationally and internationally for research involving the integration of GISci within farm-level decision-making, for scholarship involving human patterns and processes tied to cultural and historical landscapes and for research involving communications and transportation systems. Faculty in the Department have been highly successful in obtaining extramural support for GISci research and extension activities from organizations ranging from the National Science Foundation to the National Park Service, U.S. Department of State, Oklahoma Historical Society, and Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Faculty in the Department have also worked to improve STEM education in Oklahoma schools through projects such as a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation that introduced GISci activities in 6th through 12th grade science classrooms. The Department’s international outreach efforts tied to geospatial technologies include a training partnership involving faculty and students in Vietnam and a multi-year project aimed at rebuilding Iraq’s GISci infrastructure. The department has two state-of-the-art GIS labs to support the teaching of GISci courses, one with 18 desktop computers and the other with 12. Each lab is equipped with a variety of software packages for GIS and Remote Sensing, as well as other course-specific software and standard Microsoft Windows programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Donald Colley, Undergraduate Advisor
Instructor of Professional Practice
OSU Department of Geography
344 Murray Hall
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
(405) 744-9171 (direct) or (405) 744-6250 (main office)