Geography: Geographic Information Sciences

​​​​​​​​​​​Program Description

Plot your destiny at CMU. If you’d enjoy solving geographic problems in city government, business, scientific research or public land management, you’ll like our geography program with emphasis on geographic information sciences. You’ll acquire the necessary computer skills, learn to work in the field and office, and develop a mix of creative and technical talents.

Points of Pride

  • With a 6-foot-long unmanned helicopter equipped with a high-resolution digital camera, CMU geography experts are leading the way in research imaging of Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
  • Through CMU's Center for Geographic Information Science, you’ll gain hands-on experience using the latest GIS hardware and software to provide geospatial research tools for solving academic, governmental and industrial problems.
  • The geography department offers small classes, field trips and opportunities to work in close collaboration with faculty on research projects. You’ll also gain professional development, resources and contacts through student organizations such as the Geography Club.

Put Your Degree to Work

The federal government employs about half of all geographers. Many geographers do fieldwork, which may include travel to foreign countries or remote locations. Employment of geographers is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Increasing use of geographic technologies and data will drive the growth.

​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data

JobMedian PayJob Growth through ​2022​
Geographer$74,760 per year29% (500 more jobs)
Surveyor/mapping technician$39,670 per year14% (7,300 more jobs)
Urban/regional planner$65,230 per year10% (4,000 more jobs)

For More Information

Visit the Department of Geography website or contact:

Department of Geography
Central Michigan University
Dow Science Complex 279
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: (989) 774-3323

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.

(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)

Geography Major: Geographic Information Sciences Concentration

Advisors: Becker, Heumann, Li, Patton, Tian, Wang, Zheng
Total: 40 semester hours
Required Courses I
Core Courses
GEO 105
Physical Geography
Environmental Geography
GEO 121
Cultures of the World
Introduction to Geographic Information Science
Required Courses I
GEO 303
Geographic Information Systems I
GEO 305
Remote Sensing of the Environment
GEO 404
Global Positioning System
Elementary Statistical Analysis
Required Courses II
Select one of the following:
CPS 110
Information Technology Programming I
CPS 180
Principles of Computer Programming
Select from the following in consultation with and approval of GISci advisor. A maximum of 3 hours of GEO 591 and/or GEO 597 may be applied to the concentration.
GEO 405
CAD Mapping for GIS
GEO 500
Advanced Cartography
GEO 503
Advanced Geographic Information Systems
GEO 508
Digital Remote Sensing
GEO 512
Quantitative Methods for Spatial Analysis
GEO 513
Geographic Information Systems for Social Sciences
GEO 516
Advanced Remote Sensing Systems
GEO 553
GIS Operations and Practices
GEO 575
Special Studies in Geography
GEO 591/ESC 591
GEO 597
Independent Study

 Grads on Fire

Ken Robertson, ’09, is a manager of analytics and modeling at Urban Science.

Laura Barrick-Anderson, ’08, is a geographic information systems analyst/planner at URS Corp.

Edward Hartwick, ’04, is a Michigan Disease Surveillance System and GIS coordinator for the Michigan Department of Community Health.

CMU is an AA/EO institution, providing equal opportunity to all persons, including minorities, females, veterans and individuals with disabilities. | CentralLink
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