GIS Certificates, GIS Degrees & Minor
GIS Course Descriptions
Undergrad Courses, Graduate Courses
GIS Labs, Software, GIServices
WKU GIScience Club
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B.Sc. Degree in Geographic Information Science (ref# 576)
The B.Sc. GIScience program focuses on the concepts and principles of GISytems, along with its four components: (1) input, correction and collection of geospatial data; (2) storage and retrieval of geospatial data; (3) manipulation and analysis of geospatial data; and (4) maps and other forms of presentation of geospatial data. The professional major in GIScience requires a minimum of 52 semester hours. No minor is required for this program, although students are encouraged to minor or take additional courses in Land Surveying (ref# 405), Geology (ref# 377), Computer Science (ref# 341), Computer Information Systems (ref# 347), or Earth Science (ref# 353); or students are encouraged to earn a Certificate in Land Surveying (ref# 1700) or an Information Systems Certificate (ref# 1714). Land surveying provides GIScience majors opportunities in the GPS data collection business as well as management of that data with surveying, engineering and GIS firms. Geology and Earth Science favors GIScience majors with the oil and gas companies for implementing, utilizing, managing and/or creating an enterprise GIS whether it be for prospecting wells, managing utilities or analyzing geospatial data. Computer Science opens doors for GIScience majors with developing customized applications in GIS by furthing their GIS skills with deploying web map applications in mobile devices and smart phones. Computer Information Science extends the GIS professional's skills with an understanding of networking, centralizing and disseminating geospatial data within an organization that may extend beyond the traditional in-office GIS software environment (e.g., facilities management, planning & zonning and transportation) with servers, mobile and wireless devices such as smart phones and GPS units.
GEOG 100 or GEOL 102 or GEOL 111, GEOG 110, CS 170, GEOG 300, GEOG 316, GEOG 317, GEOG 391, GEOG 414, GEOG 417, GEOG 418, GEOG 419, GEOG 443, GEOG 477 or GEOG 423, GEOG 475 or GEOG 495, GEOG 492, and GEOG 499. Required Support Courses are CE 160/161, CS 180, MATH 118 and MATH 183.
- Recommended 4-Year Program:
- Freshman: GEOG 100 (or GEOL 102 or GEOL 111), GEOG 110 and MATH 118 College Algebra & Trig. (MATH 116 & 117 can substitute for 118).
- Sophomore: GEOG 300 Geographic Research, GEOG 316 and GEOG 317, CS 170 Intro. to Programming Python based, CE 160/161 Surveying I and MATH 183 Intro to Statistics.
- Junior: CS 180 Programming I Java based, GEOG 391 Data Analysis & Interpretation, GEOG 414, GEOG 417, and GEOG 419.
- Senior: GEOG 443, GEOG 477 (or GEOG 423), GEOG 475 (and/or GEOG 495), GEOG 492, and GEOG 499.
B.Sc. Degree in Geography (ref# 674 GRPG)
Planning and GISystems Track
The B.Sc. Geography program requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of geography, plus supporting coursework. A minor or second major is required. Students majoring in geography will learn the concepts and skills necessary to qualify for a variety of career opportunities that require a solid foundation in spatial thinking and analysis. The B.Sc. Geography program at WKU is the largest such program in Kentucky or Tennessee. Students can become more directly involved in faculty sponsored research, with opportunities for co-authorship of peer reviewed research articles, and presentation of research results at professional meetings, conferences, and workshops. Required courses are GEOG 100 or GEOL 102, GEOG 110, GEOG 300, GEOG 316, GEOG 391, and GEOG 499. Other requirements include CS 180, MATH 116, and MATH 117 as well as additional courses in GIS such as GEOG 317, GEOG 417, GEOG 419, and courses in Planning.
GIS Minor (ref# 366)
This 23 (or 24) hour minor program provides a foundation in GIS. This minor is appropriate for students interested in careers utilizing GIS as a tool in such areas as archeology, biology, business, engineering, geography, geology, meteorology, social science, and public health, or for students pursuing a GIS as a profession in a related discipline such as Computer Science, Computer Information Systems, and Systems Management. Required courses (23 - 24 hours) include GEOG 100 or GEOL 102 or GEOL 111, GEOG 110, GEOG 316, GEOG 317, GEOG 417, GEOG 419 and GEOG 414 or GEOG 477. Completing a minor in GIS also meets all requirements for earning an undergraduate Certificate in GIS.
M.Sc. Degree (ref# 072)
For the M.Sc. in Geoscience, a minimum of 30 semester hours is required, with 12 semester hours in core courses and six hours of thesis. The GIS track focuses on the skills required in a variety of planning and government environments. Students have greater flexibility in this track to focus on a suite of courses that prepares them for employment in local and state planning, environmental management, government, consulting, and a myriad of other areas.