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Geographic Information Systems Technology

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Geographic Information Systems Technology

Bachelor of Science

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Students will study principles of map science and cartographic design, programming with Python and Javascript, remote sensing techniques, spatial analysis and modeling, designing maps for web and mobile environments, as well as applying geographic information science principles using ESRI’s software. The degree culminates in a capstone project, in which students will propose and complete a substantive project that demonstrates their comprehensive knowledge of GIS systems, science, technologies and methodologies.By the end of the program, students will not only be proficient in GIS & T, they will have  developed time and project management skills, and – through project-based learning -  have practice in compiling data, designing databases, creating methodological strategies for solving problems, choosing the best analytical techniques to solve problems, and professionally presenting results.Our classes are dynamic and contemporary, allowing us to take advantage of the latest in GIS technologies and innovations in online teaching. Additionally, GIST classes are designed by tenured faculty working alongside professionals in the industry.GIS & T is a high growth industry worldwide. In the United States alone, the market is growing at a rate of approximately 35% per year. In the commercial sector, GIS&T is expanding by 100% every year according to the US Department of Labor. A STEM degree in geospatial technologies opens doors to careers in business, government and non-profit agencies.The University of Arizona BS-GIST degree is a collaboration between the School of Geography and Development - housed in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences - and the School of Natural Resources and the Environment – in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Major Details

College: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Admissions Requirements:

No Additional Requirements

Math Required:


    The M-strand is for students who require mathematical facility at the level of at least MATH 110 (Collegiate Algebra). This strand involves reasonable facility with algebra and algebraic functions, graphs, and simple modeling. Students who choose the M-strand are prepared for further mathematical work. This work may include LING 178 (The Mathematics of Language and Linguistics), MATH 114 (Finite Mathematics), MATH 113 (Elements of Calculus), or a statistics class from outside the Mathematics Department, such as ISTA 116 (Statistical Foundations for the Information Age) or SBS 200 (Statistics for the Social Sciences).
Second Language Required:

2 Semesters

  • Scoring the equivalent of second-semester skill level on an entrance or placement examination administered by The University of Arizona.
  • Completion with a C or better of a second semester course at the post-secondary level.
  • An AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate) or CLEP (College Level Entrance Program) language score determined by the individual language department.
  • In the College of Engineering by a method determined within the College; however, all students in the college must also take a language placement examination on entrance to the University.
2 Semesters
Fees: No
Pre-Major: No
Available at:
  • UA Online

Four-Year Plan

Archived plans are available on Degree Search 2011-2017 for many degree plans. These are sample plans. Please work with your academic advisor for more specific and up-to-date requirements.

Select a year:

UA Course Requirements Units
1st Semester
ENGL 101 First Year Composition 3
Tier I General Education 3
Tier I General Education 3
Math 3
Second Language 4
2nd Semester
ENGL 102 First Year Composition 3
Tier I General Education 3
Tier I General Education 3
General Elective 3
Second Language 4
3rd Semester
Tier I General Education 3
Tier I General Education 3
Tier II General Education 3
GIST 214 Intro to Map Science 3
GIST 417 GIS Systems for Natural & Social Science 3
4th Semester
Tier II General Education 3
Tier II General Education 3
GIST 330 Intro to Remote Sensing 3
GIST 314 Cartographic Design & Production 3
Minor Course 3
5th Semester
GIST 315 Programming I 3
GIST 416E Geovisualization 3
GIST 457 Stat. Tech. in Geog. RD & Planning 3
Minor Course 3
Minor Course 3
6th Semester
GIST 420 Advanced GIS 3
GIST 415 Programming II (GIST Elective) 3
GIST 483 Geog. App. of Remote Sensing 3
Minor Course 3
General Electives 3
7th Semester
GIST 414 Web Mobile GIS 3
GIST 418 Intro to Spatial Anal. & Mod. 3
Minor Course 3
General Elective 3
General Elective 3
8th Semester
GIST 482 Integrated Geospatial Tech. 3
GIST 498 Senior Capstone 3
Minor Course 3
General Elective 4

AZ Transfer Pathways

This page is designed for in-state transfer students who plan to attend the University of Arizona. The information presented lists the most accurate course equivalencies and may not include all possible requirements. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to use this site for reference only and not for self-advising.

Transfer students should work with their community colleges and UA advisors to develop an individualized plan for transfer, and visit

  • All posted Pathways (except for Bachelor of Applied Science Pathways) fulfill an AGEC and most also fulfill an Associate Degree
  • Following a Pathway does not guarantee admission to the UA nor admission to a college/major/program at the UA
  • Use Pathways in consultation with advisors from your community college and the UA
  • Pathways are subject to change at any time

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