Build the Tools

EMU’s Geographic Information Science (GIS) programs are at the forefront of offering opportunities to students and mid-career professionals to develop careers in the geospatial sciences. The program’s strengths combine the theoretical aspects of GIS with practical applications across a broad range of areas. At the undergraduate and graduate levels, students are exposed to GIS theory, database development, programming, spatial analysis and statistics and remote sensing. Application areas include urban planning, environmental management, crime analysis, business GIS, public health, etc.

GIS Program Focus

  • Basic and advanced GIS theory and practices
  • Spatial analysis and spatial statistics
  • Databases: Access, MySQL, Oracle Spatial, PostgreSQL, ArcSDE
  • GIS programming using Python, ArcGIS, API for Javascript, Silverlight, PHP, etc
  • Aerial photographic interpretation
  • Remote sensing of the environment
  • Geospatial techniques: GPS and field data gathering, surveying
  • GIS project management
  • GIS for K–12 educators
  • Environmental assessment
  • Research methods
  • GIS applications in a variety of settings including urban planning, environmental management, crime analysis and public health 
  • Undergraduate GIS program

    This major emphasizes the integration of geospatial information concepts and technologies with multiple disciplinary programs that are primarily offered in the Department of Geography and Geology or in selected departments in which GIST has well-recognized applications.  The GIST program prepares students for positions that utilize geospatial technologies in a broad range of fields that are covered by the aforementioned programs.

    Minor in GIS to supplement a full-degree program and learn practical knowledge and skills needed to successfully apply GIS to your major area of expertise. Admission is open to any EMU undergraduate student in good standing. Students in the new GIST major are required to take 63 hours of credit. Students in the GIS minor are required to take 15 credits of GIS work.

  • Graduate GIS program

    Graduate assistantships (GA) are available to GIS graduate students on a competitive basis. GIS GA supports faculty members in instructional, research, service, and administrative project. If you are a new applicant and wish to be considered for GA beginning in the upcoming Fall semester, in addition to completing your application to our program through EMU's Graduate School, please complete the 2023 GIS GA application form by March 31st, 2023. GA applications received after March 31 will only be considered if unassigned assistantship positions remain.

    The Master of Science in GIS requires the completion of 36 credits of course work, including internship and passage of a comprehensive oral examination. Select either a thesis option or a non-thesis option that requires an internship and professional report. Admission to the graduate program is through the Office of Graduate Studies. A bachelor’s degree is required with a minimum GPA of 2.75, along with two letters of recommendation.

    The skills of GIS professionals are needed in federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, National Imagery and Mapping Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well as with private engineering, architectural and technology firms.

    Please read the open letter to Prospective GIS Graduate Students. The department offers a limited number of graduate assistant positions. For more information, visit the graduate assistantships page on the Graduate School website.

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Institute for Geospatial Research & Education (IGRE)

Check out the website for IGRE, the home of geographic information science at EMU.