UT Dallas 2012 Undergraduate Catalog

School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

Geospatial Information Sciences (B.S.)

Geospatial Information Science (or GIScience) is the quantitative study of relationships of things in space and time. In recent years, powerful new technologies and techniques have emerged that greatly improve our ability to acquire, archive, analyze and communicate information regarding people, places and other things on or near the Earth's surface. These same technologies and techniques allow us to combine this information into multi-tiered databases describing the physical, social and other aspects of all or portions of the Earth. Such databases can then be analyzed in novel ways that take the data's spatial nature into account. The insights produced by these sorts of databases and analyses are revolutionizing many fields of science, government and business, and through now-commonplace consumer products such as web-based mapping systems and GPS units, are directly impacting the everyday lives of ordinary individuals.

Graduates of the Bachelors of Science in Geospatial Information Science program will understand the logical, mathematical and technological underpinnings of GIScience, and be skilled in solving geospatial problems to the point where they will be able to move into professional roles handling the geospatial needs facing typical corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations. Their level of understanding will transcend simple familiarity with common GIScience software packages; while these graduates will be skilled in the use of such systems, they will also understand the underlying principles upon which software systems are based. This will allow our graduates to transfer their knowledge from one software system to another, and more importantly, to view geospatial problems as issues that can be solved by applying basic theories, techniques and methodologies, and not be limited to solutions encapsulated in particular software systems.

Mission and Objectives

The mission of the Bachelor of Science in Geospatial Information Sciences program is to provide students with a rigorous understanding of the fundamental theories and concepts underlying GIScience, as well as to provide them with extensive hands-on experience with contemporary GIScience hardware and software. However, this program should not be confused with software training seminars or workshops; the goal of the Bachelor of Science in GIScience program is to give students a firm grasp on the theories, ideas and techniques that underlay software and hardware systems, and thus provide them with a foundation of knowledge and skill that transcends any individual piece of hardware or software. Graduates of this program will be able to successfully compete for professional positions within GIScience and related fields, and be admitted into the best graduate schools globally.

Students within the program will:

  • Demonstrate their understanding of the underlying theories, ideas, concepts and techniques of GIScience.
  • Master contemporary computer hardware and software systems commonly employed in GIScience.
  • Demonstrate problem solving skills that employ their understanding of theories, ideas and concepts as well as their mastery of GIScience software and hardware.
  • Bachelor of Science in Geospatial Information Sciences

    Degree Requirements (120 semester credit hours)

    I. Core Curriculum Requirements1: 42 semester credit hours

    Communication (6 semester credit hours)

    3 semester credit hours Communication (RHET 1302)
    3 semester credit hours Communication Elective (GEOG 3377)

    Social and Behavioral Sciences (15 semester credit hours)

    6 semester credit hours Government (GOVT 2301 and GOVT 2302)
    6 semester credit hours American History (HIST 1301 and HIST 1302)
    3 semester credit hours Social and Behavioral Sciences Elective (SOC 1301, SOC 2319, CRIM 1301, or CRIM 1307)

    Humanities and Fine Arts (6 semester credit hours)

    3 semester credit hours Fine Arts (ARTS 1301)
    3 semester credit hours Humanities (HUMA 1301)

    Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (6 semester credit hours)

    3 semester credit hours Mathematics (MATH 1325, MATH 2413 or MATH 2417)2
    3-4 semester credit hours Quantitative Reasoning (MATH 1326, MATH 2414 or MATH 2419)2

    Science (9 semester credit hours)

    GEOS 1103 Physical Geology Laboratory
    GEOS 1104 History of Earth and Life Laboratory
    GEOS 1303 Physical Geology
    GEOS 1304 History of Earth and Life
    1 semester credit hour Science elective

    II. Major Requirements: 61 semester credit hours

    Major Preparatory Courses (18 semester credit hours beyond Core Curriculum)

    BIS 3190 Library Research Skills
    CS 1136 Computer Science Laboratory
    CS 1336 Programming Fundamentals
    CS 1337 Computer Science I
    CS 2336 Computer Science II
    EPPS 3405 Introduction to Social Statistics with Lab
    MATH 1325 Applied Calculus I3
    or MATH 2413 Differential Calculus2, 3
    or MATH 2417 Calculus I2, 3
    MATH 1326 Applied Calculus II3
    or MATH 2414 Integral Calculus2, 3
    or MATH 2419 Calculus II2, 3
    SOCS/ECS 3361 Social Issues and Ethics in Computer Science and Engineering

    Major Core Courses (21 semester credit hours)

    GEOG 3304 Tools for Spatial Analysis
    GEOG 4380 Spatial Concepts and Organization
    GISC 2301 Introduction to Geospatial Information Science
    GISC 2302 Geodesy and Geospatial Analysis
    GISC 3301 Introduction to Remote Sensing
    GISC 3382 Applied Geographic Information Systems
    GISC 4317 Computer Programming for GIS

    Major Related Courses (22 semester credit hours)

    MIS 3300 Introduction to Management Information Systems
    CGS 4352 Human Computer Interactions I
    GEOG 3331 Urban Growth and Structure
    GEOG 3357 Spatial Dimensions of Health and Disease
    GEOG 3370 Global Economy
    GEOG 3372 Population and Development
    GEOS 2406 Geospatial Science and Methods

    III. Elective Requirements: 17 semester credit hours

    Free Electives (17 semester credit hours)

    This requirement may be satisfied with lower- and upper-division courses from any field of study. Students must complete at least 51 semester credit hours of upper-division credit to qualify for graduation.

    1. Curriculum Requirements can be fulfilled by other approved courses, including courses from accredited institutions of higher education. The courses listed in parentheses are the most efficient way to satisfy both Core Curriculum and Major Requirements at UT Dallas.
    2. Three semester credit hours are counted under Mathematics and/or Quantitative Reasoning core, and two semester credit hours are counted under Major Preparatory Courses.
    3. A Major requirement that also fulfills a Core Curriculum requirement. Semester credit hours are counted in Core Curriculum above.
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