Geographic Information Science

Geographic Information Science

Geographic information science (GISc) is a high-tech, in-demand field that enables us to monitor, question, analyze, understand and predict the world around us. The GISc program is designed to give students in-depth knowledge and advanced training in applied skills required for the geospatial technology industry. GISc is comprised of four interrelated technologies, including geographic information systems, remote sensing, global positioning systems and cartography. Our program provides advanced training in all of those areas and is among the most comprehensive in the nation. These powerful tools can be used to understand and predict human activities and natural processes in virtually any field, including environmental analysis, business analytics, rural and urban planning, security and intelligence, sustainability, transportation and everywhere else. GISc is identified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a high-growth industry with more than 30 percent annual market growth. 

UNI is the only university in Iowa to offer the geographic information science major.


If you’ve taken courses at a two- or four-year institution other than UNI and want to get an idea of what courses will transfer, check out our Transfer Plan-It tool at


Hands-on experience

About 50 percent of undergraduates participate in funded collaborative research with faculty. Students are employed through a variety of sources including faculty grants, GeoTREE Center contracts, the Geographic Alliance of Iowa and Iowa Space Grant Consortium fellowships. The department fast-tracks student colleagues into deeper, more meaningful research and outreach activities through mentorship designed to empower the students to become equal partners and leaders.

State-of-the-art labs

The UNI geography department has several state-of-the-art laboratories including GISc labs. The GISc facilities include the computer lab hosting all current and industry standard software, field equipment and data archives. These contain a wide range of GIS and remote sensing data, fixed-wing and rotary-wing unmanned aircrafts, a spectroradiometer, spectrometers, thermal radiometers, and GPS survey and mapping equipment. 

GIS student

Students can include internships in their program. Most students complete at least one internship and they can work locally, across the nation and around the world. Examples of student internships include local and state level public agencies, federal government agencies, local businesses, international corporations, non-governmental organizations, national parks and consulting firms.


96% of last year's graduates are either continuing their education or employed


GIS Analyst

Intelligence and Security


Federal and State Government Agencies

Private Sector Business

Urban & Regional Planning

Environmental Analysis and Monitoring


Have questions or want more information? Fill out the form below and someone from the department will contact you directly. To receive general university information from UNI’s admissions office, please click on ‘Request More Info About UNI’.

Mark Welford
Department Head and Professor
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