Jul 24, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog | 2018-2019 
Undergraduate Catalog | 2018-2019 Previous Edition

Geography, GIScience and Technology Concentration, B.S.

The Concentration in GIScience and Technology (GIS) focuses on the acquisition, representation, analysis, modeling and dissemination of geospatial information with cutting-edge computer technologies.  Emphasis is placed on both fundamentals of GIScience concepts, and building expert knowledge in the use of geospatial technologies such as GIS, remote sensing, spatial analysis and modeling, database development and management, programming, Web GIS, and geovisualization.  Students benefit from systematic training through technical and applied GIS coursework taught by GIScience faculty.  Graduates with a Concentration in GIScience and Technology find themselves well-prepared to start a career in a geographic information technology field.  Career opportunities have been growing fast as GIScience in high demand in a wide range of professions, including GIS analysts, GIS developers, cartographers, urban and city planners, location analysts, transportation planners and natural resource specialists.  Strong connections between the department and local and state agencies offer excellent opportunities to help students achieve their career goals.  Students pursuing the Concentration in GIScience and Technology are urged to select their courses in consultation with their advisor to develop an appropriate program of study in this rapidly evolving field to ensure it is tailored to their career goals.


The Geography curriculum is oriented toward the concepts and methodologies of social science that stress the importance of location.  Geography is the study of spatial variation - of how things vary from place to place on the surface of the earth; how places are connected to each other, and the factors that shape how places interact and change over time.

Geography is studied at many levels, from the local to the global, and from many perspectives (i.e., social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental). Conceptual treatment of geographic issues deal with urbanization; globalization; migration; sustainability; patterns of land use; transportation systems; the flow of goods, services, and information; business location; planning for the natural and built environment; and human-environmental interaction in both urban and rural settings.  Special emphasis is placed on how these factors shape our world, the places where we live and work, and the ways in which we interact.  Geographic analysis involves information technology; mapping and statistical analysis; social area analysis; remote sensing and satellite imagery; and especially the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  A host of courses prepare students in both the concepts and methods of contemporary spatial analysis.  The department also leads the interdisciplinary Minor in Urban Studies.  Geography majors find careers in urban and regional planning, cartography, GIS applications and development, marketing research, transportation planning, real estate development, and teaching.  While a wide range of career options are available to undergraduate geography majors, graduate studies provide additional options.  For details, see the UNC Charlotte Graduate Catalog regarding the M.A. in Geography program.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen and Transfers

  • Minimum GPA:  2.0
  • Declaration of Major:  Major can be declared on a rolling basis throughout the year. 
  • Transferable Credit Hours:  24

Degree Requirements

General Education Courses (37-41 credit hours)

For details on required courses, refer to the General Education Program 

Foreign Language Requirement (0-8 credit hours)

For details on required courses, refer to the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Foreign Language Requirement 

Concentration Courses (13-16 credit hours)

Foundation Course (4 credit hours)

GIS Elective Courses (18 credit hours)

Select at least 13 credit hours of additional GIS-related coursework from the courses listed above and an additional 2 to 5 credit hours in elective courses at the 3000 or above level, for a total of 18 credit hours.

Unrestricted Elective Courses

As needed to complete the credit hours required for graduation.

Degree Total = 120 Credit Hours

Cooperative Education Program

Students in the Geography and Earth Sciences programs may obtain practical work experience while pursuing their degrees by participating in the Cooperative Education program.  The work experience is approved by the department and is closely related to the student’s field of study.  The Cooperative Education Program allows qualified students either to alternate semesters of academic study with semesters of full-time work experience or to combine part-time academic study and part-time work during the same semester.  Students who are in good standing with the University, have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, and have completed 30 credit hours are eligible to apply.  Transfer students are required to complete 12 credit hours at the University prior to application. Students interested in learning more about participating in this program should contact the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences or the University Career Center.

Honors Program

For details about the Honors Program in Geography, visit the program page .