Earth, Atmospheric, and Geographic Information Sciences

Bachelor of Science - Geographic Information Science

Degree Overview

Geographic Information Science (GIS) is the study of spatial data and computer techniques used to capture, analyze, and display geographic information. Every undergraduate student is expected to acquire GIS skills in order to model scientifically the geospatial world and its components using GIS in a space-time framework. Our students are exposed to three perspectives of GIS learning: theoretical understanding, skill development, and real-world problem solving. Through hands-on training and practical applications, the students develop proficiency in using GIS techniques to address real-world problems, project design, implementation, and reporting.

GIS majors select between two options within the major:

  • Geospatial Science (Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing, and GPS)
  • Geoenvironment and Planning (physicalenvironment, human, urban planning, and regional planning)

View the Undergraduate Catalog for specific degree requirements and course descriptions .

Integrated Geographic Information Science (BS) - GIScience and Geoenvironment (MS)

The integrated degree programs provide an opportunity for our talented undergraduates to obtain both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in five years. The integrated program saves students time and money.

View the Graduate Catalog for Integrated Program details.


Career opportunities are found in both public and private sectors. Most notables include disaster response companies, transportation firms, land use planning agencies, GIS-related professions, historic preservations firms, construction companies, real estate firms, international business, location analysis firms, architectural firms, and wind energy/sustainable energy companies.

Program Benefits

The GIS Center

The department is home to the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Center which is a partnership between WIU, the City of Macomb and McDonough County. Paid internships at the center create opportunities for top students to work on real-world GIS projects related to agriculture, emergency management, land use and other industries while receiving training and oversight from the center’s GIS professionals. GIS Center interns develop a strong professional portfolio and the center has a 100 percent job placement rate amongst graduates who have pursued GIScience careers.


WIU GIScience classes are taught by Ph.D.s and our low professor-to-student ratio means that we are personally invested in each student’s progress. Our focus on applied learning helps students develop marketable skills that translate directly to the workforce.