May 23, 2024  
2014-2015 General Catalog 

Geographic Information Systems Certificate

Geography & Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


Geography is traditionally divided into three areas, and all three are offered in the SUU geography curriculum. These include (1) physical geography, an examination of earth’s physical systems; (2) human or cultural geography, which explores spatial relationships in human activities; and (3) technical or applied geography, including the technologies of geographic research, which encompasses cartography, GIS, GPS, and related technologies.

The mission of the SUU geography program is:

  1. To continue and expand the relationship between the departments of Physical Science and History and Sociology and to support the programs and degrees offered by these departments.
  2. To discover, describe, explain, and interpret the character of the earth as home to humans by focusing on interrelationships within and among natural and cultural subsystems and regions.
  3. To contribute to the liberal education offered by the university, to provide excellence in teaching, and to offer students the best in geography education that can be obtained at any institution of higher learning.
  4. To offer specialized training in applied geography, including GIS and cartography.

Geography Minors:

SUU offers two geography minors. The academic geography minor can be used either to fulfill graduation requirements or to prepare the student for graduate school. The geography education minor, will qualify the student for certification to teach geography in Utah’s secondary schools.

GIS Program:

Our GIS courses and laboratory serve many departments, degrees, and affiliated entities across the SUU campus and surrounding communities. The GIS courses and laboratory teach spatial technologies through hands-on experience. The GIS program and laboratory use the most current technology, hardware, and software available. The GIS lab offers service learning opportunities to students through local and regional projects and internships.

The mission of the GIS program is to prepare individuals to integrate spatial technologies with studies in other disciplines. We provide a learning environment that fosters undergraduate research. The strength of our mission relies on the program’s diversity and the interdisciplinary nature of spatial technologies.

A Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree (see Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, B.I.S. ) can be designed to accommodate students interested in GIS. Examples of programs that often use GIS include, but are not limited to; geography, biology, geology, history, sociology, political science, business, marketing, engineering, agriculture, information systems, computer science, criminology, university studies, education, and others. Coursework in GIS complements other degrees.

Geographic Information Systems Certificate Requirements

The GIS certificate program was designed as an integrated component of a 4-year degree (for example Geography, Geology, Biology, Information Systems, Computer Science, Engineering Technology or other). The GIS certificate can be completed as an individual program, usually over a 2 - 3 year period. The foundation courses should be completed in the freshmen year, the technical GIS courses in the sophomore year and the GIS application courses in the junior and senior years. Please note: A grade of “C” (2.0 or above) must be earned in each course required for the major and minor.

Required Foundation Courses (13 credits)

The following courses must be completed or obtain signature approval

Total Credits: 33


1) A minimum grade of “C” (2.0 or above) must be earned in each course before it can be counted in a physical science major, minor or certificate or as a prerequisite for any other course.