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Department of

Community And Regional Planning


Minor in Geographic Information Science

Geographic Information Science (GISC)

The undergraduate minor in Geographic Information Science (GISC) is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with opportunities to engage the theory, processes, techniques and tools that use spatial data and computational technology to create cutting-edge analysis and mapping approaches for a wide range of fields, such as urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, design, community development, agriculture, environmental sciences, natural resources, sociology, criminology, anthropology, political science, environmental studies and others.

The minor is open to undergraduates in all university majors with a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 prior to enrolling.


Students must complete a minimum of 15 undergraduate credits of GIS coursework to receive the minor:

Foundations of GIS – complete the following two courses (6 credits):

  • CRP 251: Fundamentals of GIS (3 credits), Fall, Spring, Summer
  • CRP 351: Intermediate Geographic Information Systems (3 credits), Fall, Spring, Summer [GEOL 452: GIS for Geoscientists (3 credits) can be used as a substitute]
    • CRP majors should take CRP 351

GIS Tools and Techniques – choose three courses (9 credits) from the following:

  • ABE 437: Watershed Modeling and Policy (3 credits) Alt. F., offered odd-numbered years
  • EnSci 270: Geospatial Technologies (3 credits), Fall
  • CRP 449/549: Geodesign: Planning for Sustainable Future (3 credits), Spring
  • CRP 452: Geographic Data Management and Planning Analysis (3 credits), Spring
  • CRP 454: Fundamentals of Remote Sensing (3 credits), Spring, or substitute GEOL 489: Survey of Remote Sensing Technologies
  • CRP 455/555: Smart and Sustainable Cities (3 credits), Spring
  • CRP 456: GIS Programming and Automation (3 credits), Fall
  • CRP 457: GeoGames for Civic Engagement (3 credits), Spring
  • CRP 458: Web Mapping/GIS (3 credits), Fall
  • NREM 345: Natural Resource Photogrammetry and Photo-Interpretation (3 Credits), Fall
  • NREM 446: Integrating GPS and GIS for Natural Resource Management (3 Credits), Spring
  • GEOL 452: GIS for Geoscientists I (3 credits), Fall, Spring
  • GEOL 468: Applied Geostatistics for Geoscientists
  • GEOL 488: GIS for Geoscientists II (3 credits), Spring
  • STAT 476: Introduction to Spatial Analysis (3 credits), Spring

At least six (6) of the 15 credits must be taken at Iowa State University in courses numbered 300 and above with a grade of C or higher. At least nine (9) of the 15 credits must not be used to meet any other college or university requirements except the credit requirement for graduation.

How to Add a Minor

Students will be able to add the GISC minor at any point during their program of study. To add the minor, students must:

  • Discuss their interest in the minor with their academic adviser.
  • Fill out a university Request for Minor form, which must be signed by the student, the student’s adviser and the chair of the Department of Community & Regional Planning. It is recommended that this form be completed at least one semester prior to graduation.


For more information, contact:

Professor Francis Owusu, Chair, Community & Regional Planning