Geographic Information Systems
The geographic information systems program at Shippensburg University involves the tracking and analysis of geospatial data. This is a critical skill for resource management in the energy, environmental, defense and other industries. With several program options, laboratory facilities and partnerships with many of Pennsylvania’s most important organizations, Ship’s geography faculty are experienced in GIS.
In the undergraduate GIS program at Shippensburg University, you will have full access to our laboratory facilities. Our undergraduate lab boasts 12 brand new computers and GIS workstations equipped with GIS, GPS, remote sensing and geocomputational software, including a university-wide site license for ESRI ArcGIS/ArcInfo 9.x.
You will have hands-on experience with this equipment due to our small class sizes. Our students are often invited to participate in faculty-mentored research projects.
All students in the geographic information systems major are required to complete a three-credit internship with a relevant public, private or nonprofit organization. In the past, GIS undergraduate students have interned with the Nature Conservancy, Audubon Pennsylvania, the Army Corps of Engineers, and many local surveying and engineering firms.
Internships provide hands-on experience and allow students to see what the working life of a GIS specialist entails. Many students also gain valuable contacts from their internship experience, which sometimes lead to a job offer upon graduation.
Geographic Information Systems is a diverse field that is relevant to multiple careers and industries. A few career options include:
- Geospatial Engineer
- Environmental Scientist
- Geographic Information Systems Analyst
- Transportation Planner
- Urban Planner
- Water Resources Engineer
The average salary for GIS jobs in PA is $63,000.
Shippensburg University offers three undergraduate GIS programs. These provide a great deal of flexibility for anyone interested in pursuing GIS as a primary area of study or as a complementary program to a related discipline.
- GIS/geography major: The geography/GIS double major is a 49-credit program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree. Students study with geography at the core as well as 18 credits in the GIS program track. The program also features an internship component and several required courses in physical sciences, computer science, art and other related disciplines. Students graduate with marketable GIS and geospatial skills as well as broad geographic knowledge.
- GIS minor: Students in a non-geography major program have the option of minoring in GIS, provided they have the prerequisite high school courses. The GIS minor consists of 18 credits: three core courses in GIS and three geography electives covering special topics in the field.
- GIS certificate: The GIS certificate program consists of two core GIS courses and two geography electives. This 12-credit program is available to students in any major who want to complement their primary area of study with a hands-on introduction to GIS.