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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Minor

Why Minor in GIS?

Geographic information system (GIS) is a geospatial technology that visualizes, analyzes and transforms data into geographic knowledge.  It is used to model population growth and distributions, manage wildlife habitats, map crime, perform market demographic analyses and develop distribution networks and evacuation plans for community preparedness.  GIS helps planners, nonprofit agencies, environmental scientists, biologists and business owners to make site location decisions and solve urban and environmental problems.  Moreover, the spatial thinking and analysis inherent in GIS are valued skill sets valued by many other disciplines including law enforcement, homeland security, public health, business and marketing, communications and media, political science, and history.

GIS skills are highly-marketable today and our GIS Minor gives you the skills and hands-on experience you need to use GIS successfully in your future career. The GIS Minor is designed to introduce students to the fundamental concepts, analytical techniques, software and hardware used in GIS.  Upon successful completion of the minor, students will be able to understand the core concepts underlying GIS, how GIS is used in a wide variety of subject areas and apply geospatial concepts and GIS to solve real world problems and to communicate effectively complex information to a diverse audience. 

Interested? Contact Dr. Tim LeDoux (GIS Coordinator) or Dr. Carsten Braun to discover how our GIS Minor can fit into your education and future!

Additional information and requirements (printable brochure)

Requirements for the Minor in Geographic Information Systems

Minor in Geographic Information System (GIS) - 18 Credits

Twelve (12) of the credits have to be taken at Westfield State University.

    Required GIS Courses - 9 Credits

    • GPS 0243 - Introduction to Remote Sensing
    • GPS 0244 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
    • GPS 0344 - Advanced Geographic Information Systems

    One of the following


    • BIOL 0278 - Biostatistics
    • CRJU 0313 - Statistics in Criminal Justice

    • *
    • ECON 0305 - Introduction to Econometric Methods or
    • FINC 0305 - Introduction to Econometric Methods

    • *
    • ENVS 0330 - Environmental Data Analysis *
    • MGMT 0250 - Quantitative Approaches to Business Decisions *
    • GPS 0246 - Quantitative Methods for Social and Physical Science

    Plus two of the following - 6 Credits

    • BIOL 0204 - GIS Applications for Natural Sciences *
    • CAIS 0117 - Introduction to Computer Programming
    • CAIS 0212 - Visual Programming Concepts
    • CRJU 0328 - Computer Application in Crime Analysis
    • CRJU 0359 - Geographic Information Systems Applications in Crime Analysis *
    • GPS 0241 - Cartographic & Data Visualization
    • GPS 0317 - Special Topics in Geography and Planning
    • GPS 0343 - Advanced Remote Sensing
    • GPS 0347 - Cloud GIS
    • GPS 0350 - Internship in Regional and Environmental Planning
    • GPS 0365 - Geoprocessing
    • GPS 0399 - Independent Study


    * Additional prerequisites are required.

    For more information about the GIS minor, contact Dr. Timothy LeDoux (, Department of Geography, Planning and Sustainability, at (413) 572-5722.