Geographic Information Systems Minor

Skill in the use of geographic information systems is useful in a wide variety of professions. A GIS minor will allow students from a variety of disciplines to develop professional skills that complement the skills developed in their major course work. The GIS minor is flexible so that students can tailor their course choices to accommodate individual needs and interests. A broadly-based approach to selecting minor courses can be appropriate for students whose majors are highly specialized or narrowly focused. 

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will be able to perform basic capture, processing, storage and analysis of geospatial data.
  • Students will be able to create effective, aesthetically-pleasing visualizations of geospatial data.
  • Students will be able to utilize geographic information systems to answer meaningful research questions in at least one area of application.

About Academic Minors

Farmingdale State College students are invited to enhance their studies with an "Academic Minor." A minor is a cluster of thematically related courses drawn from one or more departments. In addition to department based minors (e.g. computer programming & info systems), interdisciplinary minors are also available (e.g. legal studies).

Academic minors are approved by the College-Wide Curriculum Committee and the Provost. Students must make application for an academic minor through the department offering the minor in conjunction with the Registrar's Office Specific course work must be determined in consultation with a faculty member in the department offering the minor. A statement of successful completion of the academic minor will appear on the student's transcript at the time of graduation.

  • A minor is considered to be an optional supplement to a student's major program of study.
  • Completion of a minor is not a graduation requirement and is subject to the availability of the courses selected. However, if the requirements for a minor are not completed prior to certification of graduation in the major, it will be assumed that the minor has been dropped. Consequently, the student will only be certified for graduation in their primary major.
  • Only students in 4 year baccalaureate programs can apply for a minor.
  • A minor should consist of 15 to 21 credits.
  • At least 12 credits must be in courses at the 200 level or higher.
  • At least 9 credits must be residency credits.
  • Specific requirements for each minor are determined by the department granting the minor. 
  • Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 in their minor.  Some minors may require a higher GPA.
  • Students are prohibited from declaring a minor in the same discipline as their major (e.g. one cannot combine an applied math minor with an applied math major). Academic minors may not apply to all curricula.
  • Students are permitted to double-count courses.
  • Students are only permitted to take more than one minor with appropriate written approval of their department chair or curriculum Dean.

Admission to Farmingdale State College - State University of New York is based on the qualifications of the applicant without regard to age, sex, marital or military status, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability or sexual orientation.

Contact Information

History, Politics, & Geography

Dr. Timothy Nicholson
Memorial Hall, Room 221
Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm

Fall 2023

Subject to revision

Required: (10 credits)
GIS 101 The Digital Earth OR
GEO 110 Maps and Maps Analysis 3
GIS 222 Geovisualization I 4
GIS 321 Geovisualization II OR
GIS 322 Geovisualization II 3

Students must earn at least six additional credits selected from any combination of 300-level or 400-level GIS courses.

Curriculum Summary

Total Credits: 16

1. At least nine credits must be taken at Farmingdale State College

2. Students must maintain an overall GPA of 2.5 for all courses taken for the minor

3. All courses must be in Geographic Information Systems (GIS prefix); any course substitutions must be approved by the minor coordinator in advance, in consultation with a GIS advisor.

GIS 101 The Digital Earth

This class is an introduction to the fundamentals of geospatial technology, the ways in which that technology can be used to understand human and biophysical phenomena, and the ways that technology affects contemporary life. This class will introduce geographic information systems (GIS), the Global Positioning System (GPS), remote sensing, and spatial analysis. This class will also address social and ethical issues raised by the use of those technologies. Hands-on exercises will be incorporated to give students a deeper understanding of geospatial technology and how it can be used to answer meaningful questions. Note: Students who take GIS 101 may not receive credit for GEO 110

GEO 110 Maps and Map Analysis

This course is an introduction to the study and design of map formats, symbology, coordinate systems, and how maps record the historical patterns of human behavior. The course will also examine maps as a tool to analyze human activity and societal development, and include important aspects of map data collection, processing, the Global Positioning System (GPS), quantitative mapping, and GIS-based mapmaking techniques. Note: Students who take GEO 110 may not receive credit for GIS 101

GIS 222 Geovisualization I

Geographic information systems (GIS) are computer systems designed for the creation, storage, retrieval, analysis, and visualization of spatial data. GIS is applied across fields as diverse as urban planning, environmental management, law enforcement, industrial location, and marketing, and for scientific research in many disciplines. This course is a hands-on course with a required lab period which will introduce students to foundational concepts and skills in working with spatial data, including finding and creating data, spatial analysis, and GIS-based map production. This course is a prerequisite for several upper-level GEO courses. Prerequisite(s): MTH 110 and EGL 101 both with a grade of C or higher Corequisite(s): GIS 221L

GIS 321 Geovisualization II

Maps can be powerful devices for communication, but also tools for exploration of relationships among social and physical processes manifesting in space. This course explores the history, science, and art of cartography. Students will use geographic information systems software to make reference and thematic maps. Students will apply principles of cartography, including the use of color, typography, and visual balance, to create maps which are informative, aesthetically pleasing, and ultimately convincing. Prerequisite(s): GIS 222

GIS 322 Geovisualization III

This course explores selected techniques for deploying interactive, internet-based geovisualizations using both proprietary and open-source platforms. The focus of this course is client-side technologies that integrate a variety of geospatial data services using standard protocols and APIs. This is a hands-on course where students apply both standard and emerging practices for effective and attractive communication of geospatial information to a variety of audiences. Prerequisite(s): GIS 222 with a grade of C or higher

Last Modified 2/13/24