Computer Science & Geography and Geographic Information Science

Major Description

Everything happens somewhere, and data from satellites, drones, sensor networks, and global positioning systems tell us what happens where in unprecedented detail. Illinois is the national leader in Cyber GIS -- the use of high-performance computing to answer geospatial questions. Students in CS+GGIS learn about geospatial data -- where it comes from and how it's used -- while developing advanced programming skills for creating new methods, tools, and maps of the Earth's changing environments.

Courses That Introduce the Major
  • CS 124—Intro to Computer Science 1
  • CS 128—Intro to Computer Science 2 
  • GEOG 101—Global Development & Environment
  • GEOG 103—Earth’s Physical Systems
  • GEOG 105—The Digital Earth
  • GEOG 104—Social and Cultural Geography
  • GEOG 379—Intro to GIS Systems
Possible Career Opportunities:

Geographic Information Science is one of the fastest-growing career fields in the U.S.

Many GGIS graduates work in the geospatial sector in areas like: transportation, energy, retail location, precision agriculture, environmental assessment, and healthcare. Companies include: Google, Arcadis, NokiaHere, MGP, West Monroe Partners, Microsoft, and Walgreens. Many also work in the public sector in organizations such as: the Chicago Transit Authority, the Champaign County Planning Dept, and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

  • Coding
  • Problem solving
  • Spatial data analysis
  • Cartography
  • Analyst
  • Programmer
  • Cartographer
  • GIS developer
  • Photogrammetrist
Enhancing Your Academic Experience:
  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • Illinois Cartographic Society
    • Urban & Geographic Information Systems Group (GIS Group): facilitates the professional development of undergraduate students while providing unique and valuable services to the U-C community, employing skills learned in the classroom in undertaking real-world projects.
Further Information:

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Geography & GIS.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Geography & GIS.  These organizations include Association of American GeographersGeological Society of America, and Environmental Protection Agency.