Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

GIS often makes use of air photos like this one of the VU campusGIS involves using computers to map and analyze multiple layers of spatial data. All students at Valparaiso University, no matter their major, can benefit from acquiring skills in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  For example GIS could be used by:

  • A Biology major interested in mapping and understanding the factors that affect the distribution of invasive species.
  • A Civil Engineering major wanting to better understand and map multiple site conditions for a project.
  • A Chemistry major seeking to document and map water sampling sites as well as the potential sources of water pollution.
  • A Business or Economics major wanting to find the ideal location for a new store or interested in understanding variations in consumer demographics.
  • An art major wanting to add cartographic skills to their graphic design skillset or to explore technologies of mapping as a tool for making art.
  • A social work or nursing major interested in exploring client access to services.
  • A political science major interested in mapping election results.
  • A sociology major interested in understanding spatial variations in social indicators.
  • And more!

Knowing how to map data and conduct spatial analysis is a unique and marketable skill in today's competitive job market. The minor in GIS is designed for any students who is interested in adding GIS to their skillset. Students interested in working in the geospatial industry should consider completing a complementary or full Geography B.A. or Geography B. S. major. 

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 15 credit hours is required for the geographic information systems minor and must include

  • GEO 101 World Human Geography or GEO 104 Introduction to Geomorphology
  • GEO 215 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • GEO 230 Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • Geo 415 Advanced Geographic Information Systems

and three additional credits from:

  • GEO 225. Cartography
  • Geo 285 Natural Hazards
  • Geo 430 Advanced Remote Sensing
  • or GEO 486 Internship in Geography.  If selecting GEO 486, the internship must involve GIS, remote sensing, or cartography.

Kallay GIS LabF.P. Kallay Geographic Applications Laboratory

Students taking GIS courses have access to the F.P. Kallay Geographic Applications Laboratory.  The lab provides access to powerful GIS, cartography, and remote sensing software including ArcView, ArcGIS, and Adobe Illustrator. Located in Schnabel 34. This is not an open lab and access is limited to Geo/Met majors/minors and other students taking classes in the lab. Geo/Met students who would like access should see Rusta Ault.