About

Are you curious about the challenges and rewards of learning a rapidly growing field that uses technology such as the Global Positioning System (GPS), digital maps, satellite imagery, and geospatial intelligence? What if you could learn to use a diverse array of computer technology and science to solve environmental problems, manage resources, and enhance the quality of life in your community, or even around the world?

Careers in geographic information science and technology (GIST) are among the top three fastest-growing fields nationwide as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Geospatial job market growth rests upon a broad knowledgebase of geospatial technology (computer cartography, digital mapping, GPS, satellite and aerial remote sensing) and comprehensive, geographic literacy (understanding people, places, and the environment).

The GIST program provides a state-of-the-art foundation for a career in applying geographic information systems (GIS) and all these related technologies towards a vast array of potential careers, including cartographer, GIS analyst, computer mapping, photogrammetrist, surveyor, public works and utilities engineering, urban and regional planning GIS, environmental managers/scientist/engineer, and site location and market suitability analysts. GIS is often the behind-the-scenes infrastructure in everyday life, supporting our water, electricity, transportation business operations, and every other facet of civilization. It is also used to do market research, navigate and route traffic (MapQuest, GoogleMaps, Yahoo, etc.), and perform many daily activities that are often taken for granted (bus routes, school attendance zones, mobile phone location-based services).

ECU's GIST program provides a cutting-edge program in all these technologies of GIS, remote sensing, cartography, GPS, and computer science (including the information technology to design, plan, and implement GIS). In addition, several advanced areas of application are available, such as coastal and marine GIS, terrestrial laser scanning, and advanced computer cartography. The program is strongly linked to demand for highly trained geospatial analysts and encourages active participation in internship and applied research projects, including private business, non-profits, environmental groups and foundations, local, state, and federal government agencies, and the military.

ECU Advantage

ECU's GIST program has a national reputation for applying GIS, with especially strong recognition for applications to environmental resources, hazards, and coasts. Our program is focused on the undergraduate student and ensuring you acquire the latest GIS software, IT, and spatial data analysis skills. ECU's GIST degree is one of only a few available at the undergraduate level nationwide with such depth and breadth of geospatial education and training. Hence, our alumni are poised to out-compete graduates from other programs with less geospatial and IT competency.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Yong Wang (221-A Brewster Building; 252-328-1043; wangy@ecu.edu)

Minimum degree requirement is 120 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education requirements including the course listed below - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

  • MATH 1065 - College Algebra
2. Common core - 25 s.h.
  • GEOG 2400 - Spatial Data Analysis
  • GEOG 2410 - Fundamentals of GIS
  • GEOG 3420 - Remote Sensing of the Environment I
  • GEOG 3430 - Geographic Information Systems I
  • GEOG 3450 - Introduction to the Global Positioning System
  • GEOG 3460 - GIS Applications Programming
  • GEOG 4410 - Advanced Cartographic Design and Production
  • GEOG 4430 - Geographic Information Systems II
  • GEOG 4999 - Geography Professional Seminar
3. GIS electives - 12 s.h.

(Choose from the following.)

  • GEOG 4340 - Introduction to Medical Geography
  • GEOG 4420 - Remote Sensing II
  • GEOG 4440 - Coastal Applications of GIS
  • GEOG 4450 - GIScience, Society and Technology
  • GEOG 4460 - Digital Terrain Analysis
  • GEOG 4540 - Coastal Storms
  • GEOG 4491 - Supervised Study in Geographic Techniques
  • GEOG 4492 - Supervised Study in Geographic Techniques
  • GEOG 4493 - Supervised Study in Geographic Techniques
  • GEOG 4580 - Radar and Satellite Meteorology
  • GEOG 4801 - Geographic Internship
  • GEOG 4802 - Geographic Internship
  • GEOG 4803 - Geographic Internship
4. Environmental and human geography - 9 s.h.

(Choose from the following courses. A minimum of 3 s.h. must be above 2999.)

  • GEOG 1000 - People, Places, and Environments
  • GEOG 1250 - The Water Planet
  • GEOG 1300 - Weather and Climate
  • GEOG 2003 - Geography of the Global Economy
  • GEOG 2019 - Geography of Recreation
  • GEOG 2250 - Earth Surface Systems
  • GEOG 2300 - Geography of Environmental Resources
  • GEOG 2350 - Climate Change: Science and Society
  • GEOG 2510 - Physical Meteorology
  • GEOG 3001 - Historical Geography of the United States
  • GEOG 3003 - Political Geography
  • GEOG 3004 - Urban Geography
  • GEOG 3049 - Latin America
  • GEOG 3050 - Africa
  • GEOG 3051 - Asia
  • GEOG 3055 - North Carolina
  • GEOG 3220 - Soil Properties, Surveys, and Applications
  • GEOG 3230 - Global Climates
  • GEOG 3250 - Environmental Hazards
  • GEOG 4210 - Fluvial and Hydrological Processes
  • GEOG 4220 - Coastal Geography
  • GEOG 4230 - Earth Surface Processes
  • GEOG 4250 - Environmental Impact Analysis
  • GEOG 4270 - Water Resources Management and Planning
  • GEOG 4310 - Geography of Transportation and Trade
  • GEOG 4315 - Geographic Images
  • GEOG 4320 - Gender, Economy, and Development
  • GEOG 4325 - Resources, Population, and Development
  • GEOG 4330 - Agricultural Geography
  • GEOG 4335 - Geography of Tourism
  • GEOG 4345 - Human Migration and Global Restructuring
  • GEOG 4360 - Geographies of Global Climate and Environmental Change
  • GEOG 4510 - Meteorological Instruments and Observations
  • GEOG 4530 - Micrometeorology
  • GEOG 4590 - Tropical Meteorology
  • GEOG 5281 - Selected Topics in Physical Geography
  • GEOG 5282 - Selected Topics in Physical Geography
  • GEOG 5283 - Selected Topics in Physical Geography
  • GEOG 5393 - Seminar in Human Geography
  • PLAN 1900 - Sustainable Cities
5. Cognates - 9 s.h.

(Choose from the following.)

  • CSCI 3200 - Data Structures and Their Applications
  • CSCI 3700 - Database Management Systems
  • ICTN 1500 - Information and Computer Technology Fundamentals
  • ICTN 1501 - Information and Computer Technology Fundamentals Laboratory
  • ICTN 2154 - Digital Communication Systems
  • ICTN 2155 - Digital Communication Systems Laboratory
  • ICTN 2158 - Computer Networking Technology
  • ICTN 2159 - Computer Networking Technology Laboratory
  • ICTN 2510 - Network Environment I
  • ICTN 2511 - Network Environment I Laboratory
  • ICTN 2530 - Network Environment II
  • ICTN 2531 - Network Environment II Laboratory
  • ICTN 2900 - Fundamental Network Security
  • ICTN 2901 - Fundamental Network Security Laboratory
  • ICTN 3540 - Network Environment III
  • ICTN 3541 - Network Environment III Laboratory
  • MATH 1066 - Applied Mathematics for Decision Making
  • MATH 1083 - Introduction to Functions
  • MATH 2119 - Elements of Calculus
  • MATH 2427 - Discrete Mathematical Structures
6. Electives to complete requirements for graduation - 23 s.h.
    For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

    Careers With This Degree

    Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

    • Information Science/Studies
    • Computer and Information Systems Managers
    • Communications, Entertainment and Information
    • Computer and Information Scientists, Research
    • Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software
    • Network and Computer Systems Administrators
    • Computer Specialists, All Other
    • Education and Training
    • Computer Science Teachers, Postsecondary
    • Information Science/Studies

    Career Opportunities

    ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

    NC Tower

    This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

    • Self-employed;
    • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
    • Work outside of North Carolina.

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

    This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

    Degree-specific internships

    For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.

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