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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at Hofstra

What is GIS?

Geographic Information Systems combine digital mapping with data to answer spatial questions and help solve geographical problems. It is a high-growth industry, generating 330,000 new geo-professional jobs over the last 10 years.

GIS technology allows you to visualize, question, analyze, and interpret data to understand relationships, patterns, and trends in the world. If it has a map, it uses GIS.

GIS skills are highly sought after in many occupations and offers multiple proven career paths involving the social sciences, natural sciences, medical sciences, journalism, digital humanities, engineering, business, and computer science.

Hofstra GIS courses

GIS courses are open to all Hofstra students.  Students with majors or minors in the Dept. of Global Studies and Geography and other selected majors at Hofstra may apply GIS course credits to their major or minor.  

GEOG 007 Fun with Maps and GIS 1 Semester Hour
GEOG 060 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 3 Semester Hours
GEOG 159 Cartographic Communication: The Power of Mapmaking 3 Semester Hours
GEOG 160 Intermediate Geographic Information Systems 3 Semester Hours
GEOG 161 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for the Natural Sciences 3 Semester Hours
GEOG 162 Geospatial Remote Sensing 3 Semester Hours
GEOG 170 Advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 3 Semester Hours

Students may also get credit for appropriate GIS internships (GEOG 190), and approved directed studies in GIS (GEOG 151).



GIS-centered majors at Hofstra

Undergraduate students focusing on GIS as a major have a choice between a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Geographic Information Systems or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Geography specializing in Geographic Information Systems. Upon completing either sequence, GIS-centered majors will have attained professional-grade training and preparation for diverse careers involving GIS and geospatial technologies.

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Geographic Information Systems:
The BS in GIS major is an interdisciplinary course of study centered in geography that emphasizes scientific and technological training in geographic data management, analysis, and communication. BS in GIS students can double-major with other BS majors, thereby adding GIS training to their work in other fields.  As a BS program, this major has fewer general requirements than a BA, but has more of its own specific requirements.  For details, please see the Hofstra bulletin web page about this major.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Geography specializing in Geographic Information Systems:
The BA in Geography, specializing in GIS combines a comprehensive liberal arts program with a focus on human, social geography and technological training in geographic data management, analysis, and communication. The major fits nicely as a double major with a wide variety of other liberal arts majors. As a BA program, this major entails both Hofstra’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences distribution requirements and specific requirements of the major. For details, please see (the second, lower half of) the Hofstra bulletin webpage about this major.


GIS-centered minors at Hofstra

In addition to the majors, Hofstra offers two GIS-centered minors. 

Minor in Geography, Geographic Information Systems:
Students completing the Minor in Geography, GIS learn the fundamentals of geographic data management, analysis, and communication without the time required for a major in GIS.  As a minor, it is open to all bachelor’s-level Hofstra students including both BA and BS majors. The Minor in Geography, Geographic Information Systems requires 18 semester hours. For more information please see the Hofstra bulletin page about this minor.

Minor in Computer Science and Geographic Information Systems:
Students completing the Minor in Computer Science and GIS learn the fundamentals of coding and computer science as well as the basic foundations of geographic data management, analysis, and communication.  As a minor, it is open to all bachelor’s-level Hofstra students including both BA and BS majors. The Minor in Computer Science and Geographic Information Systems requires at least 20 semester hours. For more information please see the Hofstra bulletin page about this minor.


Hofstra GIS Facilities

Our department has a dedicated, state of the art computer lab located in Roosevelt 108b.  Students use professional-grade software and hardware including ESRI’s professional ArcGIS software Suite, ENVI remote sensing software, Adobe graphic design software, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), web based maps with Mapbox, and hands-on large-format poster printing within the department. If you visit, you’ll see many student GIS poster projects prominently displayed.


GIS for teaching and scholarship:

Integrate GIS into your classroom: Are you interested in introducing your students to dynamic digital mapping?  Do you need a specific custom map for your students?

Integrate GIS into your research: Are you trying to understand the geographic distribution of something?  Trying to make a map to share that information?

Whether you’re within the Hofstra community or beyond, we are always interested in potential collaborations where GIS and/or mapping is helpful.

For more information contact Dr. Craig Dalton (Asst. Professor), Jackie Geis (Dept. Administrative Assistant) or Dr. Grant Saff (Dept. Chair) in the Department of Global Studies and Geography.