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Department of Earth Environmental and Geospatial Sciences

Geographic Information Science (GISc)

Geographic Information Science (GISc)Geographic Information Science (GISc) is a fast growing computer technology field involving mapping and analysis of spatial data. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) enable us to assess and manage existing conditions, and also help predict future conditions, ranging from monitoring disease occurrences, to endangered species preservation, to managing water supplies, to tracking real estate values, to crime solving. GISc is especially valuable in policy- and decision-making, and has become an indispensible component of most planning activities. GISc is used today in fields as diverse as criminal justice, marketing, economic development, public health administration, environmental assessment, risk analysis, ecology, urban planning, emergency management, real estate, government, and education. The Lehman GISc Program emphasizes “real-world” applications of geotechnologies and geospatial analysis to solve problems and improve conditions, using New York City as a “living laboratory.”

Who should study GIS?Who should study GIS? An understanding of GIS is vital for anyone using information that is geographically-based. This includes political scientists, biologists, health care professionals, anthropologists, archaeologists, sociologists, urban planners, historians, epidemiologists, geologists, health administrators, economists, marketing professionals, ecologists, natural resource managers, climatologists, public administrators, transportation planners, and agricultural engineers. A working knowledge of GIS has also become an increasingly useful tool for educators, particularly science teachers, as this new technology can be a major component of innovative instructional methods, and dramatically aids in enhancing students' comprehension of complex scientific concepts.

Will a degree in GIS enhance career opportunitiesWill a degree in GIS enhance career opportunities? Recently, graduates possessing GIS skills have gained a distinct advantage in a diverse array of fields. The job market for GIS experts has been flourishing for some time, and people proficient in GIS are in high demand in many other fields as well. GIS can augment your professional marketability and make your credentials more robust and outstanding in a competitive job market, regardless of your professional field.  People with GISc skills can also be more valuable as managers and analysts in their own fields. Lehman's GIS program includes an Internship Program in GISc, allowing qualified students to earn credits while working in paid and unpaid GISc positions.


We offer the following options to study Geographic Information Science:

  • Master of Science in Geographic Information Science (MS-GISc) (40 credits) ; More MS-GISc information here; MS-GISc brochure (PDF)
  • Major in Geography, with a concentration in GISc (28 credits)
  • Minor in Geographic Information Science (14 credits)
  • Certificate in Geographic Information Science (17 credits) – The certificate is available at the undergraduate level. It consists of a 17-credit sequence of courses, and usually takes between 3 and 5 terms to complete. The courses are credit-bearing, and students must be admitted to Lehman College as matriculated in either a degree program or in the GISc Certificate program in order to be awarded the Certificate. Courses are usually offered in the evenings, and some electives are offered on-line. Required courses for the undergraduate GISc Certificate are GEP 204, GEP 205, GEP 350, GEH 490, and one 3 or 4 credit GISc elective. A Certificate in GISc can be advantageous by itself, or in augmenting an undergraduate degree.
  • Advanced Certificate in GISc (17-20 credits) - The Advanced Certificate is available at the graduate level, and consists of a minimum of 17 credits. The courses are credit-bearing, and students must be admitted to Lehman College as matriculated in either a graduate degree program or in the GISc Certificate program in order to be awarded the Advanced Certificate. Required courses for the Advanced GISc Certificate are GEP 605, GEP 690, and three GISc elective courses (3-4 credits each). If students have no prior GISc coursework or experience, it is recommended to begin with GEP 505 (which is a pre-requisite for GEP 605).
  • Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program in Earth, Environmental, and Geospatial Sciences This program is designed for exceptional Lehman College students who want to earn a Bachelor's and Master's degree in five years of full-time study (or the part-time student equivalent) in the EEGS disciplines. Students in the program receive a BS in Environmental Science or a BA in Earth Science or Geography, and a Master’s of Science in Geographic Information Science (MS-GISc) at the end of the program. The requirements for completion are identical to those for completion of two separate degrees. However, because 12 credits of coursework taken for the bachelor’s degree can be at the graduate level (500- and 600-level courses), these can also count towards the graduate degree, therefore students are able to complete the course requirements for the Bachelor’s degree in four years and the course requirements for the combined Bachelor’s/Master's degree in five years. By completing the Bachelor’s requirements during the first four years, students are assured of the bachelor's degree if, for any reason, they do not complete the fifth year for the Master’s. Before being considered for this Accelerated Degree program, students must have already completed at least one GISc course at the undergraduate level and received a B+ or better, with at least an 3.0 GPA overall. Students are encouraged to declare their interest in the program as soon as possible upon completing 60 undergraduate credits. Early in the junior year, or upon completing 60 undergraduate credits, students should contact Richard Finger, Director of Lehman College’s Office of Graduate Studies at, or Juliana Maantay, Director of the MS-GISc Program in the EEGS Dept. at Qualified students transferring from other senior or community colleges are also eligible to apply for this program, including those from La Guardia Community College with an AS degree in “Environmental Science and Geospatial Technology,” or Bronx Community College students with an AAS degree in “Geospatial Technology.”


Graduate level students wishing to apply for admission to either the MS-GISc Program or the Advanced GISc Certificate can do so through the Apply Yourself website. Application deadlines for either program are October 15 for the spring term, and March 1 for the fall term.

Graduate students can take up to 12 credits of graduate-level GISc courses as a non-degree student before seeking admission to the MS-GISc Program or the Advanced GISc Certificate program. Non-degree applications are available here.Deadlines for application are July 15 for the fall term, and December 15 for the spring term, but it is advisable to apply as early as possible, as courses may fill up before then.

Find more detailed course descriptions here. A list of graduate level GISc courses available in the MS-GISc program can be found here.


Urban GISc Lab logo

The Urban GISc Lab

Click here for more information


The GISc Lab at Lehman College

The GISc Lab at Lehman College

The GISc Lab at Lehman College is located in Gillet Hall, room 322. A full time College Laboratory Technician is available to maintain the facilities and provide technical assistance, and Lab Tutors are on hand to work with students (hours vary by semester). If you are traveling specifically to use the lab, it is a good idea to call ahead in case the Lab Tech or Tutors are temporarily unavailable. For lab and tutoring hours and contact information, please see the schedule below.


Additional GIS Resources

Harnessing the Power of Free Data Continually updated Google Doc of GIS resources from the Pratt Center for Community Development

Working With GIS Data Syracuse University guide with free open-source software resources and more