Geographic Information Science Lab located in Kleinpell Fine Arts building.

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Why Study Geography and Geographic Information Science?

Geography and Geographic Information Science (GIS) majors seek to understand patterns of human activity and natural processes on the surface of the earth, often focusing in subfields ranging from cartography to urban planning to climatology and computer mapping. As a geography major at UW-River Falls, you’ll hone your skills through high-impact experiences including undergraduate research opportunities, state-of-the-art technology and a robust internship program.

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Skills and Learning Outcomes

  • Collect and analyze data and interpret its significance within the context of human activity and natural processes.
  • Gain experience and develop proficiency with geographical research tools including spatial statistics, cartography and GIS.
  • Effectively communicate geographical concepts and data to a variety of audiences using oral, written and visual forms.
  • Develop and sharpen transferable skills, including critical thinking and problem-solving skills.


Types of Courses

  • Advanced Map Design
  • Asia and Oceana
  • Economic Geography
  • Field Methods in Geography and GIS
  • Human Geography
  • Physical Environment: Patterns and Systems
  • Poverty in the U.S
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Weather and Climate

As a GIS major, you’ll have access to a state-of-the-art GIS lab. Located in the heart of campus, the lab is home to 27 Dell OptiPlex workstations loaded with a variety of software to support student learning and research. The lab also maintains 28 GPS units for field mapping and other essential tools used by students for classes, internships, research and project work.

Potential Careers

A degree in geography and geographic information science prepares you for a wide variety of jobs, including:

  • Geospacial Technician
  • GIS Mapping 
  • GIS Project Manager
  • GIS Conservation Specialist