Introduction to GIS

Fall 2020
Graduate Only
Class Size: 18
4 Credits per quarter
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This course will teach students how to use the versatile technology of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  GIS is more than map-making.  A GIS integrates computer hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information across a wide variety of disciplines. GIS technology is increasingly used by physical and social scientists, policy makers, businesses, environmental and conservation organizations, utilities, public health providers, the military, and educators, to name a few.  More and more organizations are using spatial data and analysis to help them make decisions relating to acceptable land uses, allocation of resources and assets, fairness and social well being, and many other needs. Instruction will rely strongly on weekly hands-on labs and homework exercises to guide students through a public policy decision process from beginning to end over the duration of the quarter.  Students will learn to manage spatial data and tools, mainly using the Esri suite of software commonly known as ArcGIS. No previous experience with GIS is required.  Student versions of the ArcGIS software suite will be made available for home use (but technical support is limited to college computers). 


Introduction to GIS is the first course in the three-quarter sequence for the Certification in GIS. Students entering Introduction to GIS in the Fall will have the opportunity to pursue the next course in the sequence, Advanced GIS, at the start of the Fall 2021. 


Note: MES students will also be in attendance in this course.


Fall 2020 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

GR (4): 10354

Academic details

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


Time Offered
Advertised Schedule

Students will choose to remotely attend synchronous sessions, either:

Mondays, 4-6pm or Wednesdays, 7-9pm




Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting