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Geography, GIS and Cartographer Track (B.A.)

B.A., Geography,
GIS and Cartographer Track

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

What You’ll Do

While people have been drawing maps since the beginning of history, new technology has given mapmaking a whole new world of applications. As a Geography major taking the Geographic Information Systems and Cartographer track at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, you’ll learn to use state-of-the art techniques that are in demand in the job market.

Among the classes you will take for this track are Cartography II, Map and Photograph Interpretation, Introduction to GIS, Remote Sensing, and Technical Issues in GIS. Some of the topics you’ll study in the classroom are vector vs. raster vs. object-oriented spatial data structures, cartographic design, satellite imagery, methods for designing GIS systems to user specifications, and thermal sensing.

You’ll have opportunities to get hands-on experience with the technology you’ll use in your career through the Geography Department’s labs and weather station. Free electives allow you to add an internship or a minor, perhaps in Geology, Business Administration, or Computer Science.

What You’ll Become

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography achieved through pursuing the GIS and Cartographer track leads to graduate study or employment in this growing field. More than 95 percent of IUP Geography Department graduates in a recent five-year span were placed in graduate programs or found jobs in business and industry, as environmental professionals, as municipal planners, with regional and state agencies, in federal government, as social science educators, and with engineering firms.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that overall employment of surveyors, cartographers, surveying technicians, and mapping technicians is expected to grow by 21 percent from 2006 to 2016, much faster than the average for other job categories. Increased interest in GIS is expected to expand demand for maps and information in many applications.

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Special Features

  • IUP facilities for Geography include the Spatial Environmental Analysis Lab and the James E. Payne Geographic Information Systems/Cartography Lab. 
  • The Geography and Regional Planning Department has a fully functional weather station.
  • The IUP Gamma Theta Upsilon chapter, in conjunction with the Department of Geography and Regional Planning, sponsors speakers, campus activities, field trips, and social events.
  • Students may want to become involved in IUP’s mine-mapping project, which provides critical information about abandoned or unidentified mines.
  • An honors program is available.
  • IUP offers master’s degree options in Geography and Regional Planning.
  • The Department of Geography and Regional Planning offers an 18-credit program of study leading to a Certificate of Recognition in Geographic Information Science and Geospatial Techniques.