Copyright

Associates Degree in GIS: Program Summary

Read a summary of the associate's degree program in geographic information systems. Check out the program's topics and the requirements for admission. See popular careers for graduates along with employment statistics.

View 3 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Geographic information systems (GIS) are tools that capture, collect and analyze spatial and digital geographic data. They are used in the fields of land surveying, cartography, photogrammetry and urban planning. A common associate's degree program in the field is an Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems.

Such programs provide students with a theoretical background and broad-based skills training in the field of geographic information systems. Students gain a solid foundation of mathematics, physical sciences, geometry and microcomputer applications before going on to study specific GIS tools and technologies.

Most GIS associate's degree programs provide students with hands-on training in the uses and applications of geographic information systems. Students learn how to use GIS tools and global positioning technology to collect data, process data into images, store and maintain useful data, and utilize data to create maps and land boundaries. Some associate's degree programs in the field also offer courses that teach students how to program and design GIS tools and technologies.

Education Prerequisites

College students are often required to complete general education courses in algebra, English and communication before they can begin core GIS courses. Some schools allow students to opt out of these prerequisites by completing placement exams.

Program Coursework

Many schools offering associate's degree programs in GIS require students to complete an internship or practical training experience in addition to core seminar courses before they can receive a degree. Some examples of seminar and practicum courses are listed below:

  • Introductory GIS
  • Using GIS technology
  • Programming geographic information systems
  • Database theory
  • GIS design with vector and radar analysis
  • Data acquisition and management
  • Data analysis
  • Cartography
  • Remote sensing

Popular Career Options

GIS tools and technologies are used across several different careers. Students who graduate with an associate's degree in the field can either pursue further education opportunities or careers such as the following:

  • Land surveyor-in-training
  • Cartography technician
  • Mapping technician
  • Photogrammetric technician

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected job growth of 16% - about the average for all occupations - for surveying and mapping technicians from 2010-2020. As of May 2012, these technicians earned a median annual salary of $39,670.

Continuing Education Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most land surveyors, cartographers and photogrammetrists have at least a bachelor's degree (www.bls.gov). Students who complete an associate's degree in GIS and want to transfer their credits over to a similar field might consider enrolling in a 4-year degree program in surveying, cartography, geography, engineering or forestry. Some schools also offer master's degree programs in GIS management and technology.

Show me popular schools

Related to Associates Degree in GIS: Program Summary

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Educating America's GIs: Education-Portal Speaks With an All-Online Military Friendly School

Thomas Edison State College (TESC), an all-online institution, was recently honored among the nation's top colleges for...

Travel the World in the Blogosphere: 10 Top Geography Blogs

In the geographic blogosphere you can virtually visit beautiful locations around the globe, discover strange and beautiful...

GIs: Thinking About a Degree? Get College Credit For Your Military Experience

Calling all veterans and GIs: Did you know you can get college credit for your military experience? Read on to learn how you...

From Soldier to Student: Tips for Surviving the Transition to College

The military provides individuals with great higher education opportunities in the form of GI Bill benefits. But for many...

Online GIS Certificate and Certification Programs

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Associate
        • Undecided

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Undergraduate applicants must be a high school graduate or have completed GED; Graduate program applicants must have a master's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Associate
        • AS in General Studies

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • A minimum 2.0 GPA
    • Submit high school transcript(s)
    • Submit college transcript(s) (if applicable)
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
        • Geography
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
        • Geography
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Human and Social Services
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics