Drone flight along the creek at Bloom Beach

GIS and Spatial Analysis

Our world runs on data, and much of it only makes sense when placed on a map – what we call “spatial context.” People who can gather, analyze, and create new ways to illustrate spatial data are in high demand, and this program will prepare you to immediately step into a rich and rewarding career.

Program Contact
Chair and Professor of the Department of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences
Associate Professor of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences
illustration of Carver Hall

A Career for the 21st Century

Nearly every business and government agency uses spatial data and needs experts to handle it. Recent graduates have found positions in city and county planning agencies, telecommunications, environmental consulting, regional conservation districts, and software development companies.

A Mastery of the Field

Drone research being conducted in the Utah desert

Our degree is focused on four broad areas including remote sensinggeographic information systems (GIS)digital cartography and mapping, and computer science

Our remote sensing courses teach you learn how to extract and analyze data from airborne platforms, including UAVs or “drones,” and satellites. In several geographic information systems (GIS) courses, you learn how to store, manage, analyze, and present all of this data. In digital cartography and mapping coursework, you learn the fundamentals of cartographic theory, and the art and science of making useful and visually appealing maps. Finally, you will take several computer science courses so that you develop strong skills not only to “point-and-click” through a GIS program, but to develop, troubleshoot, and customize GIS systems.

You'll get a lot of hands-on experience with the same tools used by professionals. We have three dedicated state-of-the art computer laboratories for teaching and student work, and site licenses of ESRI ArcGIS – the leading commercial software in GIS (used by 90% of GIS practitioners), ENVI (commercial software for remote sensing), and Trimble (commercial software for GPS data acquisition), among several others.

Courses and Curriculum

Bloomsburg Initial - B -  inside a keystone shape

Bloomsburg Because

Licensure and Certification

There are many certifications that can set you apart from the herd. Perhaps the first to consider is the ESRI ArcGIS Desktop Entry level exam. After completing the program, you will have a solid foundation in the concepts and skills you will need to prepare for this first step.

The Husky Difference

Median Pay
Average annual salary for cartographers and GIS specialists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
College of Distinction
College of Distinction
Bloomsburg has earned national recognition as a College of Distinction, honored for its quality and high-impact practices.

GIS in Flight and in Play

Geography students’ data mining helps with Florida forest conservation

Data mining helps with Florida forest conservation

A remote sensing geography class from Bloomsburg University played a key role in the conservation of a 14-acre southern Florida forest home to protected wildlife that’s been fending off urban and commercial development for the past 60 years.

Where Geography and Computer Science Meet - The GIS Skills Gap

Where Geography and Computer Science Meet

It's right in the name. GIS is a marrying of geography and information systems. However, most GIS professionals have historically come from the geography side, with few coming from an information systems background. Considering how much easier it is for a computer science major to transfer their skills to GIS than for a GIS major to learn computer science, it's a bit surprising that we don't see more taking this path.

GIS students develop orienteering course for upper campus

GIS students develop orienteering course

ROTC cadet Nicholas Correll had an idea one day while sitting in his geographic information system (GIS) class. Instead of driving 30 minutes for ROTC land navigation trainings, why not just create an orienteering course on upper campus?

Spatial Analysis and GIS Contacts

Michael Shepard

Michael Shepard, Ph.D.

  • Chair and Professor of the Department of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences

Applying to this Program


  • Application Process

    Review the step-by-step process whether you're a first-year student, transferring to BU, or more.

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