GIS Minor

The spatial perspective and skills at the core of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) are essential for understanding the variety of social, economic, and environmental issues that confront us at local, regional, and global scales. Mapping spatial relationships between human and environmental phenomena is critical to understanding contemporary issues and identifying successful strategies to resolve complex problems. Many public agencies in the Portland metropolitan region recognize the importance of this analytical tool, have GIS capacity, and need trained practitioners. The U.S. Department of Labor has identified GIS and geo-spatial technology as a field in high demand with excellent job opportunities.

Core courses (28 credits with at least 16 in-residence)

To earn a minor in GIS, a student must complete a minimum of 28 credits in geography (at least 16 credits must be taken in residence at Portland State University), to include the following:

  • GEOG 210 Physical Geography or GEOG 230 Environment and Society - 4 credits
  • GEOG 380U Maps and Geographic Information - 4 credits
  • GEOG 488/588 GIS I: Introduction - 4 credits
  • GEOG 492/592 GIS II: Advanced GIS - 4 credits

Plus three additional courses from these electives (12 credits)

  • GEOG 475/575 Digital Compilation and Database Design - 4 credits
  • GEOG 480/580 Visual Image Analysis - 4 credits
  • GEOG 481/581 Satellite Image Processing - 4 credits
  • GEOG 482/582 Satellite Image Classification and Change Detection - 4 credits
  • GEOG 484/584 Cartographic Applications of GIS - 4 credits
  • GEOG 485/585 Map Design and Production - 4 credits
  • GEOG 489/589 Building a GIS Database with GPS - 4 credits
  • GEOG 490/590 GIS Programming - 4 credits
  • GEOG 493/593 Digital Terrain Analysis - 4 credits
  • GEOG 494/594 GIS for Water Resources - 4 credits
  • GEOG 495/595 Maps, Models, and GIS - 4 credits
  • GEOG 496/596 Introduction to Spatial Quantitative Analysis - 4 credits
  • GEOG 497/597 Advanced Spatial Quantitative Analysis - 4 credits

Total (minimum) - 28 credits

To see Techniques courses sequences, see Geographic Techniques (.pdf) 

All courses submitted to satisfy requirements for the minor in GIS must be graded and passed with a C- or better. At least 16 credits must be taken in residence at PSU. 

Students who are also working toward the major in Geography must take (in addition to the core courses for the GIS minor) at least 12 credits from the list of electives that will be uniquely applied to the GIS minor. This will make for a total of 72 geography credits.

Students considering the GIS minor are strongly encouraged to meet with a geography advisor to work out an instructional program that best meets their needs.

Existing PSU students can add the minor


Apply to PSU and add GIS Minor to a major