Bachelor of Science in Geospatial Technology Program (GSTC)

The Geospatial Technology at HU prepares the student with a cross-disciplinary education that promotes the development of computer science and geospatial technology competencies through conceptual, experiential and technology-based learning.  The student will utilize leading-edge software and hardware tools to current and industry-driven geospatial needs.  The student will develop the blended set of geospatial technology, application development and spatial database capabilities that are in highest demand.  The program addresses not only the hardware and software tools, but also application development and database skills.  Industry partnerships for corporate faculty, substantive internships, and project-based use of resources are a core component of this program and a leading factor in preparing graduates for seamless integration into the workforce.

Program Goals

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Geospatial Technology program are able to:

  • Determine and apply appropriate geographic positioning and data development technologies to college and accurately aggregate georeferenced observations, events and features.
  • Select and apply the analytical functions of geospatial software tools to support the geographic inquiry process and improve decision support.
  • Design and develop geospatial software applications and databases for processing, analyzing automating tasks or adding value to geospatial data.
  • Demonstrate professionalism within the geospatial technology industry through application of legal and ethical decision making, proactive engagement within the professional community and appropriate professional conduct.

Geospatial Technology Requirements (46 semester hours)

Complete all of the following courses – 46 semester hours:

GSTC 130
Applied Geography
(3 credits)
GSTC 140
Introduction to GIS
(4 credits)
GSTC 210
Cartography 
(3 credits)
GSTC 220
Applied Geospatial Technology
(4 credits)
GSTC 240
GIS/GSI Policy
(4 credits)
GSTC 340
Advanced Spatial Analysis
(4 credits)
GSTC 350
Spatial Software and Database Development I
(4 credits)
GSTC 450
Spatial Software and Database Development II
(4 credits)
GSTC 460
Satellite Remote Sensing
(4 credits)
CISC 120
Fundamentals of Computing 
(4 credits)
CISC 160
Data Structures
(4 credits)
CISC 300
Web Technologies
(4 credits)

GSTC 100 Exploring Geographic Information Systems (2 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  None

Description:  This course focuses on the concepts of Geospatial Technology, including topology, projections, data modeling and spatial operations managed by Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  The course includes lectures on GIS concepts and usage as well as GIS exercises include data capture, storage, query, analysis, display and output using ArcGIS software.  The course also introduces the student to other Geospatial Technology like Global Positioning systems and Remote Sensing.  Limited to the Dual Enrollment student.  Offered Summer Semester, annually.


GSTC 130 Applied Geography (3 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  None

Description:  This course has three specific ways of looking at the geography of the world:  1) world geography – where regions and environments of the world are examined; 2) applied geography – which focuses on applying geography to cultural, economic, political and environmental topics; and 3) how modern geospatial technology is changing the way geographic information is studied and used.  Laboratories include mapping and place name exercises for world geography, field work and research for applied geography topics, and spatial data collection and computer analysis for geospatial technology.  Offered Fall Semester, annually.


GSTC 140 Introduction to GIS (4 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  None

Description:  This course focuses on the concepts of geospatial technology, which are topology, projections, data modeling and spatial operations managed by geographic information systems (GIS).  The course includes lectures on GIS concepts and usage and laboratory exercises designed to introduce the student to the basic functionality of GIS.  GIS exercises include data capture, storage, query, analysis, display and output using ArcView software as well as introduce Open Source software alternatives.  The course also introduces the student to other geospatial technology, such as global positions systems (GPS) and remote sensing.  Offered Spring Semester, annually.


GSTC 210 Cartography (3 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  GSTC 140

Description:  The presentation of data is both an art and a science.  The student uses GIS to produce high-quality maps that expose complex spatial information and relationships in a clear and easy-to-understand display.  Cartographic concepts and techniques, used to create not only hard copy printed maps but also prepare cartographic data for modern devices such as web pages and digital media, are explored.  The class emphasizes laboratory work and a final project that uses GIS from an initial map concept, through data collection and analysis, to a final product.  Offered Spring Semester, annually.


GSTC 220 Applied Geospatial Technology (4 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  GSTC 140

Description:  This course bridges the gap between the concepts and tools introduced in GSTC 140 and the more advanced functions of ArcEditor/ArcInfo, including spatial operations and data modeling.  The student integrates diverse datasets, creates methodologies for data conversion/migration, and develops guidelines for spatial data quality control.  The course continues to build competency in alternative GIS software solutions including Open Source GIS.  Advanced modules of ArcGIS, including Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst, are introduced.  Offered Fall Semester, annually.


GSTC 240 GIS Policy (4 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  GSTC 140

Description:  Through the use of geospatial technology examples, the current policy on managing data for public administration and public policy is explored.  The student utilizes knowledge and skills in geospatial technology to understand the impact and constraints it places on both public and corporate policies.  Knowledge of GIS is used to explore emerging public policy, professional standards, ethics, and future directions of geographic data.  Offered Spring Semester, annually.


GSTC 298 Project I (3 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  SEMR 200, an approved learning contract, permission of the Office of Experiential Programs, designation of an appropriate academic advisor, and a minimum of 40 earned semester hours

Description:  This first project in the student’s experiential program challenges the student to identify, investigate and analyze a particular topic in the program of study or a concentration.  A key objective is to apply skills, methods, and knowledge obtained in prior courses with independent thinking and research; the final product represents the successful and purposeful application of knowledge.  The project is undertaken with the close mentorship of a faculty member, and may involve a community partner.  Projects can involve scientific-based research or laboratory experiences, needs analysis or development plans for external organizations, or market studies and business plan proposals.  Offered as needed.


GSTC 340 Advanced Spatial Analysis (4 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  GSTC 140 and GSTC 220

Description:  This course focuses on critical evaluation of real-world case studies to determine the appropriate spatial data and advanced-level geospatial technology and tools to analyze, replicate and improve upon past solutions.  The student works independently and in teams to develop and apply geospatial problem solving skills to a range of real-world scenarios.  The growing requirement for the integration of GIS and 3-D building information modeling (BIM) for use in facilities management and emergency response is explored.  Offered Spring Semester, odd-numbered years.


GSTC 350 Spatial Software and Database Development I (4 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  CISC 160 and GSTC 220

Description:  This course introduces the student to basic topics in spatial database and software design and creation. Building on skills acquired in prerequisites in both GIS and Computer Science, the student uses industry standard tools and technologies to explore and develop foundational components of a functioning spatial web application and database.  The bulk of the classroom time will be spent on a practical project in small groups with guidance from the instructor.  The student must demonstrate a final project at the end of the semester.  Offered Spring Semester, annually.


GSTC 360 Sub-Artic Geospatial Field Studies (4 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  GSTC 130 and GSTC 140

Description:  This course exposes the student to the application of geographic and geospatial technology knowledge in a field studies environment.  Learning activities focus on regional and cultural geography, geomorphology, climatology and GPS/GIS field data collection.  Exposure to different cultures and environments is intended to provide practical experience with global awareness and a broader, more external, understanding of informational literacy.  Offered as needed.


GSTC 365 Internship (3 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  SEMR 300 or permission, an approved learning contract, permission of Office of Experiential Programs, designation of an appropriate academic advisor, and a site supervisor

Description:  An internship allows the student to put theory into practice.  The student applies classroom experiences to the workplace at an off-site placement, where ideas are tested and competencies and skills are developed.  Throughout the internship, the student works regularly with a faculty supervisor, the Office of Experiential Programs, and a site supervisor who guide the learning process.  The student integrates the collective observations, analyses, and reflections of this experiential team into an internship portfolio that showcases the accomplishments of the experience.  The unique portfolio is constructed throughout the internship, and represents the evolutionary and dynamic nature of the learning process.  Offered as needed.


GSTC 380 Special Topics in Geospatial Technology (3 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  None

Description:  This course covers emerging topics in geospatial technology.   It is an in-depth study of a selected specialized area and the content varies by semester.  Offered Spring Semester, even-numbered years.


GSTC 390 Directed Study (1 to 4 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  Minimum of 60 earned semester hours

Description:  This course is designed for the student who demonstrates an interest in an area of study not offered or who wishes to pursue a discipline in greater depth than possible through existing courses.  A directed study counts as an elective and may not be used for accelerated or remedial credit.  A learning contract between the student and instructor defines the responsibilities of the parties and specifies the learning objectives and standards for successful completion of the project.  A calendar of meeting times and deadlines shall be a part of that contract.  Offered as needed.


GSTC 450 Spatial Software and Database Development II (4 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  CISC 160, CISC 330 and GSTC 220

Description:  This course immerses the student into advanced topics in spatial database and software design and creation. Building on skills acquired in prerequisites in both GIS and Computer Science, the student uses industry standard tools and technologies to design and create a functioning spatial web application and database.  The bulk of the classroom time will be spent on practical project in small groups with guidance from the instructor.  The student must demonstrate a final project at the end of the semester.  Offered Fall Semester, annually.


GSTC 460 Satellite Remote Sensing (4 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  GSTC 220 and a minimum of 60 earned semester hours

Description:  Remote sensing through the use of satellites and other aircraft is the science of acquiring and analyzing information about feature or phenomena from a distance.  Satellite-borne sensors observe, measure and record the electromagnetic spectrum reflected or emitted by the earth and its environment for subsequent analysis and extraction of the information.  Applications for satellite remote sensing include military surveillance, oil, insurance, real estate, transportation, city planning, environmental monitoring and other uses.  The student works with raster-based satellite and aerial images to manipulate and analyze the electromagnetic signatures gathered from this technology.  Offered Fall Semester, odd-numbered years.


GSTC 498 Project II (3 semester hours)

Prerequisites:  GSTC 298, an approved learning contract, permission of the Office of Experiential Programs, designation of an appropriate academic advisor

Description:  This project must be in the student’s program of study or concentration(s).  It should demonstrate application of the skills, methods, and knowledge of the discipline to solve a problem or answer a question representative of the type to be encountered in the student’s profession.  As with Project I, this is undertaken with the close mentorship of a faculty member, and may involve a community partner.  The ideal project has a clear purpose that builds directly upon the learning that occurs within the student’s first project and internship.  Offered as needed.