NOTE: Depending on the Catalog year of your degree, the requirements may vary. The best source of information is the MSU Denver Catalog. Be sure to switch to your degree year.


Geospatial Sciences Major, B.S. (2018-2019)

Geospatial Sciences B.A. 2018-2019

Background and Mission Statement

The Geospatial Sciences Major provides students with the theoretical knowledge and technical training to develop proficiency in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), cartography and database systems in order to define and solve problems in the management, conservation, and improvement of natural and human environments. GIS education has become an integral part of many academic disciplines and professions, including natural resources, environmental science, geography, geology, planning, anthropology, civil engineering, criminal justice, business, biology, health sciences, social sciences, and others. A grade of “C-” or better is required for all Geospatial Sciences coursework. Students must complete 120 hours or more of coursework of which 40-hours or more must be upper division course work (3000 & 4000 level). The degree is an extended major that does not require a minor.

Program Goals

  1. To prepare students for applied opportunities in an array of geospatial sciences, such as geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing, cartography, and geovisualization;
  2. To develop student competency in oral communication, scientific writing, and visualization; and
  3. To build critical learning proficiencies regarding geospatial data, quantitative analysis, technologies, and advancements.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of map projections and scale.
  2. Create quality cartographic products.
  3. Create and manage spatial data, metadata, and databases.
  4. Determine analysis needs, conduct spatial analysis and modeling, and develop scientific reports.
  5. Initiate, manage, and implement geospatial projects.

Recommended Prerequisite Courses


  • Subtotal: 9-13 credits

  • 1 Satisfies the General Studies Written Communication Requirement
    2 Satisfies the General Studies Quantitative Literacy Requirement
    Satisfies the General Studies Natural and Physical Sciences Requirement


    In addition to prerequisite coursework, students must fulfill General Studies and Global Diversity requirements, as well as the University Multicultural requirement. Some courses can be used to meet General Studies categories, as well as Multicultural and Global Diversity requirements. Students may also use unrestricted electives to satisfy these requirements. Students should meet with an academic advisor for clarification.

Geospatial Sciences Elective Courses

Students are required to select at least 12 semester hours from the list below.

  • Subtotal: 12 credits

Area of Interest

Because of Geospatial Sciences focus on using computer analysis and applications, students are required to develop competency in an area of interest. The plan may be modeled after existing minors and/or customized to meet unique student goals. Some examples of areas of interest include courses that focus on the Environment, Meteorology, Geography, Sustainability, Planning, Computer Science, Business, Marketing, Criminology, etc. The plan must be developed and approved in consultation with an advisor by the time 90 credit hours are completed. Transfer students with 90 credits need to meet with an advisor as soon as possible after admittance.

  • Advisor Approved Area of Interest

Subtotal: 18 credits

Internship Course

Students are required to complete at least 3 semester hours of internship credit.


  • Subtotal: 3 credits

Senior Experience Course

Students are required to select 3 semester hours of senior experience credit.


  • Subtotal: 3 credits
  • Course requires additional prerequisites or corequisites

Summary of Requirements

Requirements Credits
Required Prerequisite Courses 17
Recommended Prerequisite Courses 9-13
Geospatial Sciences Required Courses 29
Geospatial Sciences Elective Courses 12
Area of Interest 18
Internship Course 3
Senior Experience Course 3
Total for Major 65
Total for Degree 120