Undergraduate Minor


Declare Your Minor

To declare your minor, please fill out the minor map and send it to Jamie Gentry, jagentry@uchicago.edu, by Spring Quarter of your third year.

Minor Map

Download this map to track your minor progress.

About the Minor

Spatial thinking deals with the fundamental role of space, place, location, distance and interaction—crucial to tackling many research questions in the social and physical sciences. The Minor in Geographic Information Science provides a coherent exposure to rigorous spatial thinking and its expression through the theories and methods of Geographic Information Science.

Geographic Information Science covers all aspects pertaining to accessing, storing, transforming, manipulating, visualizing, exploring and reasoning about information where the locational component is important (spatial data). This includes the technical and computational aspects of geographic information systems, the methodologies of spatial analysis and spatial statistics, mapping and geo-visualization, as well as societal aspects related to the use of geographic data.

The minor serves as a complement to other majors, such as computer science, statistics, data science, economics, public policy, sociology, anthropology, political science, environmental and urban studies, but would also be of value to majors in the humanities and physical sciences interested in the spatial aspects of their field.

Program Requirements

The minor consists of six courses:

2 Pre-requisites

  1. STAT 22000 Statistical Methods and Applications (or equivalent) OR DATA 11800 Introduction to Data Science I*
  2. GISC 28702 Introduction to GIS & Spatial Analysis (or equivalent introductory GIS course by petition)

*Students who take STAT 22000 or DATA 11800 to satisfy a major requirement will complete a 5 course (500 unit) minor

3 Core Methods Courses

The core courses provide a coherent exposure to rigorous spatial thinking and its incorporation into the methodologies of geographic information systems, spatial analysis, and spatial data science.

Choose 3 from the following list:

    1. GISC 28100 Introduction to Geocomputation
    2. GISC 28200 Spatial Analysis Methods in Geographic Information Systems 
    3. GISC 28300 Topics in Geographic Information Science 
    4. GISC 28400 GIScience Practicum
    5. GISC 27100 Cartographic Design and Geovisualization
    6. GISC 20500 Introduction to Spatial Data Science

1 Elective 

The electives consist of courses that touch upon various aspects of spatial thinking, with different degrees of technical materials, and are intended to either act as “gateways” into the minor or to provide the opportunity for the application of spatial analysis in a range of fields.

Choose a fourth Core Methods course or a course  from the following list:

    1. GISC 25900 Spatial Optimization
    2. GISC 27102 Spatial Cognition
    3. GISC 27104 Movement Data and Analysis
    4. GISC 27105 Web Mapping
    5. GISC 28700 Readings in Spatial Analysis
    6. GISC 28800 History of Cartography
    7. GISC 29000 Rdg/Rsch: GISciences
    8. CEGU 27110 Spatial Thinking in HIstorical Cartography
    9. NEAA 20061 (GISC 20061) Ancient Landscapes I
    10. NEAA 20061 (GISC 20062) Ancient Landscapes II
    11. SOCI 20273 (GISC 20273) Urban Spatial Archaeology I
    12. SOCI 20519 (GISC 20519) Spatial Cluster Analysis
    13. SOCI 20559 (GISC 20559) Spatial Regression Analysis

Advising and Grading

  • Courses in the minor may not be double counted with the student’s major(s), other minors, or general education requirements.
  • Courses in the minor must be taken for quality grades, and more than half of the requirements for the minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.
  • Students may petition to have a course counted as elective that is not included on the current list of electives.