student flying drone

Program Overview

Do you wish to develop technical skills in a growing professional field? Would you like to acquire specialized training to meet current or future job requirements calling for GIS knowledge? If so, then our Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST) program is for you. You will develop the skills and experience to succeed in one of the top emerging professions.

By using geographical data and advanced computer technology, students in the Geographic Information Systems & Technology major will learn to assemble, manipulate, analyze, and visualize spatial data to solve problems and make decisions. Our faculty help students gain familiarity with cartography, spatial and statistical analysis, computer science, remote sensing, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to prepare for careers as technicians, analysts, programmers, database managers, consultants, or planners. Students will build foundational knowledge in Geographic Information Systems and then choose their focus through electives. They may follow a more applied focus with training in surveying, drafting, or  landscape/environmental change, or they may follow a programming- and database-intensive path by completing coursework in computer programming, web services and application development, and database management.

View the Catalog.


gist student developing cartography project

What can you do with a GIST degree?

Our program prepares students for employment in the following careers:

  • Cartographer
  • Engineer
  • Geographer
  • Geoscientist
  • Landscape Architect
  • Mapping Technician/Consultant
  • Natural Resources Specialist
  • Photogrammetrist
  • Planner
  • Researcher
  • Resource Manager
  • Surveyor


students observing drone in flight

Skills and Competencies

As in most other fields, strong interpersonal communications and organizational skills are a must for any professional. Some other valuable skills and competencies specific to a profession in GIST are leadership capabilities, critical thinking, organization, mapping, spatial analysis, statistical analysis, and remote sensing and data analysis.

Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Robert Legg

Robert Legg

Professor 906-227-2577
Office Hours:

3113 Weston Hall

dr. adam naito

Adam Naito

Assistant Professor 906-227-1174
Office Location:

3007 Weston

Major Requirements

Students must complete all courses listed in Core Requirements, as well as 12 credits of elective coursework to facilitate specialization in either the: a) database/programming trajectory, or b) applied/analysis trajectory.

Where Have Our GIST Students Interned?

The following is a partial listing of organizations and businesses where our have interned.


Students programming drone for flight over Presque Isle Mitigation Wetlands
Testimonial by Madeline Stencil, GIST student

Through my internship with Brown County, WI, I worked collaboratively with a skilled team. I was tasked with projects ranging from georeferencing aerial images to regulatory mapping and data analysis using industry-leading GIS software and technologies. These project assignments not only gave me valuable insights into real-world GIS applications within the public sector, but it also allowed me to make a tangible impact on Brown County's GIS initiatives. Each project presented unique challenges and opportunities, contributing to my growth and proficiency in GIS. The experiences I gained during my internship have undoubtedly contributed to my development as a GIS professional and will benefit my future endeavors in this rewarding field.

Madeline Stencil

BS, Geographic Information Science & Technology, 2023

dr. legg and student collaborating

Our students develop skills in mapping, spatial analysis, and data management to support research and inform planning and decision making.

Declaring the GIST Major

We strongly encourage you to meet with one of our Senior Success Advisors in EEGS before declaring the major, as they can provide valuable guidance and will work with you to develop a degree plan. Our Success Advisors are:

When you are ready to declare:

  1. You many submit your request to change a major or a minor on the web on the Change or Declare a Major page.
  2. Enter your name, NMU IN, email address, class standing, check the "change my major" box, and input any additional relevant comments.
  3. Submit the declare request.

You may also visit the Student Success Office in 3302 C.B. Hedgcock Building to make the change in person.