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Bachelor of Geographic Information Science (BGISc)

The Bachelor of Geographic Information Science (B.GISc) is an innovative program offered by the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies at the University of Regina. Students who complete a 1-year certificate or 2-year diploma program in GIS/Geomatics from a recognized college (e.g. Saskatchewan Polytechnic) will be given 30 hours of transfer credits at the University of Regina and may enter directly into the 2nd year of the U of R Geography and Environmental Studies program. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be awarded the B.GISc degree from the University of Regina. The Bachelor of Geographic Information Science is a unique designation that is not offered anywhere else in North America.

Bachelor of Geographic Information Science

Background

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are computer systems that are widely used to help solve mapping problems. For example, GIS are used: by resource exploration companies to locate areas of new reserves; by power utilities to plan new power line routes; by municipalities to manage their infrastructure; by school boards to optimize school bus routing; by health districts to examine the spread of infectious diseases; by police departments to identify crime hot spots; and by businesses to document the geographic distribution and demographics of their customers. GIS are very useful tools.

Geographic Information Science (GIScience) is the intellectual understanding behind the development and application of GIS.  It is the bringing together of traditional geographic thought with GIS technology. For example, some questions asked in GIScience are:  What are the implications of using latitude and longitude, a postal code, or a street address to locate a crime scene?  How do you encode the flight pattern of a butterfly in a computer? Is there a spatial correlation between diabetes and socio-economic status?  GIScience is an emerging academic discipline.

GIScience at the University of Regina

The Department of Geography & Environmental Studies is the home of GIScience education at the University of Regina. Geography offers undergraduate courses across the discipline: in environmental issues, resource management, meteorology, geomorphology, urban geography, biogeography, population geography, political geography, the geography of recreation and tourism, the geography of gender (and others). Geography also delivers a diversity of region-specific courses: Geography of Canada, the United States, and Europe. Geography and Enviromental Studies' offerings in geographic information technologies includes courses in map and airphoto interpretation, cartography, remote sensing, spatial statistics, and GIS. Our students are encouraged to integrate these technologies into a broader geographic context.

GIScience is not simply a geographic skill at the U of R. In fact, the application of GIScience reaches into almost every discipline and Faculty at this institution. Biologists use GIS to map the nesting and foraging habitats of endangered wildlife. Environmental engineers have built hydraulic models into GIS to forecast peak river flow conditions. Crime mapping with GIS has revolutionized the work done by justice and police professionals. Social planners and social workers use GIS to optimize the delivery of social services to segments of the population in most need. Business analysts enter data on customer purchasing patterns, demographic trends, and the location of competitors into a GIS to identify ideal locations to establish new business enterprises. Health professionals use GIS to track the spread of infectious diseases and to search for the social and environmental conduits along which the viruses travel the fastest. The Department of Geography & Environmental Studies has been delivering GIS education to the U of R community for over 25 years.



Recommended B.GISc Geography Course Sequence

(note that other elective courses are required to complete the degree - see the Calendar for details)

Sequence A Sequence B Sequence C

Year 1

Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Certificate in Geographic Information Science for Resource Management
Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Certificate in Geographic Information Science for Resource Management
Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Certificate in Geographic Information Science for Resource Management

Year 2

Fall

Ges 120

Ges 121

Ges 120

Ges 121

Ges120

Ges 121
Winter

Ges 210

Ges 255

Ges 210

Ges 255

Ges 210

Ges 255

Year 3

Fall

Ges 200

Ges 309

1 200-level Ges

Ges 200

1 200-level Ges

Ges 200

Ges 307

1 200-level Geog
Winter

Ges 307

Ges 355

1 300/400-level Ges

Ges 309

Ges 355

1 300/400-level Ges

Ges 355

1 300/400-level Ges

Year 4

Fall 1 300/400-level Ges

Ges 307

Ges 409*

1 300/400-level Ges

Ges 309

1 300/400-level Ges

Winter

Ges 409

Ges 455

Ges 455

Ges 409

Ges 455

*permission will normally be granted to B.GISc students to take Geog 307 concurrently with Geog 409

B.GISc Out-of-Sequence Options

Normally, students will enter the B.GISc program after a year of intensive GIS training at the college level. These students will be granted 2nd year standing at the U of R and will be able to complete the B.GISc degree in 4 years (1 year at college + 3 years at the U of R).

Students already enrolled at the U of R may enter into the B.GISc program at any time. These students may need an additional year to complete the degree requirements, however, because the number of 100-level transfer credits they receive from the B.GISc program may exceed the maximum number of introductory courses that can be counted towards a degree (16) specified by the Faculty of Arts. Such students may need to take extra courses at the U of R to make up this difference. 

All students who wish to qualify for the B.GISc degree must have a Certificate in GIS from a recognized college. This training can be taken at any time in the program. Currently, only the 1-year certificate in GIS for Resource Management from Saskatchewan Polytechnic is recognized for this program.


Contact Information

Please direct all enquiries to the B.GISc Coordinator - Dr. Julia Siemer