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Online Degrees & Certificates

AS in Geographic Information Systems Technology

Geospatial technology is the unifying tool with which spatial phenomena is explored. Geospatial technology consists of Geographic Information Systems, Global Positioning Systems and Remote Sensing. The Geographic Information Systems Technology program at Foothill College provides opportunities for career preparation and lifelong learning by providing courses that meet workforce needs. Geographic information systems are collections of computers, software applications and personnel used to capture, store, transform, manage, analyze and display spatial information.

The associate degree provides a solid technical background in geographic information systems concepts and applications including cartographic concepts, database design, programming and interdisciplinary applications of the technology. The outcomes of the associate degree align with the U.S. Department of Labor geospatial competency model for geospatial careers. The degree also includes general education and elective courses required for graduation. Completion of the degree requires practical work experience in geographic information systems. The Geographic Information Systems Technology degree prepares students for entry-level technician jobs.

Learn more about the program on the Geospatial Technology & Data Science website.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to apply cartographic principles of scale, resolution, projection, data management and spatial analysis to a geographic nature using a geographic information system.
  • Students will be able to plan, evaluate and execute an original geographic information systems project.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to communicate orally, in writing and graphically, the outcome of geographic information systems analysis.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate an awareness of professional obligations to society, employers and funders and individuals as outlined in the Geographic Information Systems Professional Certification Institute Code of Ethics.

Career Opportunities

Geographic information systems skills are highly desirable in agriculture, archaeology, business, cartography, government, law enforcement, marketing, oil and gas, real estate and urban planning.

Awards Type(s)

AS = Associate in Science Degree

Associate Degree Requirements

Units required for Major: 42.5 - 43.5

A minimum of 90 units is required to include:

  • Completion of one of the following general eduation patterns:
    • Foothill General Education
    • CSU General Education Breadth Requirements or
    • the Intersegmental Genearl Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
  • Core courses (25.5 Units)
  • Support courses (17-18 Units)
  • Additional elective course work may be necessary to meet the 90-unit minimum requirement for the associate degree.

NOTE: All courses pertaining to the major must be taken for a letter grade. In addition, a grade of "C" or better is required for all core and support courses used for the degree.

Online Courses for GIST

The courses listed BELOW are offered as online courses at least once every tow years. Please see online Schedule of Classes for verification.

NOTE: Students having difficulty attaining an associate degree because of timing or availability of classes should consult with a counselor to submit a petition for course substitution.

Associate Degree Requirements

English Proficiency: Select one of the following
ENGL 1A Composition & Reading 5
ENGL 1AH Honors Composition & Reading 5
ENGL 1S Integrated Composition & Reading  
and ENGL 1T and Integrated Composition & Reading 8
ESLL 26 Advanced Composition & Reading 5
or equivalent    
Mathematics Proficiency:
College-level math course at or above the level of Intermediate Algebra

Core Courses (25.5 units)

GIST 11 Introduction to Mapping & Spatial Reasoning
or GEOG 11 Introduction to Mapping & Spatial Reasoning 4
GIST 12 Introduction to Geospacial Technology 4
or GEOG 12 Introduction to Geospacial Technology 4
GIST 52 Geospacial Acquisition & Management 4
GIST 53 Advanced Geospacial Technology & Spacial Analysis 4
GIST 54A Seminar in Specialized Applications of Geographic Information Systems I 2
GIST 58 Remote Sensing & Digital Image Processing 3
C S 1A Object-Oriented Programming Methodologies in Java 4.5
or C S 3A Object-Oriented Programming Methodologies in Python 4.5

Support Courses (17-18 units)

Select two courses from the following (9 units):
C S 3B Intermediate Software Design in Python 4.5
C S 22A Javascript for Programmers 4.5
C S 31A Introduction to Database Management Systems 4.5
C S 48A Data Visualization 4.5
And two courses from the following (8-9 units):
GEOG 1 Physical Geography 5
GEOG 2 Human Geography
GEOG 10 World Regional Geography 4
Note that this is a list of fully online courses that satisfy degree requirements.

For a list of on-campus courses that satisfy degree requirements, please visit Geographic Information Systems Technology 2022-2023 Degree & Certificates.

Based on the 2022 - 2023 degree program.