Geographical Sciences offers two minors within our department, GIS or Remote Sensing of Environmental Change.

** Forms for both the Remote Sensing of Environmental Change and GIS Minors can be found on our Advising Forms page**

The Geospatial Information Sciences Minor

The GIS minor is designed to give students the technical skills needed to acquire, manage and analyze geographic data. Almost everything we do involves geographic information: deciding where to live and travel, environmental monitoring, and urban planning. Influenced by computer technology, the academic disciplines of geographic information science such as remote sensing, Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) and computer cartography have evolved dramatically in the past few decades. The fields of remote sensing, the science of obtaining geographic information from aircraft and satellites, and GIS, a computer technology that manages and analyzes different forms of digital geographic data, have been growing at an extraordinary rate. Computer cartography has revolutionized traditional cartography to vastly improve map making and visualization of geographic information in a multimedia environment. Students in the minor program will receive extensive training in digital processing of remote sensing observations and cartographic vector data, spatial analysis, and the display of information products.

The Remote Sensing of Environmental Change Minor

Extreme environmental events are becoming more common in this time of global environmental change and it is essential that today's students be equipped with the knowledge and skills to be leaders in understanding the upheaval that these extreme environmental events are causing. The Remote Sensing of Environmental Change minor program (RESC) is designed to build  students’ understanding global environmental change in order to assess their impacts on the physical and human landscapes, and to use remote sensing as an analytical tool for identifying the impacts. Students in the minor program will receive technical training in remote sensing to examine how extreme environmental events shape human society and ecosystems from the interdisciplinary perspective afforded by the field of Geography. The minor will provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to apply the latest geographic science concepts and techniques in exploring, planning for, and responding to environmental events. These skills are in great demand in fields such as public policy, sustainable development, disaster preparedness, mitigation, and adaption, in the private, nonprofit, and governmental sectors.


  • All credits for the minor must be taken in the Department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park.

  • All courses must be completed with a grade of 2.0 or better.

  • No more than six credits are to be included in the Minor and student's major, supporting courses, and college requirements.

  • No course may be used to satisfy the requirements of more than one minor.

BSOS College Information about Minors

No more than six credits (or two courses) may be applied to satisfy both the requirements of a minor and a major program. No course may be used to satisfy the requirements of more than one minor. All courses taken for a minor must be completed with a minimum grade of C- or better.

Students should understand that if they attempt to enroll in more than one minor, irresolvable scheduling conflicts may occur. Should a scheduling conflict arise that makes it impossible for a student to enroll in a required minor course, the minor program is under no obligation to offer an alternative course or exception since a minor is not a degree requirement.

When submitting an application for graduation,  a student must include the minor(s) in the diploma application.  If a student decides not to complete a minor, the student must contact the minor advisor to have the minor dropped. The completion of a minor is posted on the student's official transcript only if and when the student completes all requirements for the bachelor's degree.