Office of the Registrar
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (2016/2017)
7.7 Diploma in Geographic Information Sciences

Program Coordinator: Dr. É. Simms, Department of Geography

The Diploma in Geographic Information Sciences is of interest to students from a broad range of backgrounds. It is a valuable complement to social and natural sciences programs such as anthropology, biology, computer sciences, earth sciences, history, economics, engineering, health and medicine, physical oceanography, environmental sciences, and environmental studies. The fields of remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and cartography provide the most effective methods of gathering, managing, analyzing, and representing geographic information. Remote sensing images provide resourceful information to observe and study cultural and physical landscapes. Examples of remote sensing applications include the monitoring of spatial changes, environmental quality evaluation, natural resource exploration, assessment and monitoring, and archaeological site assessment. Geographic information systems enable the compilation, organization, and processing of spatial (maps) and nonspatial (text statistics, graphs) data. Socio-economic, political, and environmental management decision-making is supported by the results of GIS analyses and modeling. Cartography involves the compilation, organization, and visual representation of spatial information. A variety of geographical information can effectively be communicated through cartography.

7.7.1 Advising

Throughout their program of study, students for a Diploma in Geographic Information Sciences shall contact the Program Coordinator for assistance with course planning, declaring their program of study, prerequisite and registration issues, and with questions about the eligibility of any courses not listed here. The Coordinator shall normally communicate a tentative schedule of upcoming course offerings to students so that they can plan accordingly.

7.7.2 Declaring

Students wishing to declare a Diploma in Geographic Information Sciences shall consult with the Program Coordinator to discuss the requirements of the program. Information about declaring a program of study in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences is available at

7.7.3 Admission Requirements

Admission to the Diploma is Geographical Information Sciences is limited and competitive. Students who wish to enter this program must apply through the Office of the Registrar by April 1 for Fall semester registration and by October 15 for Winter semester registration. The formal application is available at or from the Office of the Registrar.

To be considered for admission to the Diploma in Geographic Information Sciences, students will normally have completed 24 credit hours, including the courses listed below, with an overall average of at least 65%.

  1. Geography 1050 or one 1000-level course in applicant's Bachelor's Major program.

  2. Mathematics 1000 or equivalent.

  3. Two 1000- or 2000-level core courses in student's Bachelor's Major program, excluding the courses listed above.

Students who fulfill the eligibility requirements compete for a limited number of available spaces. Selection is based on academic performance.

7.7.4 Program of Study

Students are required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of courses as listed below under Table 1 Course Requirements for the Diploma in Geographic Information. All students for the Diploma in Geographical Information Sciences must complete the Field Placement course Geography 4290 and the capstone course Geography 4919.

Table 1 Course Requirements for the Diploma in Geographic Information Sciences

1000 and 2000-Level Courses

2000-Level Courses

4000-Level Courses

7.7.5 Continuation Requirements

To be considered for Geography 4290 and 4919, the students for the Diploma in Geographic Information Sciences will normally have completed at least 21 credit hours required for the program, with an overall average of 65%.