Spatial Data Science

Spatial data is integrated in our everyday lives. From social media to simply navigating neighborhoods to finding a place to enjoy some coffee, we are all integrated in a complex web of movement, place, and discovery. Students in Spatial Data Science and Technology (SDS) in the Department of Geography study the development and use of geospatial data and technologies, the analysis and visualization of geospatial data and how to employ these skills in a fast-growing industry. SDS teaches students to ask relevant questions, harness data, and understand the appropriate way to use it to better the world around us.
Top Five
Reasons to Study
This Major
  1. Develop critical thinking skills involved in analysis of spatial data.

  2. Understand how spatial data is collected, organized, and managed.

  3. Learn how spatial data analysis can address social and environmental issues.

  4. Understand how spatial data is used to analyze human and biophysical systems.

  5. Practice what you learn through hands-on work with cutting edge technology.

College of Arts and Sciences
Where Can I Go?

Students in SDS may choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS). Spatial Data Science and Technology provides students with a foundation for employment in:

City, county, and regional planning agencies

Government agencies in public health, agriculture, natural resources, or transportation departments

United States Forest Service or Geological Survey

Software and web development

Environmental consulting firms

United Nations and International development agencies

Scientific and research groups

Nonprofit organizations
Alumni Jobs

Geospatial engineer

Data Journalist


Data visualization engineer

Remote sensing technician

Graphics Editor

IT specialist

Drone pilot

GIS technician

Software/Product Engineer
Courses You
May Need

1st Year
GEOG 181, GEOG 281, CS 122

2nd Year
GEOG 481; Two SDS electives

3rd Year
Three SDS Electives

4th Year
Three SDS electives

Major Credits
Required 16
Electives 32

Total 48

Core Education Requirements

BS or BA Degree Minimum = 180 credits.

Core Education is approximately 71—83 credits depending on transfer credits and placement scores and requires courses in:


Math and/or CS (BS) or Language (BA)

US: Difference, Inequality, Agency

Global Perspectives

Areas of Inquiry in:

Arts and Letters

Social Science / Science
What Will I Learn?

Critical thinking and evaluation of spatial data

Data collection in the field


Data management

Data analysis and interpretation

Spatial data visualization

Cartography and digital mapping

Spatial statistics

Location analysis


Emergency management
Experiential learning opportunities

Professional development courses tailored to students in the SDS major

Opportunities for local internships

Networking with professionals in the community and alumni

Lab projects to establish a professional portfolio

Opportunities for research with faculty * Collaboration with Sustainable City Year Program and real-world project partners (i.e. LTD, City of Redmond, Springfield)
Specialized Courses

Mapping with Drones

Web Mapping

Remote Sensing


Spatial Analysis

Geospatial Project Design

Geographic Information Science

Geospatial Programming
Add A Minor Or Certificate


Computer Information Science

Computer Information Technology

Earth Sciences

Environmental Studies




Global Health

Contact Us

Tykeson College and Career Advising

An equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This publication will be made available in accessible formats upon request. © 2020 University of Oregon. Revised: 8/13/2020