Undergraduate degrees: BA or BS
About the major
Spatial data is integrated in our everyday lives. From geotagging to geocaching to finding a place to enjoy some coffee, we are all integrated in a complex web of movement, place, and discovery. Spatial data science and technology is not a program about making maps—it’s about asking relevant questions, harnessing data, and understanding the appropriate way to use it. It’s not just about learning how to use software programs, but about how you can contribute to a new generation of digital technologies that represent a high-growth industry—one that is revolutionizing business, nonprofit, and government worlds alike. At the UO, faculty members use spatial technologies to focus on remote sensing of river systems, climate change analysis, web-mapping, cartography, spatial cognition, spatial decision-making, and social equity.
This major is very flexible with four required courses in geography and computer science, and then eight electives that students can focus in their areas of interest. Our courses focus on geographic information systems science, cartography, remote sensing, spatial analysis, and spatial modeling.
A little more info
- Spatial data science and technology is located within the Department of Geography, and the two majors pair well together as geography is a discipline that asks questions about how spatial processes shape the world around us, ranging from climate, fire, and water to food, politics, and economies.
- Our department is consistently ranked in the top 10 by the National Research Council, which ranks the quality of research and PhD programs. This is reflected in our high-quality undergraduate courses and faculty expertise.
- The geography department offers integrated academic and career advising and a robust connection to alumni and career opportunities through an active jobs page and career events.
- Spatial data science and technology majors can take a course called the professional geographer which pushes students to think beyond their major and develop broader transferable skills through a project of personal interest.
Graduates from our program have been employed by Apple, National Geographic, USGS, The US Census Bureau, The United Nations, OXFAM, The Nature Conservancy, government agencies in Eugene and beyond, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more. Spatial data science and technology is one of the most rapidly-growing career paths in today’s economy. This major was designed to provide more substance and background to prepare people who want to use these technologies to inform policy, public opinion, and business decisions. Our career focus is that your major does not determine your career. Instead, study what interests you, and you will more easily develop the critical skills necessary for a job and a career: communication, critical thinking, an understanding of how to ask and effectively answer a question, understanding data, problem-solving, global perspective, and more.