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GIS / Planning

Expand your Earth Sciences degree and prepare for a career in local, state and federal planning or in consulting by taking classes in an array of topics like cartogrphy, political science, statistics, and weather and climate.

GIS/Planning – B.S. in Earth Science, GIS/Planning Emphasis; Minor

In the Geographic Information Science/Planning program at Montana State, students use a mix of technical skills and academic training to prepare to enter the fields of planning and resource management. Students will be prepared as map makers, spatial analysts and planners as they work in an active hands-on environment.

The Earth Science major at Montana State offers four other Options Within the Major: Geography, Geology, Paleontology and Snow Science.



Earth Sciences alum Everett Coba ’20 combined his love of skiing and the backcountry with GIS to conduct undergraduate research in Ketchum, Idaho to use a spatial science modeling system to the area that gauges avalanche danger and terrain difficulty based on a variety of factors.


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Unique Opportunities
As Montana's premier research institution, Montana State offers unparalleled access to hands-on experiences in research labs, art studios, teaching farms and the surrounding wilderness.

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Community Connections
The Department of Earth Sciences has connections at various local, state and federal planning agencies within Montana and throughout the West.

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Adventure Awaits
Montana State is the No. 1 college in the U.S. for outdoor sports and recreation, with world-class skiing, fly fishing and close proximity to Yellowstone National Park.





Career Resources

Within their first year of graduation, more than 96% of Montana State graduates are employed, continuing their education or not seeking employment, and career guidance website Zippia consistently ranks MSU as the #1 school in the state where alumni are most likely to land jobs.

Career Coaching & Professional Skills Studio

Professional career coaches help students with their career exploration, employer networking opportunities and job or internship searches. They also critique resumes and help students practice job interviews. Additionally, the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success offers free workshops for students to develop the professional communication and collaboration skills that are highly sought after by employers.


GIS/Planning students at Montana State University go into careers such as:

  • Site Planning
  • Data Analyst
  • City/Urban Planning
  • Cartography
  • Climate Science

To explore more career possibilities, the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success has a variety of tools available, including self-assessment and working with career coaches.