Roane State Community College

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Geographic Information System (GIS) Program
Geographic Information System (GIS) Program
Geographic Information System (GIS) Program


This degree program prepares students for careers as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysts, while the certificate program prepares students to work as GIS Technicians. Students receive specialized training in geographic fundamentals, GIS database design, spatial analysis, demographic analysis, computer programming, digital image analysis, cartographic design and global positioning system (GPS) principles. Students become skilled in using popular GIS software packages and GPS mapping products. They gain the knowledge and ability to use modern analysis tools to display information relative to features on the ground, below ground or above ground. Small, economical computer systems now have the speed and software to empower a trained user to manage, present and analyze geographic information.

Work Settings

GIS has multi-disciplinary applications, therefore, employment opportunities are varied. Career opportunities include, federal, state and local government; public utilities, law enforcement, natural resources, parks and recreation, real estate, transportation, market analysis, defense and military. Many positions include field work along with office work.


The GIS courses are offered in the evenings at the Oak Ridge Campus.


Salary ranges vary widely depending on type of organization, previous work experience, and additional credentials of graduates. However, an entry-level salary of $30,000 - $35,000 can be anticipated in the local area. Salary can be expected to increase significantly along with work experience.

Roane State Tuition & Fees

Additional expenses include books and digital storage media (CD-ROMs, DVDs). Online students will need to have access to a computer that will run the GIS software and optionally purchase a GPS unit. GPS units sufficient for coursework can be purchased for approximately $125. Timed licenses of the GIS software are available at no cost to students.

Steps to enroll at RSCC as a GIS Student

  1. Submit an RSCC Admissions Application. Indicate on the application you are interested in either the GIS A.A.S. degree or the GIS certificate.
  2. Submit required proof of immunizations.
  3. Submit OFFICIAL transcripts from all high schools or colleges you have attended to the Office of Records and Registration. An official transcript is one that is in an unopened sealed envelope from the high school or college.
  4. For degree students only: If you are under 21, and have taken the ACT test within the last 3 years and your score on all parts is 19 or better, you will NOT be required to take the COMPASS placement test to determine if you need any remedial/developmental classes. If you are over 21, you WILL be required to take the COMPASS test. The RSCC Counseling Center can tell you the times and locations where the tests will be given. The COMPASS test is not required for certificate-seeking students.
  5. See your advisor to help you prepare a degree or certificate checklist. Your advisor information can be found on RaiderNet.
  6. At this point you are ready to begin the GIS CERTIFICATE PROGRAM.
  7. Degree-seeking students ONLY: At this point you can begin completing your remedial/developmental courses and/or General Education courses or, depending on your ACT score (or transferred courses) you may be ready to start the A.A. S. in the GIS program.
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