Student Support

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Software Support

Students taking Spatial Sciences Institute courses have a wide variety of proprietary software and open source GIS applications available to them. Learn more details about the GIS and remote sensing software and technologies provided by SSI here.

Library Resources

The contact for USC Libraries for Spatial Sciences Institute students is Andrzej Rutkowski, Visualization Librarian, VKC Library 36B | |213.740.6390.

Travel Support

We encourage students to present their work at conferences to build their professional profile. The USC Undergraduate Student Government provides an Academic Research Fund to provide support for undergraduate students who conduct research projects, attend academic conference, and pursue other research-oriented academic interests. See for more information.

GIST online graduate students do not pay the USC Student Programming Fee and therefore are not eligible to apply for the USC Graduate Student Government (GSG) Travel Grant program, which is funded in part by the programming fee. Students enrolled in other USC residential programs who are taking GIST online courses may pay this fee and therefore may be eligible to apply for funding from this source. See for more information.

Spatial Sciences Institute Los Angeles Geospatial Summit

We encourage Spatial Sciences Institute graduate and undergraduate students to attend and participate in the Institute's annual one-day conference, the Los Angeles Geospatial Summit, typically held in late February. The Geospatial Summit provides the opportunity for students to hear how various industries are utlizing GIScience and technologies, get career advice, learn about specific job opportunities, and network with industry professionals, alumni and faculty, and students and faculty from other Southern California area GIS-related academic programs.

Resume Book

Each year the Spatial Sciences Institute produces a resume book of students in the Spatial Sciences Institute academic programs. The USC Spatial Sciences Institute Resume Book introduces the qualities and capabilities of its student body to the related spatial sciences industries, and is just one of many ways in which we support the professional development of our students.

Networking and Career Development

We encourage students to take advantage of numerous networking and career development opportunities and resources, including USC Career Center seminars on resume preparation, interviewing techniques, internship searches, and job search resources.

We provide all USC Spatial students in good standing with a USC student business card with our compliments. Please email Stephanie Tran to request your business card print order.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of travel support to attend important conferences and workshops, such as the CalGIS Conference in the spring (or the equivalent conference in other states or regions), the Esri Developer Summit in Palm Springs in March each year, and the Esri User Conference in San Diego in July each year. The Spatial Sciences Institute hosts a booth and a networking reception at the Esri User Conference, and cordially invites alumni and students to come by both venues.


Students receive notices of companies and organizations offering paid and unpaid internships throughout the year. Many students have found internships as an important way to transition into the geospatial professional world.

Esri Development Center Student of the Year Competition

As one of the leading university entities recognized by Esri as an Esri Development Center (EDC), the Spatial Sciences Institute organizes the USC EDC Student of the Year competition, which recognizes exemplary contributions to the development of novel GIS-based tools, techniques, or models.

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