Meet some of our GeoDesign majors
Meet our alumni
GeoDesign brings together geographic information science (GIS), big data, science, architecture, landscape architecture, urban and regional planning, and algorithms to address challenges, issues, and opportunities presented by the built environment. By integrating analyses of place, space, and time, practitioners and researchers are equipped to approach environmental challenges and questions in multidisciplinary ways, and can view the world from multiple dimensions.
“Geodesign is a vision for using geographic knowledge to actively and thoughtfully design.”
– Jack Dangermond, President, Esri
Read Jack's blogpost on Forbes about "Geodesign: Elevating Planning and Design Decisions to Future Proof Outcomes."
Thanks to increasingly robust scientific and technological advances, the interdisciplinary world of geodesign continues to build upon the urban planning theories of Patrick Geddess, Ian McHarg, and Carl Steinitz as it rapidly evolves. See Professor and USC Spatial Director John P. Wilson's presentation on "Real World Solutions with Geodesign" at the 2018 Esri GeoDesign Summit.
Urban and Regional Planners
The GeoDesign major is structured to provide students with sufficient elective credits to explore minors or other programs at USC so they can broaden their education to better prepare themselves for the next stage of their lives.
Develop the ability to think critically, analyze, synthesize, and use information to solve problems.
Acquire broad knowledge in the humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and physical sciences, and understand the relevance of these disciplines to geodesign at the intersection of the spatial sciences, architecture, and urban planning.
Develop the ability to communicate ideas and articulate positions orally and in writing.
Develop facility in the use of computer applications and the Internet.
Scientific and Design Skills Develop an understanding of the myriad ways in which places can be constructed, interpreted, and experienced by different people (i.e., migrants, people of color, the elderly, the poor, teenagers, toddlers, working adults, and more).
Learn about the principles of design and how these can be used as a force for good in building healthy, livable and sustainable communities.
Learn how urban and regional planning provides a framework for promoting civic engagement and collective action.
Develop an understanding of how geographically referenced data can be gathered and organized to support a large number and variety of collaborative projects.
Learn how geospatial data can be analyzed, modeled and visualized to inform design and planning and by doing so, support public participation and urban development.
Learn how form and function co-exist and evolve in urban settings and how globalization connects near and far-away places and actions.
Ethics/Society Be able to place spatial and geographic knowledge into an ethical context, especially how spatial sciences and geodesign principles can contribute to the resolution of ethical, social, and environmental issues.
After Graduation Develop a sufficient depth of knowledge and abilities in preparation for entry-level employment in a wide variety of fields, or for graduate study in the spatial sciences or other related disciplines.
The major electives provide students with opportunities to explore one or more facets of the built environment and a series of complementary analytical and visualization tools in more detail. A suite of courses that further the development of practical, theoretical, and field knowledge and skills, including computer graphics, drawing, policy analysis, public finance, and statistics. Choose additional electives from the two lists equal to six courses (24 units) in all. No more than two courses may be lower division (100 or 200 level). At least two courses must come from Group A and two courses from Group B.
GROUP A: BUILT ENVIRONMENT
- Eligibility requirements:
GeoDesign majors with cumulative GPA ≥ 3.7 in department courses in their second to last semester and an overall GPA ≥ 3.5.
In addition, to qualify for the honors designation, GeoDesign majors must complete one or both of the criteria listed below:
- Students present a poster or make a presentation of their research at a venue such as the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, the Los Angeles Geospatial Summit, or another professional conference; and/or
- Students exhibit leadership within a club or organization (e.g., SC Mappers), serve as a speaker for an academic event (e.g., GeoDesign Speaker Series), or represent the B.S. in GeoDesign program in some effective way.
Eligible and eligible students apply for the GeoDesign Honors Program and are enrolled in the GeoDesign Honors Program by their academic advisor preceding their final semester.
Students are required to submit to the GeoDesign academic advisor an application package that includes the following items: name, student ID, major, GPA (overall and in the department), current and dated resume, STARS report, and proof of participation for distinction of honors. GeoDesign majors meeting the GPA and other criteria in their final semester also will be invited to apply in their final semester at the discretion of the GeoDesign Honor Program evaluation committee.
Evaluation and Designation of Honors Distinction:
A small GeoDesign Honors Program evaluation committee – comprised of at least one faculty representative from the School of Architecture, Price School of Public Policy, and the Spatial Sciences Institute – will be formed each year by the Spatial Sciences Institute Director of Undergraduate Studies to identify and assess which GeoDesign majors will receive the honors designation.
There is not a fixed number of honors designations that can be awarded each year.
B.S. in GeoDesign students who earn the honors designation will see the designation on their USC transcripts. This honors designation is not printed on diplomas.
With a progressive degree path,
a B.S. in GeoDesign could lead to a:
~ M.A. in Environmental Studies;
~ Master of Planning;
~ M.S. in Geographic Information Science and Technology (online);
~ M.S. in Spatial Data Science; or
~ M.S. in Spatial Economics and Data Analysis.
A B.S. in Policy, Planning, and Development or a B.S. in Architectural Studies could lead to a:
~ M.S. in Geographic Information Science and Technology.
Consult the USC Progressive Degree Program information and discuss specific details about your interests and goals with Ken Watson, SSI academic advisor.