Frequently Asked Questions

All Students: Entry into the ADP or B.Tech. Degree as a full-time or part-time student

All Students: Courses and Program Content.

All Students: BCIT and GIS

Full-Time Students: ADP or B.Tech. Degree

Part-Time Students : ADP or B.Tech.Degree

All Students: Entry into the ADP or B.Tech. Degree as a full-time or part-time student

Why choose to study GIS at BCIT?

The BCIT GIS programs are renowned for their intensive workload and technical content. The BCIT GIS courses are developed in consultation with leading employers. Courses do not consist of simple pre-packaged software vendor training but are each uniquely designed to help you learn to solve problems and work independently. The best way to learn something is by actually doing it. Yes, you will have lectures but most of your time will be spent directly applying what you've learned.  Our GIS Advisory committee provides direct input to curriculum development to ensure that you'll be at the forefront of the latest developments in your industry. BCIT instructors have years of practical expertise and bring an insider's perspective of their industry–knowledge and experience that will benefit you in the classroom and after you graduate.

Top

What are the options for studying GIS at BCIT?

Advanced Diploma in GIS

Bachelor of Technology in GIS (Degree)

Top

What is the Online GIS program option?

You can complete the entire GIS B.Tech degree or GIS Advanced Diploma online. This means you need never attend the BCIT campus although you will complete identical course material and computer practical work as an on-campus student.  Each online course is organized in a similar manner: you can use your computer to listen to lectures, connect to the BCIT computer servers, use GIS software and complete GIS software assignments just as you would in a BCIT campus computer lab, discuss questions with other class members, connect up with your instructor in virtual office hours when the instructor can help with problems and demonstrate software or access your computer to help you. You do not install GIS software on your home computer so can use a MAC, Windows or UNIX operating system machine. Read more about our online option.

Top

Why choose to study entirely Online?

You do not live near the BCIT Burnaby (British Columbia, Canada) campus or you have a job and want to study part-time.

Top

What is the difference between the GIS Advanced Diploma Program and the Bachelor of Technology in GIS?

The ADP is intended for students who already have a degree or diploma, and the B. Tech is intended for technology graduates who wish to attain a baccalaureate credential. The technical content of the two programs is identical although B.Tech student must select the project course. The B. Tech also consists of additional  management and Liberal Arts courses, and requires 6 months approved GIS work experience before graduation. Consult the Bachelor Of Technology for more information on the degree program.

Top

How does the BCIT GIS program differ from a GIS Master's degree?

Most GIS master's degree focus mainly on GI science and theory. At BCIT we provide a tightly structured, comprehensive education and training program in GIS technology, designed to prepare you for a career in GIS.

Top

What qualifications do I need to get in ?

Please refer to the ADP entrance requirements or B.Tech entrance requirements. Typically students have a Degree in Geography, Geology, Environmental Science, or Engineering, or a Diploma in Forestry, Survey, Computer Science, Engineering, or Urban Planning. Other backgrounds are also acceptable. For example, past students had degrees or diplomas in such areas as biology, physics, economics, mining, photogrammetry, or archaeology.

Top

I have an Associate Degree. Do I qualify for entry?

Students with an Associate degree may be admitted to the program. Please refer to the ADP entrance requirements or B.Tech entrance requirements.

Top

I don't have a degree or a diploma. Do I qualify for entry?

If you have two years or more of university study and the credits that you have earned are equivalent to an Associate degree, then you may be admitted to the program.

Top

What computer background do I need?

You must be a competent Personal Computer (PC) user and be able to use Windows operating systems, and ‘office’ programs (word-processing, spreadsheets), with confidence. You should have at least introductory level programming skills. You do not need to be a 'computer expert' but should have an aptitude for computers, enjoy working with computers and learning computer software. You should be 'web literate' and be able to create simple web pages with an HTML editor.

Top

What are the English language entrance requirements?

Students applying to the GIS ADP must meet BCIT’s general English language entrance requirements.

Top

What do I need to submit for my application?

The application is all online and all documents you need are listed on the Admission & Registration Pages. Top

Is there a January intake?

Full-time students can only start their studies in September each year. Part-time students can start their studies in September, January or April of each year. See the suggested schedules below.

Top

All Students: Courses and Program Content.

What is the content of the GIS program?

The program starts by covering computer systems, GIS theory and GIS software. This is followed by more advanced GIS theory and software, and related GIS topics such as digital mapping, remote sensing, and database systems. The course concludes with GIS management and acquisition issues. A major GIS project or practicum is undertaken during the second part of the course to help students use all of their GIS knowledge and skills and to involve students with the GIS industry.

Top

How did BCIT decide which courses should be in the GIS program?

The courses in the GIS program are selected and designed based on ongoing input from  the Program Advisory Committee, government and the GIS industry. The main goal is to provide students with current relevant skills and knowledge needed in the GIS industry.

Top

Can I get credit for equivalent courses I have completed at University or College? How do I do this?

Yes, if approved by the GIS Department. Once you have been admitted into the Program you can complete a Course Credit Exemption application form (available at Student Records). You will need to submit supporting documentation, such as a course outline, in order for the Department to assess this.

Top

How do I choose between the GIS Project and the GIS Practicum courses?

The GIS Project is a campus-based project which typically involves applied research or development, in consultation with an Industry ‘sponsor’. The GIS Practicum is workplace placed, where you will be involved with a company’s GIS projects. GIS Btech students must complete a project. GIS ADP students can complete a project or a practicum. You are strongly encouraged to start thinking about project topics that interest you. However, it is not essential to have a project /practicum before coming into the program. The GIS faculty are in contact with industry representatives and will have some suggested projects/practica to assist you. Most students find their own project/practica after entering the program

Top

Can I continue if I fail a course?

You can repeat courses. You may have to take an evening or Saturday makeup course and your graduation may be delayed. If the failed course is a prerequisite for other courses you will have to first successfully complete it. However, you may still be able to carry on with other courses.

Top

All Students: BCIT and GIS

Where is BCIT? What is like there?

The GIS program is delivered on BCIT's campus in Burnaby British Columbia which is part of metro Vancouver. Vancouver is consistently named one of the best cities in the world to live, and the surrounding region has outstanding natural beauty, year round outdoor activities, a temperate climate, and numerous cultural and social events.

Top

Is there a lot of GIS activity in British Columbia and the Metro Vancouver region?

Yes, there are GIS user and professional groups, software and consulting firms, and a diverse GIS industry, including environmental, forestry, geology, utility, and business companies, and municipal/regional/federal government and First Nations organizations.

Top

What will I be able to do once I have completed the program?

You will be able to use GIS software, hardware and peripheral devices, customize GIS software, develop and design GIS databases, analyze GIS data, write software to convert GIS data formats and write utility programs, use image analysis software and integrate images and other types of GIS information, discuss and use GIS theory to make decisions concerning GIS implementation, manage a GIS,  train GIS users, implement and complete a GIS project, compare and discuss GIS software products.

Top

What type of work do the GIS graduates do?

The majority of GIS graduates are working for either private industry (forestry, GIS vendors, natural resource exploration, computer systems ) consulting companies (environmental, engineering, forestry, mapping, scanning, software) or government agencies (municipal, provincial, federal). The graduates are developing GIS databases, using GIS to analyze data and predict the result of planned changes, managing GIS projects, planning the acquisition of GIS technology, developing GIS custom systems and training GIS users.

Top

Full-Time Students: ADP or B.Tech. Degree

How many students are in the full-time programs?

The full-time programs have a capacity of 45 students.

Top

Do I have to select courses when registering (like University)?

No, full-time students are automatically registered for all the courses offered in the nine month academic year. Part-time students register on a course by course basis.

Top

How long will the GIS ADP or B.Tech. Degree take me to complete on a full-time basis?

ADP Students: Nine or ten months. Classes begin in September. If you choose a project or 'gradual' mode practicum, you will complete your course work by the end of May. 'Block' mode practicum students complete at the end of June.

B.Tech. Degree Students: A minimum of two years. The first year is the same as the full-time ADP as above except that you must take the project option. The second year consists of six online courses (some may have an on-campus option as well) plus acquiring six months of relevant GIS work experience.

Top

How should I prepare for the full-time program?

You should try and complete 1 or 2 first-term courses before entry. This will improve your chances of being accepted into the program and reduce your term workload. Recommended courses are GIST 7100, GIST 7010 and GIST 7128. These courses may be taken as "night school" classes at the BCIT Burnaby campus or via the Internet.

Top

What  programming courses should I take to prepare for the full-time program?

GIST 7010  which is available online as well as on campus.

Top

Part-Time Students : ADP or B.Tech.Degree

Can I complete the entire program through distance learning  (via the Internet)?

Yes, all courses are available online.

Top

How long will the GIS program take me to complete on a part-time basis?

This depends on your educational background and on how many courses you take each semester. It is possible to complete the ADP in two years or the B.Tech in three years as an Online student. This Online schedule commits you to at least 30 hours per week of course work between September and the end of June each year and is only suitable for a student with a part-time job. Students who are working full-time should be able to complete the part-time ADP in four years or B.Tech in five years.

Top

Are there suggested schedules of courses for part-time ADP students or for part-time B. Tech students?

Yes. The following tables show sample schedules of studies.

Part-Time Student: A Four Year Schedule

This schedule is for the ADP courses and the technical B.Tech courses. B.Tech students must select GIST 8125 and must also complete other courses.

Want to follow this schedule? You can try our courses that do not have prerequisites (GIST 7010,7100,7108,7109,7128, 8118) before applying to the ADP or B.Tech program but you should apply as soon as you have decided to take a program as your admission is not guaranteed.

All courses are offered online. GIST 7100, GIST 7010 and GIST 7128 are also offered at the BCIT Burnaby campus.

1st Year (note: p. is a prerequisite course number). You can start in the Fall (September), Winter (January) or Spring (April)

If start taking courses in the Fall
Winter Spring
GIST 7100
GIST 8128 (p. 7128)
GIST 7109
GIST 7128
GIST 8118

     
 If start taking courses in the Winter Winter
 Spring
   GIST 7100
 GIST 7109
   GIST 8118
 GIST 7128
     
 If start taking courses in the Spring    Spring
     GIST 7100
     GIST 7128

2nd Year

Fall
Winter Spring
GIST 7010
GIST 8010 (p. 7010)
One of GIST 8138 (p. 8010,8128) OR GIST 8117 (p.7108). Take one as these courses are offered every other year
GIST 7108
GIST 8128 if not already taken
GIST 8106 (p. 7010,8128). Take this course if available as it is only offered every other year
   GIST 8118 if not already taken
 GIST 7109 if not already taken


3rd Year

Fall
Winter Spring
GIST 7130 GIST 8100 (p. 7100,7130,8010) or GIST 8132 (p. 7132). Take GIST 8100 if available as it is only offered every other year
One of GIST 8138 (p. 8010,8128) OR GIST 8117 (p.7108). Take the available course

GIST 7132 (p. 7010)
GIST 8109 (p. 7130)
GIST 8106 (p. 7010,8128) if not already taken

4th Year

Fall Winter Spring
GIST 7122 (p. dept approval)
GIST 8100 (p. 7100,7130,8010) or GIST 8132 (p. 7132). Take GIST 8100 if not already taken.
GIST 8110 (p. most)
TMGT 7102, TMGT 7142
GIST 8125/6 (p. most)
GIST 8125/6 (p. most)



Advanced Diploma students have completed all courses at the end of year 4.


5th Year for B.Tech Students only

Fall Winter Spring
BUSA 7250
LIBS 7002
TMGT Elective
LIBS 7001
LIBS Elective
LIBS Elective

LIBS courses have a prerequisite equal to the equivalent of three credits of university/college composition
B.Tech students must all complete six months of relevant GIS work experience.



Part-time Online Student:  Option for a Fast-Track two year course schedule starting September 2014, 2016  or any 'even-numbered' year

Want to follow this 'fast-track' schedule? First you must apply to the GIS ADP or B.Tech program as a part-time student. Then you must contact the part-time studies coordinator so you are permitted to register into the courses as seats will be reserved for online students following this schedule for all the ADP GIS courses and for the B.Tech. GIS technical courses.

Year 1 (note: p. is a prerequisite course number)

Fall (2014 or 2016 etc.)
Winter Spring
GIST 7010
GIST 8010 (p. 7010)
GIST 7109
GIST 7100
GIST 8118
GIST 8106 (p. 7010,8128)
GIST 7108 GIST 8128 (p. 7128)
GIST 8117 (p.7108)
GIST 7128
 


 

Year 2

Fall (2015 or 2017 etc.)
Winter Spring
GIST 7122 (p. dept approval)
GIST 8100 (p. 7100,7130, 8010)
GIST 8110 (p. most)
TMGT 7102
GIST 8109 (p. 7130)
GIST 8138 (p. 8010,8128)
TMGT 7142
GIST 8132 (p.7132)
GIST 8125 / 8126 (p. most)
GIST 7130 (p. 7010)
GIST 8125 / 8126 (p. most)

GIST 7132 (p. 7010)

 

ADP students will have completed all courses at the end of Year 2

B.Tech students must take GIST 8125. B.Tech students must complete more courses. See below:

Year 3 B.Tech Students

Fall
Winter Spring
BUSA 7250
LIBS 7002
TMGT Elective
LIBS 7001
LIBS Elective
 LIBS Elective
LIBS courses have a prerequisite equal to the equivalent of three credits of university/college composition

B.Tech. Degree Students will have completed all required courses after YEAR 3  but must also complete six months of relevant GIS work experience
Top

Can I get exemption credit for part-time courses if I take the full-time program later on?

Yes, if you have recently successfully completed the course with a good mark and the course is part of the program.

Top

Can I get credit for part-time course tuition fees if I take the full-time program later on?

No.

Top

Which courses should part-time students do first?

Generally you should start with GIST courses numbered at the 7 thousand level. You need to complete most 7 thousand level courses before the 8 thousand level courses. Most students start with GIST 7100 "Fundamentals of GIS" to get the GIS theory, GIST 7128 "ArcGIS 1" to get some hands-on GIS software, and GIST 7010 "GIS Programming 1"  to start practicing coding which is used in many other courses, You are responsible for planning a course schedule and registering for courses. When reviewing course descriptions, pay special attention to the prerequisites. Refer to the 'Suggested Schedules' on this page. Consult with the GIS part-time studies coordinator for additional advice.

Top

Is there a limit on how many courses a part-time student can take in a semester?

No - but a limit of two is suggested for those students who are working full-time.

Top

Do I need to have my own computer?

Yes. Windows or Mac and with Internet access.

Top

Are all courses in the program offered through part-time studies?

Yes. However, not all courses will be offered every term.

Top

How do I take courses which are offered during the day at the Burnaby Campus?

Obtain a course by course registration form from Student Records. Complete it and submit it to the Program Assistant. At the beginning of the semester your form will be processed and you will be placed in a class, space permitting.

Top

Can part-time students switch to the full-time program?

Yes - you must submit an application to the full-time program. Remember to apply early as the full-time programs are often filled early in the year. You will be placed on  a wait list if the program is full and you might have to wait another year. Courses you completed as a part-time student will count as credits towards the equivalent full-time course. Tuition is not credited.

Top