Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems

The applied Geographic Information System (GIS) graduate program will give students the critical knowledge to succeed in the challenging world of geospatial technologies. This includes advanced classes and labs in GIS (ArcGIS), remote sensing (ERDAS IMAGINE), web-based mapping, model builder, programming, and spatial analysis. In particular, this program is designed to enhance an individual's knowledge in geographic information science and technology. Additionally, applications of the technology in the oil and gas industry, public health sector, parcel mapping, local government, law enforcement, national security, and market research are featured.

The GIS master's program offers two tracks; a Traditional track (thesis and non-thesis option) that offers a mix of face-to-face and online classes and a Professional track that is offered completely online.

The traditional track (thesis and non-thesis option) of the GIS master's degree is geared towards students with no prior experience/background in GIS or towards students who have completed an undergraduate degree with no work experience.

The professional track is geared towards professionals who have been engaged in the geospatial industry for at least 2 -3 years, utilizing GIS for their day-to-day operations and decision making and aspiring for an advanced degree in GIS. The goal of the professional track is to train employed and experienced professionals from the GIS industry with strong scientific and geospatial qualifications, geospatial management and business skills, and an in-depth understanding of GIS ethics and ethical practices in geospatial business.

Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems must submit the following directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. Application fee
  3. Official transcript(s) of all previous college work (international students must submit third party evaluation of official transcripts for degrees from universities outside the United States).
  4. Official GRE scores. 
  5. TOEFL scores for international students
  6. Two letters of recommendation from faculty in the student's major at the degree-granting institution. 

 
Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems: Professional Track must submit the following directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. Application fee
  3. Official transcript(s) of all previous college work (international students must submit third party evaluation of official transcripts for degrees from universities outside the United States).
  4. TOEFL scores for international students
  5. Two letters of recommendation one from faculty in the student's major at the degree-granting institution and the other from an immediate supervisor.
  6. Resume 
  7. Statement of purpose that explains:
    1. Description of current and past involvement and employment using GIS and Remote Sensing technologies
    2. Expected outcome of program
    3. Intent of degree

The degree requires thirty-six hours of graduate credit. A written comprehensive examination is administered by the comprehensive exam advisory committee for each degree candidate. The written examination must be scheduled with the GIS Graduate Program Coordinator at least four weeks in advance.  Students must be enrolled the semester in which they take the comprehensive examination. Requirements specified in the degree plan are subject to minor modification. All graduate coursework must be approved by the GIS Graduate Program Coordinator.

Plan 1 - MS in Geographic Information Systems (Non-Thesis Option)

Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems (Non-thesis option)
Specified Courses
GEOG 5361Geographic Information3
GEOG 5362GIS Principles and Application3
GEOG 5363Internet GIS 3
GEOG 5364Spatial Analysis3
GEOG 5365Digital Image Processing3
GEOG 5366Cartography And Visualization3
GEOG 5367GIS Programming3
GEOG 5310GIS Project Management3
GEOG 5311GIS in Law Enforcement3
GEOG 5312GIS ModelBuilder 3
GEOG 5373Introduction to LiDAR & Radar3
or GEOG 5315 Spatial Database
Elective Courses
GEOG 5371Geographic Information Systems in Engergy-Related Fields3
or GEOG 5369 Internship in GIS
Total Hours36

Plan 2 - MS in Geographic Information Systems (Thesis Option)

Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems (Thesis option)
Specified Courses
GEOG 5361Geographic Information3
GEOG 5362GIS Principles and Application3
GEOG 5364Spatial Analysis3
GEOG 5365Digital Image Processing3
GEOG 5366Cartography And Visualization3
GEOG 5367GIS Programming3
GEOG 5310GIS Project Management3
GEOG 5312GIS ModelBuilder3
GEOG 5363Internet GIS3
GEOG 5373Introduction to LiDAR & Radar3
or GEOG 5315 Spatial Database
Thesis
GEOG 6398Thesis I3
GEOG 6099Thesis II 13
Total Hours36

Plan 3 - MS in Geographic Information Systems (Professional Track)

Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems (Professional Track)
GEOG 5310GIS Project Management3
GEOG 5312GIS ModelBuilder3
GEOG 5313Ethics in GIS3
GEOG 5314GIS for Professionals3
GEOG 5315Spatial Database3
GEOG 5363Internet GIS3
GEOG 5364Spatial Analysis3
GEOG 5365Digital Image Processing3
GEOG 5367GIS Programming3
GEOG 5369Internship in GIS3
GEOG 5371Geographic Information Systems in Engergy-Related Fields3
GEOG 5373Introduction to LiDAR & Radar3
Total Hours36

The MS in Geographic Information Systems is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the data models and structures used in the input, management, analysis, and output of various geographic data.
  • Ability to use Python programming language to complete geoprocessing tasks. Ability to carry out specialized tasks, such as map scripting, debugging, error handling, creating and sharing custom tools using Python scripts, and creating Python functions and classes in ArcGIS environment. 
  • A thorough understanding of the critical steps necessary in order to successfully implement a GIS project within an organization and ability to conduct evaluations of GIS-related technology and assess their appropriateness for a particular purpose or application.

  • Ability to share GIS content on the Web or across the enterprise; publish maps, imagery, geoprocessing models; and feature templates for use in Web applications that support visualization, analysis, and editing of GIS resources.

  • Knowledge of image acquisition, image enhancement, image restoration, color image processing, image segmentation, image compression, image recognition, image quality assessment, and statistical evaluation and change detection.

  • Cartographic visualization skills and various statistical and graphical approaches for mapping and visualization techniques.