Curriculum: Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems

April 24, 2023
30
May 08, 2023

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curriculum icon Curriculum at a Glance

All of the curricula for the Master’s in Geographic Information Systems is completed online. The courses are asynchronous allowing you to complete your work at your pace without having to log on at a specific time or visit the campus.  The courses are taught by world-class faculty and staff, the same faculty and staff that teach the courses on-campus.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 30 semester credit hours as well as a Capstone course. There are 7 required courses to complete the degree and various electives of which 9 credit hours must be completed. These electives vary based on your desired career path or field of interest.

Students can expect short course lecture videos on concepts and discussion boards. You will also have access to a digital lab where you will learn to use popular GIS software. There will be practice exercises and videos walking you through these tools. Expect a full immersive online experience preparing your for the workforce.

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MS- GIS Foundation Courses

Students will be required to take these courses in their first semester, they will be offered in every semester.

Course Title / Description Credit
GEOG6071C
Introduction to Geographic Information Sciences
Course: GEOG6071C
Credit: 3
Introduction of the theories and applications of Geographic Information Sciences (GIS). The basic topics include definition of GIS, the history of GIS, topological data structure, data preprocessing, data manipulation and analysis, geographic modeling with GIS, and the future of GIS. The focus of this course is spatial analysis.
3
Geog6075C
Quantitative Geography and Spatial Statistics I
Course: Geog6075C
Credit: 3
GEOG 5175C / 6075C is the first of a three-sequence series in which students define, examine, and perform methods commonly employed in geographic research, and where they interpret and illustrate the results of those methods. Primarily data-driven and analytic in nature, the course introduces students to spatial analysis and visualization, reinforces their knowledge of mathematics and statistical procedures, and develops their ability to understand, apply, and interpret quantitative processes to solve geographic research problems. This is a course on applied statistics (rather than theoretical or mathematical). Its emphasis focuses upon learning, understanding, and exploring (1) various statistical procedures; (2) assumptions and types of data necessary for using specified methods; and (3) how these procedures and methods have been used by geographers in research. Students will also become familiar with statistical packages and with statistical capabilities in GIS software.
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MS GIS Spring Core Courses

These core courses will only be offered in the spring semester

Course Title / Description Credit
GEOG6074
Computer Analytical Cartography
Course: GEOG6074
Credit: 3
The art and science of making maps using ArcGIS software. Emphasis on applying cartographic principles and creating professional maps, with focus on thematic, choropleth and isarithmic mapping. Tutorials and lab exercises are designed to provide the student with a practical working knowledge base.
3
GEOG6076
Introduction to Remote Sensing
Course: GEOG6076
Credit: 3

The fundamental objective of this course is to explore basic physical principles of electromagnetic radiation; remote sensing systems; interpretation of satellite images, thermal and radar imagery; digital image analysis of multispectral satellite data, and remote sensing applications. There are two classes each week. Each class will focus on a lecture topic, a laboratory exercise, or a combination of both. ENVI, a robust remote sensing image processing package will be used for all labs. Lecture topics include Introduction to Remote Sensing; Electromagnetic Spectrum and Energy Interaction; Elements of Remote Sensing Images; Satellites and Sensors; Radiometric and Geometric Correction; Image enhancements, Transformations, Classifications; Classification Accuracy; Radar Remote Sensing; Urban and Geologic Remote Sensing; Vegetation and Water Remote Sensing. Laboratory exercises include: Introduction to ENVI image processing software; Image Searching and Acquisition; Image Geo referencing; Image Filters; Supervised Classification; Unsupervised Classification; and Creating Image Maps.

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MS GIS Summer Core Course

This core course will only be offered in our summer semester. You will also be able to take a summer elective during this time.

Course Title / Description Credit
GEOG6085C
Quantitative Geography and Spatial Statistics II
Course: GEOG6085C
Credit: 3
GEOG 6085C is the second a three-sequence series that explores advanced statistical models that are commonly used by geographers in social science, physical science, and GIS-based applications and research. The methods explored include spatial regression, ordination, and dimensionality reduction techniques, among others. The course will cover intermediate techniques in statistics, spatial analysis, and model building, and further develops students' understanding and application of quantitative processes to solve geographic research problems. Students will continue to develop their skills with statistical packages and with statistical capabilities in other software. GEOG 6085C is designed to allow in-depth focus on current problems and issues that geographers frequently encounter in their professional practice and in their research, and to apply procedures while also explaining results suitable for varying audiences. GEOG 6085C will also include an advanced project, critiquing and appraising software functionality as it relates to methods explored in this course, and assessing academic and professional literature on course topics, consistent with graduate-level education.
3
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MS GIS Fall Core Courses

These courses will only be offered in our fall semesters

Course Title / Description Credit
GEOG6081C
Intermediate GIS
Course: GEOG6081C
Credit: 3
This course focuses on GIS modeling and its applications to urban, economic and environmental issues. It further applies GIS theories and techniques to real-world problems. It is designed to provide a background in advanced GIS analysis programs such as Spatial Analyst, Geostatistical Analyst, and Network Analyst to develop an understanding of the operational basis of modern GIS technology.
3
GEOG7015
Graduate Geography
Course: GEOG7015
Credit: 3
The single most important component of a graduate program is independent research. This seminar willexamine the design of geographic research. Students will examine and critique the design of research projects as presented in articles and research proposals. Each participant will develop a research proposal on a topic of their choosing with the goal that the proposal will improve and accelerate progress toward completion of her/his graduate degree.
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MS GIS Fall Electives

Course Title / Description Credit
GEOG6031
GIS and Public Health
Course: GEOG6031
Credit: 3
This course introduces geographic information sciences (GIS), public health, and the applicationof GIS to public health. It covers the processing,geocoding, mapping and analysis of public health data in a GIS environment. It highlights the latest spatial-temporal models dealing with publichealth related problems.
3
GEOG6090C
GIS in Hydrology
Course: GEOG6090C
Credit: 3
This course will explore applications of Geographic Information System (GIS) in the field of hydrology. GIS provides various tools that help us to visualize the spatial patterns of landscapes and therefore help us to understand complex watershed systems and the hydrologic processes within. The main topics of the course include watershed delineation and analysis, spatial data processing, digital mapping of water resources and hydrologic modeling.
3
GEOG6098C
Practical Data Mining and Visualization
Course: GEOG6098C
Credit: 3
Course combines elements of geographical information science (GIS), machine learning, data mining, and information visualization into a set of techniques for exploration of complex spatial data. The course will discuss types of data and tasks encountered in domains ranging from commercial, law enforcement, homeland security, and national security to science including geosciences and life science. Concepts, techniques, and algorithms (classification, clustering, association mining, heat maps, Sammon's maps, self-organizing maps, treemaps and others) will be introduced by means of hands on projects based on real life data.
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MS GIS Spring Elective

Course Title / Description Credit
GEOG6091C
Advanced GIS & Web GIS
Course: GEOG6091C
Credit: 3
GEOG 5191C addresses the application of advanced GIS techniques to research and real-world problems. This course is designed to introduce students to the basic structure and capabilities of object-oriented programming in a GIS environment, and to introduce current Internet Mapping, server-based GIS, and Web GIS. Students will learn how to automate GIS operations and customize the user interface using the programming language available in ArcGIS. The course includes a computer laboratory portion focusing on customizing ESRI GIS software packages (including ArcGIS PRO), Google Maps and Google Earth, ESRI ArcIMS, ArcSDE, and MS SQL. Students will use GIS to apply the GIS skills learned through lab exercises to projects that address real-world applications of GIS across multiple disciplines. GEOG 6091C will also include an advanced project and critiquing and appraising academic and professional literature on course topics, consistent with graduate-level education.
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MS GIS Summer Electives

Course Title / Description Credit
GEOG6021
Crime Mapping and Analysis
Course: GEOG6021
Credit: 3
Introduction of crime databases, crime mapping andspatial analysis of crime in a GIS environment.
3
GEOG6015C
Introduction to landscape ecology and GIS
Course: GEOG6015C
Credit: 3
Landscape ecology has risen in importance as the influence of geographical processes on population dynamics, community assembly, and ecosystem functions in general have been recently recognized. Space has also been identified as a key component in conservation of species and biodiversity planning, as well as a fundamental element for understanding the ways people interact with nature. Based on these previous arguments, this course will examine the structure, and the functioning of natural and human-modified communities in a geographical context. The course will focus on spatial patterns and processes of landscapes as the framework of interacting ecological communities. The course will consider the critical role that landscape and geographical patterns play in shaping the functional interactions among species and the dynamics of ecosystems. It will also provide students with the principles and applications of landscape ecology and a firm understanding of spatial analysis techniques using GIS for the study of ecological processes. It will also include a discussion of key concepts of landscape ecology, methods, and approaches currently used to describe and understand ecological landscapes.
3
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