Master of Science in Geospatial Information Sciences

http://www.gis.utdallas.edu


Professors: Carlos Aiken (Geosciences), Brian J. L. Berry (Economic, Political and Policy Sciences), Denis J. Dean (Economic, Political and Policy Sciences), Daniel Griffith (Economic, Political and Policy Sciences), Paul Jargowsky (Economic, Political and Policy Sciences), James Murdoch (Economic, Political and Policy Sciences), Robert Stern (Geosciences)
Associate Professors: Tom Brikowski (Geosciences), John Ferguson (Geosciences), Fang Qiu (Economic, Political and Policy Sciences), Michael Tiefelsdorf (Economic, Political and Policy Sciences)
Assistant Professors: Karen Hayslett-McCall (Economic, Political and Policy Sciences)

The Master of Science in Geospatial Information Sciences is a professional program that is offered jointly by the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The program focuses on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and associated technologies such as remote sensing and global positioning systems for acquiring, managing, analyzing and communicating spatially-referenced information. Students are expected to master the concepts underlying GIS, the skills for implementing GIS projects in public or private sector organizations, and the ability to use GIS in pure or applied research in substantive areas.

Graduates of the program can apply their skills in a variety of areas such as public administration and policy analysis; public safety, criminology, emergency preparedness management; environmental management; urban, regional, social service and transportation planning and analysis; marketing, site selection, logistics and real estate; and resource exploration, including petroleum.

Mission and Objectives

The mission of the Master of Science in Geographic Information Sciences program is to provide students a rigorous understanding of the technologies, quantitative techniques, models and theories used to acquire and manage spatially referenced information, analyze spatial processes, and communicate spatial information. U.T.Dallas graduates will have strong analytical and numerical skills, knowledge of empirical and quantitative research methodologies, and employ novel geographic information sciences technologies. They will use these capabilities to support public and private sector organizations, to address significant societal issues, and to enhance understanding of the human and natural environments. They will successfully compete at the highest level for jobs requiring geospatial skills and for entry into quality doctoral programs in relevant areas.  More specifically, graduates of the program will:

        demonstrate their knowledge of the technologies, quantitative techniques, models and theories used to acquire and manage spatially referenced information and to analyze spatial processes.

        have strong analytical and numerical skills, knowledge of empirical and quantitative research methodologies, and be able to employ these skills and methodologies in novel geographic information sciences applications.

        be able to identify and apply appropriate geospatial methodologies to support public and private sector organizations, to address significant societal issues, and to enhance understanding of the human and natural environments.

Facilities

Classes are offered through state-of-the-art GIS computing facilities housed in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and the NASA Center for Excellence in Remote Sensing in the Department of Geosciences. The Universityís extensive instructional computing facilities are also available. Facilities are open extended hours including evenings and weekends. Enrollment in hands-on courses is controlled to ensure that a computer workstation is available for every student. All industry-standard GIS and remote sensing software is available. The University is a an Oracle Center of Excellence for Spatial Data Management and a member of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS)

Admission Requirements

The Universityís general admission requirements are discussed here.

For admission to the program, a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college is required and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) scores must be presented. A 3.0 undergraduate grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), and a combined verbal and quantitative score of at least 1000 on the GRE, or equivalent score on the GMAT, are desirable. Students must also submit transcripts from all higher education institutions attended, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement, approximately one page in length, outlining their background, education and professional objectives.

Prerequisites

Beginning students must have the equivalent of GISC 6381 Geographic Information Systems Fundamentals and GISC 6382 Applied Geographic Information Systems, or they must take these courses at U.T.Dallas in addition to the 30 credit hours required for the Masters. Additionally, beginning students are expected to have at least one course at the graduate or undergraduate level covering descriptive and inferential statistics (or take POEC 5313 Descriptive and Inferential Statistics, but this will not count toward the 30 hours needed for the degree), to have completed college mathematics through calculus, and to have at least one programming or computer applications course or possess equivalent knowledge.

Degree Requirements

The Universityís general degree requirements are discussed here.

To earn the Master of Science  in Geospatial Information Sciences, students must complete a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of work in the program. The program consists of a base requirement of 9 hours (three courses), a core requirement of 9 hours, a research project requirement of 3 hours, and prescribed electives for 9 hours. Students must achieve at least a 3.0 grade point average in the core requirement and an overall grade point average of 3.0 to graduate.

Base Requirement (9 credit hours):

Statistics  (1 or 2 courses):

GISC 5313 Geospatial Data Analysis Fundamentals or
GEOS 5306 Data Analysis for Geoscientists or
GISC 6311/ECON 6311 Statistics for Geospatial Science
GISC 5316 Regression with Spatial Applications or
POEC  5316 Advanced Regression

Programming  (1 or 2 courses):

GEOS 5303 Computing for Geoscientists
GISC 5317 Computer Programming for GIS
GISC 6388 GIS  Application Software Development
GISC 7363 Internet Mapping and Information Processing
MIS 6326 Database Management Systems

Core Requirement (9 credit hours):

GISC 6325 (GEOS 5325) Introduction to Remote Sensing
GISC 6384 Spatial Analysis and Modeling
GISC 6387 Geographic Information Systems Workshop or
GEOS 7327/GISC 7367 Remote Sensing Workshop

Research Project Requirement (3 hours):

GISC 6389 GIS Masterís Project , or GISC 7389 GI Sciences Ph.D. Research Project Qualifier, or GEOS 8000-level research course with prior approval

Elective Courses (at least 9 credit hours from the following, not duplicated elsewhere)

GISC 5316 Regression Analysis with Spatial Applications
GISC 6380 Spatial Concepts and Organization
GISC 6383 GIS Management and Implementation
GISC 6385 GIS Theories, Models, and Issues
GISC 6386 Urban and Environmental Applications for Geographic Information Systems (GIS)/Remote Sensing
GISC 6388 GIS Application Development
GISC 7360 GIS Pattern Analysis
GISC 7361 Spatial Statistics
GISC 7362 GIS Network Modeling
GISC 7363 Internet Mapping and Information Processing
GISC 7364 Demographic Analysis and Modeling
GISC 7365 Remote Sensing Digital Image Processing
GISC 7366 Applied Remote Sensing
GISC 7368 Spatial Epidemiology
GISC 7387 GIS Research Design
GISC 7384 Advanced Raster Modeling
GISC 8320  Seminar in Spatial Analysis
GEOS 5322 Global Positioning System (GPS) Satellite Surveying Techniques
GEOS 5324 3-D Data Capture and Ground Lidar
GEOS 5325/GISC 6325  Introduction to Remote Sensing
GEOS 5326/GISC 7365 Remote Sensing Digital Image Processing
GEOS 5329/GISC 7366 Applied Remote Sensing
CS 6359 Object Oriented Analysis and Design
CS 6360 Database Design
CS 6366 Computer Graphics
CS 6384 Computer Vision
MIS 6308 Systems Analysis and Project Management
MIS 6324 Decision Support Systems
MIS 6326 Database Management Systems
MIS 6328 Information Strategy Planning
PA 5318 Information Systems in Policy Environments
POEC 5316 Advanced Regression Analysis

Thesis Option

Students may elect to follow a thesis option by working under the supervision of a selected GISC faculty member and two committee members (one of whom is assigned by the GISC program head) to extend their Geospatial Information Sciences Masterís Project (GISC 6389) into a written Masterís research thesis. If this option is followed, GISC 8V98 Masterís Thesis may substitute for 3 hours of  elective credit. Permission to pursue this option must be obtained from the GIS Program Head prior to enrolling in GISC 6389 or GISC 8V98.