The Master of Science in Geographic Information Sciences is a professional program that is offered jointly by the School of Social 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 and analyzing spatially-referenced information. Students are provided with 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 to public administration and policy analysis; public safety, criminology, and emergency preparedness management; environmental management; urban, regional, social service and transportation planning and analysis; private sector business, especially marketing, site selection, logistics and real estate; and resource exploration, including petroleum.
Classes are offered through state-of-the-art GIS computing facilities housed at the Bruton Center in the School of Social Sciences and the NASA Center for Excellence in Remote Sensing in the Department of Geosciences. The University’s 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 station is available for every student.
The University’s general admission requirements are discussed here.
For the MGIS, 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 one page essay outlining their background, education and professional objectives.
For the master’s degree in Geographic Information Sciences, beginning students must have the equivalent of GISC 6381 GIS Fundamentals and GISC 6382 Applied GIS or they must take these courses at UTD in addition to the 30 credit hours required for the MGIS Additionally, beginning students are expected to have completed college mathematics through calculus and at least one programming or computer applications course, or have equivalent knowledge.
With permission, up to six hours of credit equivalent to courses at UTD may be transferred from another institution. Students desiring to transfer graduate courses thought to be equivalent to core courses may be required to demonstrate competency through examination. The award of such transfer credit must be consistent with the University’s “Transfer of Credit” policy. Up to 15 hours of courses taken as a non-degree student at UTD can be applied to the masters degree. Hours taken for the Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems meet the prerequisites for, and provide credit toward, the MGIS. All courses required for the masters degree, including those transferred, must be taken within a single 6-year period.
The University’s general degree requirements are discussed here.
To earn the Master of Science in Geographic 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.