Geospatial Information Sciences

“This program provides not only a thorough knowledge of geography but also teaches enormously practical skills in cartography, analysis and displaying geographically referenced information. ” — Magdalena Lee

Powerful new technologies have emerged in recent years that greatly improve our ability to collect, store, manage, analyze and utilize information regarding the features of the Earth's surface and to combine these with other types of economic, social and environmental information. These technologies include geographic information systems (GIS), the global positioning system (GPS), and satellite based remote sensing. They now penetrate every aspect of our lives, from digital maps in vehicles to the management and maintenance of city infrastructure, regional agriculture and forest lands.

The term geographic or geospatial information science (GIS) was coined to describe this quickly growing field. It has revolutionized many traditional disciplines such as geography and brought together scientists and practitioners from a variety of fields. For a decade, UT Dallas has been a leader in GIS education and research. We offer:

  • Bachelor of Science in Geospatial Information Sciences.
  • Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems: a 15-hour for-credit graduate certificate focusing on the application of GIS in government, private sector and scientific areas, which can be completed in one year of part-time evening study.
  • Graduate Certificate in Remote Sensing: a 15-hour for-credit graduate certificate focusing on remote sensing and digital image processing, which can be completed in one year of part-time evening study.
  • Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Intelligence: a 15-hour graduate certificate focusing on the application of geospatial ideas and techniques to national security and other intelligence activity.
  • Master of Science in Geospatial Information Sciences: a 30-36 hour graduate degree program incorporating the GIS Certificate, jointly offered between the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
  • PhD in Geospatial Information Sciences: a 90-hour, research oriented degree program in geospatial sciences jointly offered between the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the Eric Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Why Choose GIS at UT Dallas?

  • Experience: More than a decade of research and teaching GIS.
  • Innovation: The first certificate in GIS in the Metroplex (1994); the first master's degree in GIS (1998).
  • Excellence: Recognized by the North Central Texas Council of Governments in October 1999 for "excellence in geographic information systems" and by the Oracle Corporation in December 2002 as a Center of Excellence for Spatial Data Management.
  • National Recognition: The first organization from Texas admitted to the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science.
  • Involvement: Originator of the North Texas GIS Consortium (now part of NCTCOG) and continuing service on the North Central Texas GIS Coordinating Council.
  • Uniqueness: The only master's of science in geospatial information sciences in the state of Texas.
  • Flexibility: The ability to incorporate GIS certificate courses in master's degrees in Public Affairs, Geoscience (Geology and Geophysics), Applied Economics, as well as the bachelor of science in Geospatial Information Sciences.
  • Commitment: Full-time faculty experienced in GIS teaching with national and international reputations, and research funded by the National Science Foundation as well as other major federal agencies and state and local governments and private sector companies.

GIS Facilities

Classes are offered through state-of-the-art GIS facilities housed at the Bruton Center in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and at the NASA Center for Excellence in Remote Sensing in the geosciences program. These include PC labs for GIS instruction; advanced PC, UNIX and MAC systems for more specialized GIS research; and input/ output devices for handling high-resolution and large-scale GIS materials. 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 access to computer resources.

For further information, explore our website, send an e-mail to the GIS program head, Dr. Fang Qiu, or contact the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.