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University of Texas at Dallas

School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

800 W. Campbell Road

Richardson, Tx 75080-3021

972-883-2720

972-883-6297 (fax)

 

 

Master of Science in 

Geospatial Information Sciences

 

A professional degree program focused on the management and analysis of spatially-referenced information.

Download brochure in pdf format (8.5"x14")   Download Degree Plan in pdf (8.5" x 11")

The Master of Science in Geospatial Information Sciences (MGIS) is a professional program offered jointly by the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Department of Geosciences. The program focuses on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which combine software and hardware capabilities for managing spatially referenced information.  Students are provided with the concepts underlying GIS, the skills for implementing GIS projects, and the ability to use GIS in pure or applied research in substantive areas. The curriculum incorporates the Certificate in GIS thus offering a degree option to students seeking additional expertise in this area.

Graduates of the program can apply their skills in multiple areas including public administration and policy analysis; public safety, criminology, and emergency preparedness management; environmental management; public works management; urban, regional, social service, and transportation planning and analysis; private sector business, especially marketing, site selection, and logistics; geophysical exploration, including petroleum; and real estate.

Mission Statement

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 and to analyze spatial processes. UT-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

Curriculum

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, a core requirement of 9 hours, a research project requirement of 3 hours, and prescribed elective courses of 9 hours.  Other courses may substitute for those listed below: see degree plan for details. 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/select 3 courses):

GEOS5303 Computing for Geoscientists
GEOS5306 Data Analysis for Geoscientists
POEC5313 Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
GISC5317 Computer Programming for GIS

Core Requirements (9 credit hours):

GISC6383 GIS Management and Implementation 
GISC6384 Spatial Analysis
GISC6387 Geographic Information Systems Workshop

GIS Research Project Requirement (3 credit hours):

Geosciences 8000-level research   course or
GISC6398 Masters Project in GIS

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

School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences
POEC5316 Advanced Regression Analysis
POEC5318 Information Systems in Policy Environments
GISC6332 GIS Applications in Criminology
GISC6379 Special Topics in GIS
GISC 6380 Spatial Concepts and Organization
GISC6385 GIS Theories, Models and Issues
GISC6386 Urban Applications of GIS/RS
GISC7362 GIS Network Modeling
GISC6388 GIS Application Development
GISC7365 Remote Sensing Digital Image Processing
GISC7360 GIS Pattern Analysis
GISC7361 Spatial Statistics
GISC7362 GIS Network Analysis
GISC7363 Internet Mapping
GISC7364 Demographic Analysis and Modeling
GISC7366 Applied Remote Sensing
GISC7368 Spatial Epidemiology
GISC7384 Advanced Raster Modeling
GISC7387 Research Design in GIS
Department of Geosciences
GEOS5425 Intro to Remote Sensing
GEOS5329 Applied Remote Sensing
GEOS5326 Remote Sensing Digital Image Processing
GEOS5328 Radar Remote Sensing
GEOS5322 GPS Satellite Surveying Techniques
GEOS5323 GIS Applications to Geoscience
GEOS7327 Remote Sensing Workshop
School of Management
MIS6326 Database Management Systems
MIS6308 Systems Analysis and Project Management
MIS6324 Business Intelligence Software and Techniques
MIS6328 Information Strategy Planning

see degree plan  or consult advisor for other courses which may substitute for those listed above.

GISC: Geospatial Information Sciences
GEOS: Geoscience.
POEC: Political Economy, the designation for interdisciplinary graduate courses in the School of Economic, Political and PolicySciences.
MIS: Management Information Systems

No more than two transferred courses can be used to meet the Certificate or MGIS requirements. No more than 15 hours of course work taken as a "non-degree seeking" student may be applied later to a graduate degree. Students seeking two master's degrees (e.g. MGIS and MPA) must have at least 15 hours of coursework unique to each degree and not used for the other degree. All course work for any one masters degree must be completed within one six-year period.

Admission

General information, including an on-line application (Texas Common Application), is available here.  The M. S. in Geospatial Information Sciences seeks applications from students with a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college in any discipline relevant to GIS. 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 Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or equivalent score on the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT), are desirable. Applications should be received by by July 1 (US residents) or May 1 (international) for Fall admittance and by November 1 (US residents) or September 1 (international) for Spring admittance. However, admission is possible for US residents until the first day of classes. Because of the timing of classes, it is preferable to start in the Fall semester especially if you have no previous GIS experience. Classes begin in mid August for the Fall semester and early January for the Spring semester. Exact dates are available here.
 

Prerequisites

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 its equivalent. Students should also have computer usage skill.

Financial Support


The GIS program at UTD is primarily a professional program and few masters students receive financial support through the university. Most work full or half time off-campus. Nevertheless, there are support opportunities as teaching or research assistants for the exceptional student, especially those seeking the Ph.D.. Generally, this requires a strong existing background in GIS or another closely related area such as computer science (thus the ability to be a research assistant) and/or degrees in the social sciences or geology (thus the ability to be an undergraduate teaching assistant).  More detail on assistantships is available under Ph.D. programs. For information on loans and similar programs, go here.

Example Degree Plans for Masters in GI Science

30-hour program for students who have met the prerequisite for GIS Fundamentals/Intro to GIS and Applied GIS (6 semesters to completion).

  Fall Spring Summer

Year 1

GEOS 5303 Computing for Geosci.* or GISC 5317 Computer Programming for GIS* or other base requirement

GISC 6384 Spatial Analysis

or GEOS 5423 GIS Analysis in Geosci.

GISC 6387 Workshop

Or GEOS 5308 Topics

 

GISC 6383 GIS Management and Implementation

GEOS 5306 Data Analysis for Geosci. * or other base requirement

 

Year 2

POEC 5313 Descriptive and Inferential Statistics * or other base requirement.

Elective Option

GISC 6389 MS Project

Or GEOS 8300 Research

 

Elective Option.

Elective Option

 

*Three out of these four courses are required. The fourth may be taken as an elective or another elective substituted.

36-hour program for students who have not met the prerequisite for GIS Fundamentals/Intro to GIS and Applied GIS (6 semesters to completion).

  Fall Spring Summer

Year 1

GISC 6381 GIS Fundamentals

GISC 6382 Applied GIS

GISC 6387 Workshop

Or GEOS 5308 Topics

 

GISC 6383 GIS Management  & Implementation

GISC 6384 Spatial Analysis

or GEOS 5423 GIS Analysis in Geosci.

Elective Option

Year 2

GEOS 5303 Computing for Geosci.* and/or GISC 5317 Computer Programming for GIS* or other base requirement

Elective Option

GISC 6389 MS Project

or GEOS 8300 Research

 

POEC 5313 Descriptive and Inferential Statistics* or other base requirement.

GEOS 5306 Data Analysis for Geos.* or other base requirement.

Elective Option

*Three out of these four courses are required. The fourth may be taken as an elective or another elective substituted.

Advising

Students seeking the M.S. in Geospatial Information Sciences select Geosciences or Economic, Political and PolicySciences as their "base" for advising and related purposes. They are expected to consult regularly with the adviser for the M. S. in Geospatial Information Sciences program for that area. These advising sessions are intended to help students plan how they can fulfill their program of study. In addition, students who seek advice will stay up-to-date with job opportunities.

Information

For further information, send e-mail to the director of  GI science programs, Dr Ronald Briggs [email protected], or contact the School of Economic, Political and PolicySciences as follows:

Director of Graduate Studies 
School of Economic, Political and PolicySciences 
P.O. Box 830688 GR31
Richardson, TX 75083-0688 
Phone: (972) 883-2720 
E-mail: [email protected]
World Wide Web: http://www.utdallas.edu.dept/socsci 

Students also may contact 
School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Department of Geosciences
Phone: 972-883-2516

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