Program Requirements

Degree requirements

A minimum of 33 hrs with thesis; a minimum of 36 hours for the non-thesis option

  1. Required Geospatial Sciences Core (Total 15 hours)

    Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
    GEO 700 Introduction to Graduate Study in Geospatial Sciences 3 hrs
    GEO 701 Research Methods in Geospatial Sciences 3 hrs
    GEO 651 Remote Sensing  3 hrs
    GEO 661 Intermediate Geographic Information Science 3 hrs
      One of the following:  3 hrs
    GEO 662 Internet Geospatial Science  
    GEO 666 Advanced Geographic Information Science  
    GEO 668 Thematic Cartography  
    GEO 672 Introduction to Photogrammetry and LiDAR Technology  
    GEO 673   Geographic Information Science Programming  
    GEO 675 GPS Surveying and Mapping  
    GEO 678 Remote Sensing Digital Image Processing  
    GEO 755 Applications of Digital Cartography, Analytical Photogrammetry, and Remote Sensing  

    Students who do not have adequate background in statistical analysis from their undergraduate course work are strongly encouraged to take at least one of the following (3 hours):
    • MTH 645 Applied Statistics
    • MTH 646 Analysis of Variance and Design of Experiments
    • MTH 647 Applied Regression Analysis
    • MTH 648 Applied Time Series Analysis
  1. Research Requirement (complete one).
    1. Thesis Option.  A student can take up to 3 hours of GRY 779 or GLG 779 plus up to 6 hours of GRY 799 or GLG 799.  Successful completion of a thesis and thesis defense is required. 
    2. Non-Thesis Option.  Students choosing the non-thesis option must complete 3 hours of GRY 779 or GLG 779 plus 3 hours of GEO 780.  Successful completion of a research project and scholarly report is required.  The results of the research project must be presented orally at a departmental seminar or at a professional meeting and the student’s advisor and the departmental Graduate Program Director must approve the written report on the research project.  Students in the non-thesis option are not allowed to count thesis hours toward the 36 hour degree requirement.
  1. Additional Course Requirements.   Students in the thesis option must complete an additional 18 hours of graduate course work beyond the required 15-hour core. Students choosing to complete a thesis may count up to 3 credit hours of GRY 779 or GLG 779 and up to 6 credit hours of GRY 799 or GLG 799 toward this 18 hour requirement. Students in the non-thesis option must complete an additional 21 hours of graduate course work beyond the required 15 hour core. Students choosing the non-thesis option may count 3 credit hours of GRY 779 or GLG 779 and 3 credit hours of GEO 780 toward this 21 hour requirement. Students in the thesis option must complete at least 17 credit hours of course work at the 700 level; students in the non-thesis option must complete at least 18 credit hours of course work at the 700 level. Students must complete a program of study worksheet by the end of their first academic semester. Before enrolling in the 12th hour of graduate credit, the student, an academic advisor, and the Graduate Program Director must agree upon and sign an Advisor Approved Program of Study.

    Students whose undergraduate background does not include the prerequisite material for GEO 651 and/or GEO 661 are required to take Introduction to Geographic Information Science for GRY 697 credit.  This credit does not count toward the additional 18 hours of graduate course work required for the thesis option or toward the additional 21 hours of graduate course work required for the non-thesis option.
  2. Comprehensive Examination.  A written comprehensive examination must be taken before the end of the third semester of full-time enrollment in the program.  Students will be provided reading lists and/or study guides specific to their individual program of study.  For students in the thesis option, the examination questions will be provided by the student's advisor and at least two other members of the student's thesis committee; for students in the non-thesis option, the examination questions will be provided by the student's advisor and two other members of the faculty selected by the departmental Graduate Director.  A student may repeat the examination, or section of the examination, upon recommendation of the Graduate Program Director and approval of the Department Head.  Students who have not passed the comprehensive examination upon completion of three academic semesters of full-time study will not be permitted to continue in the program.  If a student opts to change tracks after completing the comprehensive examination, the student must take and pass the examination specific to the new selected track before a degree will be awarded.

    The faculty members writing the examination questions shall determine what constitutes a passing mark for the exam.
  3. Research Concentrations.  The Department of Geography, Geology and Planning has identified three areas of research concentration for prospective students.  Students are strongly encouraged to select a research topic in one of these concentration areas.