Geographic Information Science (GIS) is an emerging field of study centered on the acquisition, management, analysis, and dissemination of information that is spatially-referenced to locations on, above, and below the surface of the earth. This field is highly trans-disciplinary with substantial and growing importance in a number of traditional academic disciplines and related professions including city and regional planning, architecture, civil and environmental engineering, earth and atmospheric sciences, environmental science, demography, logistics, management, public policy and sustainability studies.
Students can complete the 34 credit-hour curriculum for the Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology (MS-GIST) in one calendar year including two semesters of full-time coursework and a capstone project course offered during the summer. Part-time students may complete the program in two or three academic years plus one summer session for the capstone project course.
The MS/GIST degree provides students with a common core of required knowledge, a strong foundation of technology skills, and the flexibility to apply those skills to a broad range of professional and academic fields. Many of the GIST graduates will continue to view themselves as members of traditional professions such as engineering, environmental science, or architecture, but many others will place themselves within the newly-emerging professions directly related to geospatial technologies.
The core of the MS-GIST program will be delivered through a body of courses offered by the School of City and Regional Planning. These include courses on quantitative methods, advanced geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, transportation GIS, environmental GIS, and socioeconomic GIS. Additional coursework to supplement the core will be drawn from existing courses in city and regional planning, architecture, public policy, computing, and civil and environmental engineering.
The program of study for the MS-GIST includes one prerequisite (or one year of equivalent professional experience), six required core courses, a two substantive-area courses from a discipline associated with GIS, one free elective course, and the Capstone Project course. All core courses are three-hour courses (except for CP 6024 which is four hours); substantive-area courses and the elective may be three- or four-hour courses, and the Capstone Project course is a six-hour course.
The individual components of the program of study are (with lecture hours, lab hours, and credit hours given in parentheses):
A basic understanding of GIS technology is required as a prerequisite of the degree program.
This may be achieved through one of four options:
The required GIS courses (with lecture hours, lab hours, and credit hours) are:
SUBSTANTIVE AREA COURSES
Because GIS is a trans disciplinary technology, GIST students will be required to take two courses from one of the many GIS-related disciplines. These could include, but are not limited to, courses drawn from civil and environmental engineering, industrial and systems engineering, computer science, earth and atmospheric sciences, public policy, management, city planning, and architecture. The substantive area courses must be approved by the program coordinator. Four substantive area examples are given below.
GIS Application Development
This course can be selected by the student and will ordinarily either (1) give extra depth in the student’s selected substantive area or (2) provide the student with a foundational understanding of a second substantive area.
Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100.
After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department.
Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.