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Online MS in Geographic Information Science: Curriculum

Curriculum Details


The online MS in GISC program requires the completion of 30 total credits. Through 7 courses, you’ll explore key topics relevant to today’s workforce, including remote sensing of Earth, spatial statistics, cartography, and more. When you complete the program, you’ll be fully equipped with the knowledge necessary to make an impact in a variety of advanced career opportunities and leadership positions.



This course focuses on geographic information systems (GIS) and the art and science of mapping for spatial analysis. Map-design techniques and visual communication using GIS vector and raster data forms will be explored, as well as a variety of methods for analyzing spatial relationships. Topics include those of the physical world and landscape, social justice, poverty, and a significant end-of-semester project. This course has a lecture and lab component, and lab work will give practical experience to students using the ArcGIS suite. Students will complete a GIS project tailored to their disciplinary interest and also explore religious faith in professional GIS life.

This course introduces advanced themes in Geographic Information Systems including spatial database design, spatial algorithms, implementation and design, and advanced GIS applications including designs for community development and service tailored to individual students’ industrial application.

This course provides an introduction to remote sensing of Earth. During the semester students engage in the physics and technical aspects of photogrammetry and satellite imagery for the study of physical and human created aspects of Earth. This course includes a laboratory component as an integral learning method using remote sensing software and drones. Topics covered in this course range from aerial photography to analysis of 3D models of terrain to the sustainability of sprawl in urban systems. Multiple themes of application will be discussed.

This course provides an introduction to demography and geographical analysis. Specific attention is given to the study of social, economic, and health statistics as they change over time and space, which illustrate the changing structure of human populations. Readings in demographic research and a GIS-based semester project will comprise the second half of the course.

This course will provide students a foundational introduction to spatial statistics. Lectures and course work emphasize descriptive and inferential statistical approaches to geographic problems. Spatial pattern, clusters, distribution, 3D space-time, and spatial relationship using Geographically Weighted Regression will be explored. Labs will train students on the single and multivariate statistical methods available in ArcGIS. Additionally, the R-Statistical package may be utilized based on instructor preference.

This course explores the exciting world of business spatial analytics and location-based services. Topics include gravity modeling, suitability analysis for potential market location, social and economic population analysis, and business and facilities saturation. Students will complete a GIS-based project for a local Non-profit business during the semester as a Service-Learning project.

This course provides students with foundational knowledge in python and map objects programing for GIS. Students will learn python programming language. Emphasis will be on ESRI model builder, scripting for ArcToolBox, and custom design workflows using Map Objects. Geospatial data management best practices, ArcGIS Server, and geodatabase design will be explored. Students will construct a custom GIS solution for a public or private business. No previous programming experience is necessary but is recommended.

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