Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences

The Master of Science degree in Geospatial Sciences is the first of its kind in Southeast Texas. Our program will provide education in all key areas of geospatial technologies most relevant to the contemporary workplace, including computer-based geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing techniques, Drone technology, digital image processing, spatial analysis and modeling, global positioning systems (GPS) and data science in the big data era. Students in the program will be given substantial practical experience in the application of state-of-the-art geospatial-based systems to a wide range of real-world programs. 

The field of geospatial sciences has become an integral aspect for supporting decision making in a variety of fields such as physical and environmental sciences, urban planning and management, political science, civil engineering, economy, business, real estate, education administration and health care.

Interested in Applying?

Our master's program in geospatial sciences is open to all students in any discipline. Students who wish to pursue a master's degree in geospatial sciences at Lamar University must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and must meet the admission standards of the College of Graduate Studies. 

The program is delivered through a combination of face-to-face and online instruction.

Courses

The program will include a 30-credit hour thesis-based option of a 36-credit hour non-thesis option. The curriculum is designed to train individuals to work in any sector of geospatial sciences and to offer you the combination of technical training, critical thinking skills, and the ethical framework necessary to be effective geospatial analysts. 

GEOL 5311: Principles of GIS (3 Credit Hour) This course will provide graduate students with an applied knowledge in making professional GIS maps, cartography methods, types of geospatial data, choosing and applying analytical methods for geospatial data, including density analysis, interpolation, and overlay analysis. Each graduate student will be assigned a research project. You will choose a research- topic for your project. You will work on designing your project, data collection, data processing and analysis. You have to write a scientific report of your project and present the results to the class.

GEOL 5312: Advanced GIS Analysis and Applications (3 Credit Hour) This course assumes that students have prior knowledge in the fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and have experience with spatial data processing software, particularly ArcGIS. This course will provide graduate students with advanced analytical and practical skills in GIS and to advanced spatial and statistical analysis. Students will be exposed to Python scripting, Model Builder, web mapping, processing and analysis of LiDAR and raster data sets. In addition to, a student will learn how to identify and frame unique research questions, how to develop a methodology for answering those questions and how to visually represent their research and findings.

GEOL 5313: Geospatial Research Project (3 Credit Hour) In this project-based course, you will design and execute a complete GIS-based analysis – from identifying a concept, question or issue you wish to develop, all the way to final data products and maps. Your completed project will demonstrate your mastery of the content in the GIS Specialization and will include: a) Project Proposal - Conceptualize and design your project in the abstract, and write a short proposal that includes the project description, expected data needs, timeline, and how you expect to complete it; b) Project Design - Develop the methodology for your project, which will typically involve finding the data sources, data collection, develop a workflow for processing your data; c): Data Analysis –Processing your data, run it through GIS models in order to get your rough data products, and begin creating your final map products and/or analysis; d) Outputs – Export your map products and write a draft of you report.

GEOL 5314: Principles of Remote Sensing (3 Credit Hour) This course will introduce fundamental concepts and develop basic skills related to the use of remote sensing data. The primary goal of the course is to introduce students to the principals of remote sensing, physics of remote sensing, spaceborne satellite systems, and remote sensing data types including multispectral, hyperspectral, and Radar. Hands-on exercises will be provided to teach students how to obtain and process satellite imagery, analyze and synthesize information from remotely sensed data. Students will also be able to employ current technologies to access information, to conduct research, and to communicate findings.

GEOL 5316: Remote Sensing Data and Applications (3 Credit Hour) This course assumes that students have prior knowledge in the basics of remote sensing, and have experience with digital image processing software, particularly ENVI. Students will develop a strong understanding of the tools and techniques used to display, process, and analyze remotely sensed data. Upon completion of this course students will be able to develop analytical workflows to derive products and extract information from remotely sensed data for a broad range of applications that include wetlands, water quality, coastal changes, vegetation analysis, mineral resources, land use and land cover changes. Throughout the course, students confront realistic problem scenarios that will test their ability to apply the tools and techniques covered in the course. The culmination of this course is an independent final project in which students will demonstrate their ability to apply new skills to a real-world situation of personal or professional interest.

GEOL 5301: Drone Photogrammetry and Applications (3 Credit Hour) This course is designed to help students learn about drone aerial photography, geospatial data processing and analysis for geological and environmental mapping. A student will learn how to fly a drone, conduct a drone survey, process data using PIX4D, ENVI and ArcGIS software. This course will prepare students to obtain the FAA Drone Pilot license.

GEOL 5301: Independent Study (3 Credit Hour) Students will use GIS and geospatial techniques in a research project with the guidance of a graduate faculty from any department. A student is required to discuss his project work with the Director of the master’s program Dr. Reda Amer. The director’s approval is required to register for the “Independent Study”.

GEOL 5301: Seminar in Geospatial Sciences The seminar series will be a forum for graduate students to dispense and gain insight into the current and cutting- edge activities in Geospatial Sciences, GIS, Remote Sensing, and Drone Photogrammetry. To meet these expectations, a student will be required to research a current topic of the published papers, write an abstract that relates a general synopsis of the research paper, develop a presentation around the findings, and provide a presentation. A student required to create and deliver a PowerPoint presentation in one of the seminar topics. Moreover, a student is expected to ask competent and probing questions of speakers.

GEOL 5303: Advanced GPS Methods and Applications (3 Credit Hour) This course is designed for graduate students to demonstrate a clear understanding of the GPS signal, codes and biases, describe the differences between relative and autonomous GPS positioning, code phase carrier phase, DGPS and RTK. Students will learn the practical applications of GPS and the implications of its modernization. Lectures on GPS fundamentals will be augmented with hands- on training using the GPS equipment. Students will use the GPS equipment to perform survey and mapping. Final project is required.

CVEN 5370: GIS Applications in Engineering (3 Credit Hour)The course is designed to help students understand the knowledge of GIS and how it can be applied in the fields of engineering. Students in this course are expected to: 1) understand the basic theory of GIS; 2) understand the basic theory of relation database; 3) understand and operate a database through the SQL language. All lectures will be based on a real database.

COSC 5311: Data Mining (3 Credit Hour) Introduction to basic concepts behind data mining. A survey of data mining applications, techniques and models. Topics may include decision tables, classification rules, association rules, clustering, statistical and linear models.

COSC 5340: Advanced Data Science and Big Data Analysis (3 Credit Hour) This course is designed to help students analyze data using advanced data science and technology, compare and evaluate the effectiveness of various data science techniques for real-world applications, and design and develop projects using popular programming languages.

GEOL 5398: Thesis (6 Credit Hour); ONLY for Thesis-based option A thesis course is an independent research course in which a student conduct Thesis research with the guidance of the thesis advisor.