MASTER OF SCIENCE IN
Spatial Data Science

Use new sources of location data to develop solutions to complex problems that impact people and the environment.

DEGREE TYPE
Master of Science
MODE OF STUDY
Online
ADMISSION
Year Round
REQUIREMENTS
33-36 credits
COMPLETION TIME
2-3 Years
TUITION
$1007 per credit hour

Program Overview

Our Master of Science in Spatial Data Science degree program is designed to prepare students with the analytical and technical capabilities needed to design new geospatial solutions that go beyond typical GIS applications. With courses focused on advanced spatial methods and applications, and a mentored capstone learning experience, graduates of this program will possess the scientific, technical, and leadership competencies required to research, design, and evaluate geospatial technologies in a wide range of decision-making contexts.

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spatial data
Spatial Data

Explain and communicate the distinguishing characteristics of spatial data, including how they are created, sensed, stored, manipulated, and represented.

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diagram of interacting data
Analysis

Leverage advances in geocomputation, geovisual analytics, open geospatial data, and strategic spatial thinking to develop ethically responsible and reproducible data science workflows.

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solutions
Solutions

Architect and implement interactive geovisual analytical frameworks that advance the state of the art in spatial data science and solve real-world problems.

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decision making
Decision-Making

Research, critique, and map spatial analysis results in support of analytical reasoning and ethical decision-making in a variety of data-intensive spatial data science contexts.

Prepared for the Future


Graduates of this program will be able to create new analysis tools and geographic visualizations to support decision-making in a variety of real-world contexts by gaining expertise at the intersection of geographic and data science.

Curriculum

The Master of Science in Spatial Data Science is a 33-36-credit degree program in which it is also possible to earn a Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Programming and Web Map Development, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in GIS, or certificates in Remote Sensing and Geospatial Intelligence while studying completely online. The degree program consists of a combination of required courses (15 credits), elective courses (15 credits), and a capstone project or thesis (3-6 credits). Students must complete at least 18 credits of 500/600 level courses to earn the M.S. in Spatial Data Science.

The typical student course load is expected to be three to five courses per year. It is recommended that students take only one course at a time.

COURSE NUMBERTITLENEXT OFFERINGTECHNOLOGY
GEOG 485 GIS Programming and Software Development Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, Python
GEOG 486 Cartography and Visualization Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Pro, Mapbox, Mapbox Studio, Tableau
GEOG 580 Geovisual Analytics Spring 1, 2023 ArcGIS Insights, ArcGIS Pro, CARTO, Tableau
GEOG 583 Geospatial System Analysis and Design Fall 2, 2022 Varies
GEOG 586 Geographic Information Analysis Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Pro, GeoDa, R

Each of these courses is three credits.

COURSE NUMBERTITLENEXT OFFERINGTECHNOLOGY
GEOG 480 Exploring Imagery and Elevation Data in GIS Applications Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Pro
GEOG 481 Topographic Mapping with Lidar Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Pro, GeoCue LP360
GEOG 482 Making Maps that Matter with GIS Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Story Maps, Python
GEOG 483 Problem Solving with GIS Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Story Maps
GEOG 484 GIS Database Development Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, ModelBuilder
GEOG 489 Advanced Python Programming for GIS Fall 2, 2022 Anaconda, ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, GDAL, Github, Jupyter, OGR, OpenStreetMap, Python, QGIS, R
GEOG 585 Open Web Mapping Fall 2, 2022 CSS, GDAL, GeoServer, HTML, Javascript, Leaflet, OGR, OpenLayers, OpenStreetMap, QGIS, TileMill
GEOG 589 Emerging Trends in Remote Sensing Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, Google Earth Engine, Javascript, Python
GEOG 861 The Earth is Round and Maps are Flat: Spatial Reference Systems in GIS Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Pro, Geocart
GEOG 863 Web Application Development for the Geospatial Professional Spring 2, 2023 ArcGIS API for Javascript, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Web AppBuilder, CodePen, CSS, HTML, Javascript, Portal for ArcGIS
GEOG 865 Cloud and Server GIS Fall 2, 2022 Amazon Web Services, ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Server, CARTO, HTML, Javascript, Mapbox, Portal for ArcGIS
GEOG 868 Spatial Database Management Spring 1, 2023 Amazon Web Services, ArcGIS Pro, ArcSDE/Multiuser Geodatabases, PostgreSQL/PostGIS, QGIS, SQL
GEOG 871 Geospatial Technology Project Management Fall 2, 2022 Microsoft Project, Project Libre
GEOG 883 Remote Sensing Image Analysis and Applications Spring 1, 2023 Amazon Web Services, ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, eCognition Developer
GEOG 884 GIS for the Geospatial Intelligence Professional Spring 1, 2023 ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, CARTO, GeoDa, QGIS
GEOG 885 Advanced Analytic Methods in Geospatial Intelligence Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, Google Maps, QGIS
GEOG 892 Unmanned Aerial Systems Spring 2, 2023 Pix4D

The following courses are not offered by the Geography Department but may be used as electives. See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

  • DAAN 862: Analytics Programming in Python
  • DAAN 871: Data Visualization
  • IE 575: Foundations of Predictive Analytics
  • STAT 500: Applied Statistics
  • STAT 508: Applied Data Mining and Statistical Learning

COURSE NUMBERTITLENEXT OFFERINGTECHNOLOGY
GEOG 487 Environmental Applications of GIS Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Story Maps, OpenStreetMap, Prezi
GEOG 571 Intelligence Analysis, Cultural Geography, and Homeland Security Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Story Maps, Google MyMaps, Portal for ArcGIS
GEOG 581 Spatial Data Science Ethics Summer, 2023
GEOG 587 Conservation GIS Spring 1, 2023 ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, QGIS, R
GEOG 591 GIS for Analysis of Health N/A ArcGIS, GeoDa, R
GEOG 850 Location Intelligence for Business Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Online, Claritas PRIZM, Esri Business Analyst Online (BAO), US Census Bureau
GEOG 858 Spatial Data Science for Emergency Management Fall 1, 2023 ArcGIS Pro
GEOG 871 Geospatial Technology Project Management Fall 2, 2022 Microsoft Project, Project Libre
GEOG 882 Geographic Foundations of Geospatial Intelligence Fall 2, 2022

The following courses are not offered by the Geography Department but may be used as electives. See the  Graduate Bulletin for details.

  • APDEM 802: Data, GIS, and Applied Demography
  • SOC 579: Spatial Demography
  • GEODZ 511: Geodesign History, Theory, Principles
  • GEODZ 822: Geodesign Models I: Decision and Evaluation
  • METEO 810: Weather and Climate Datasets
  • MKTG 811: Driving Business Success with Marketing Analytics

With mentorship from a faculty advisor, students may choose a capstone course (3 credits) or thesis option (6 credits) to fulfill their culminating experience requirement and demonstrate integration of knowledge and research experience acquired during their time in the spatial data science degree program.

Students who choose the capstone course option (GEOG 570) must produce a work product, paper suitable for publication, and formal oral presentation that demonstrates analytical thinking and synthesis of knowledge in the field of spatial data science. Students are encouraged to utilize an industry internship or current employer to identify a relevant or practical problem of importance that spatial data science methods could address and to advance the state of the art in order to solve that problem.

Students who choose the thesis option (GEOG 600) must write and defend, at an oral examination, a thesis based upon original research in the field of spatial data science. The thesis will demonstrate depth of knowledge to their advisor, a second reader, and the director of the SDS graduate program. Students who choose the thesis option for their culminating experience are expected to take two years to complete the degree.

COURSE NUMBERTITLENEXT OFFERINGTECHNOLOGY
GEOG 570 Capstone in Spatial Data Science N/A Varies
GEOG 600 Thesis Research N/A Varies

Ready to advance your skills in Spatial Data Science?