2016-2017 Academic Catalog 
    Jul 21, 2024  
2016-2017 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bachelor of Arts/Master of Science in Geographic Information Science, BA/MS

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Who is Eligible

Students majoring in geography, global environmental studies, earth system science, economics, international development and social change, or environmental science and policy can apply to the accelerated B.A./M.S. program in Geographic Information Science.


To be eligible for the M.S. program in GISc, a student must meet all university requirements for entry into the Accelerated Degree Program (ADP), as well as have completed required course work Geography 190 Introduction to Geographic Information Science , IDCE 388 - Advanced Vector GIS , GEOG 293 - Introduction to Remote Sensing , and

 / , by the end of their senior year (two courses in senior year only must be at 300 level). A GPA of 3.6 (aggregate of sophomore and junior year Clark GPA) is required for entry into this program, although students not meeting this requirement may petition the Dean of Academic Advising for a waiver. The 3.6 GPA or higher must then be maintained for their senior year. Applicants must complete two semesters of Honors Thesis and successfully defend an Honors Thesis in their senior year, although in some circumstances students may opt to enroll in the honors program for the spring semester of the junior year and fall semester of the senior year.

In accordance with these requirements, students who have declared their intention to apply for the Accelerated Degree Program (ADP) must submit a formal application to the Graduate School through the Graduate Admissions online application portal by May 1 of their junior year. Final offers of admission will be made by the Graduate Dean.

Program of Study

The M.S. degree in Geographic Information Science requires the completion of 10 graduate course credits, two of which are taken during the senior year and two of which are completed during the summer between the senior year and the ADP year. Three of the 10 credits are devoted to the completion of a master’s research project. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Senior year: GEOG 397 - Advanced Raster GIS  - please note prerequisites for GEOG 397  are GEOG 190: Intro to GIS  and  IDCE 388 - Advanced Vector GIS;  . (NOTE: In the senior year only two 300-level courses must be completed to transfer to the ADP transcript). Candidates for the ADP program are also required to develop a Master’s thesis project proposal, with a signed statement of support from a faculty sponsor who will act as the MS thesis advisor.
  • Summer following senior year: a one-credit internship in GIS related field. This internship is focused on database development for the Master’s thesis. Typically, this course is completed off-campus. The student will work in the GIS field either as a paid or unpaid intern at least 20 hours per week and requires frequent communication with the student’s advisor. Details of the mechanism for this communication must be included in the master’s thesis project proposal. By August 1 a letter from the internship supervisor/advisor must be sent to the MS GIS program director showing that the student satisfactorily completed the internship in order to receive credit.
  • Accelerated Degree Program (ADP) year: six graduate course credits (three per semester), of which one credit each semester will be devoted to the completion of the Master’s research thesis project. In April the student will be required to give an oral presentation of the findings of the Master’s research thesis, along with other students in the program. In addition, the student must submit to the M.S. Thesis committee, by the end of the spring semester, a Master’s thesis of publication quality certified by the student’s thesis committee.
  • Summer following ADP year: a one-credit directed research in MS Thesis where the student is fully engaged in final stages of the Master’s thesis preparation and with plans to defend the thesis by July 15 (committee includes thesis advisor, two readers) and submit a final approved PDF of the MS Thesis to the department by August 1.

Of the six courses not associated with the Master’s thesis and internship (taken during the senior and ADP years), a minimum of four must be directly associated with Geographic Information Science and two may be electives associated with the application area of specific interest to the student.

Lab Fee

Students are required to pay a one-time Program Fee of $1,000 which is assessed in the first semester of graduate study. In addition, students in the Geography GIS program pay a $500 lab fee in both fall and spring semesters because of the very heavy costs associated with hardware and software licensing in the GIS and Image Processing area.

Graduate students also pay a $15.00 activity fee in the fall and in the spring semester and a one-time Enrollment Fee of $100 in the first semester of graduate study.

Contact Person

(Signature required on Accelerated Degree Program Advisor Form)

Professor John Rogan

School of Geography

Jefferson Academic Center, Room 104

(508) 793-7562


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