Master's in GISc Curriculum

The MS in geographic information science requires completion of a minimum of 48 total credit hours, including all required courses.

View full course descriptions on the official Graduate Bulletin.

Program Structure

There are seven required graduate-level courses for a total of 28 credit hours. Students can enroll in elective courses to meet the additional 20 credit hours required for a total of 48 credit hours.

  • Required coursework for on-campus and online programs

    GEOG 3000 Advanced Geographic Statistics - 4 credit hours

    GEOG 3010 Geographic Information Analysis - 4 credit hours

    GEOG 3140 Database Design - 4 credit hours

    GEOG 3150 Project Management - 4 credit hours

    GEOG 3200 or GIS 4700 Remote Sensing - 4 credit hours

    GEOG 4020 Research Methods - 4 credit hours

    GEOG 4993 Capstone Project - 4 credit hours

  • Additional online MS course schedule information

    Online MS GISc students work with their advisor to create a degree plan. These are the courses typically offered online each quarter.

    Online students will fulfill their electives through completion of the GIS certificate program.

    Fall quarter

    • GEOG 3150 - GIS Project Management
    • GEOG 4020 - Geographic Research Methods 
    • GEOG 3010 - Geographic Information Analysis 
    • GEOG 4993 - Capstone Project

    Winter quarter

    • GEOG 3000 - Advanced Geographic Statistics
    • GEOG 3140 - GIS Database Design
    • GEOG 3150 - GIS Project Management

    Spring quarter

    • GEOG 4020 - Geographic Research Methods
    • GEOG 3010 - Geographic Information Analysis
    • GEOG 4993 - Capstone Project

    Summer quarter 2020

    • GEOG 3000 - Advanced Geographic Statistics 

    Summer quarter 2021

    • GEOG 3140 - GIS Database Design

Advising

  • On-campus program advising

    Upon entering this graduate program, each student is initially advised by the director of graduate studies for the department. The student will identify a program advisor during the first quarter of study. Students work with their advisor to create their individualized degree plan and to assemble the student's committee.

    After the plan and timeline has been developed, the proposal will be presented to the committee for approval. Upon approval, the student advances to MS degree candidacy.

  • Online program advising

    The MS GISc program director will be your program advisor for online studies.

    Upon acceptance to the program, you will work with your program advisor to outline your course of study and discuss your capstone project ideas.

Capstone Project

Both online and on-campus students will be required to produce a final project of professional quality demonstrating their ability to apply geographic information science to a chosen area of specialization.

Capstone projects address a need for an identified company, agency, non-governmental organization or faculty member, referred to as the client. Projects may be predominantly technical or may include a research component and will be utilized by the client. Students must demonstrate mastery of one or more geo-technologies.

In designing their project, on-campus students should work with a client identified by their advisor to define the project's scope, function and purpose and gather data and other resources needed to accomplish the defined objectives. The client will serve as a member of the student's proposal and final presentation committee. The completed project must include the following:

  1. Written report
  2. Digital and/or print copies of data, maps and software produced
  3. User guide(s) if appropriate
  • On-Campus Capstone Project

    Capstone proposal and presentation

    Students must formally present a capstone project proposal for faculty committee approval. Proposals should be presented and approved within the student's first 34 credit hours of the MS program.

    Ongoing project review

    The capsone project is directed by the student's advisor and evaluated by at least the two other members of the committee. Sometimes, an additional reviewer within the department or from another university or agency may be consulted to enhance the quality of the work. All suggestions and comments should flow through the advisor to the student.

    Once the advisor finds the project is ready for presentation, the final draft, including tables, graphics and illustrations in final form, are made available to the committee before the fifth week of the quarter in which they intend to make their final presentation.

    Final presentation

    Upon completion the required coursework and their approved project, each student will schedule and prepare for their final presentation. Presentations will address the pre-approved requirements of the project and related research. The examining committee will be composed of the advisor, at least one other geography faculty member and a representative of the client organization served during the capstone experience.

    Final presentations must be made prior to the last two weeks in the quarter in which the student is graduating. 

  • Online Capstone Project

    Capstone proposal and presentation

    Students will work with their program advisor to determine an appropriate capstone project. Project proposals should be finalized within the student's first 34 credit hours of the MS program.

    Final presentation

    Upon completion the required coursework and their approved project, each student will schedule and prepare for their final presentation. Presentations will address the pre-approved requirements of the project and related research. The advisor will work with the client to evaluate student presentations. 

    Students will work with their program advisor to schedule their presentation near the end of the academic quarter in which the student is graduating. 

Graduation

DU's Office of Graduate Education establishes various deadlines for graduation at the end each academic quarter. Students must be aware of these deadlines.

In order to be eligible for graduations, the capstone project and all other degree requirements must be completed within five years from the student's date of enrollment in the program. No extensions will be granted by the geography department.