GIST Online Graduate Level Courses


NC State has numerous courses in geospatial information science and technology and continues to develop new and exciting GIST online graduate level courses. The courses listed below serve as the foundation of our MGIST and Graduate Certificate programs, as well as our graduate minors. A number of other courses also exist across campus with GIS components, including in Soil Science, Engineering, Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and many others. Students should consult with their advisors and the course catalog for specifics on those offerings. Many of these courses are offered online and on-campus. Current students should consult the current course catalog for available sections.

For those interested in taking individual courses without enrolling in a degree or certificate program, you must first enroll as a Non-Degree Studies (NDS) Student. To learn more about enrolling as an NDS student or registering for courses, visit our apply page.

Clicking on a course title below will lead you to a full description for that course. Topics and schedules are subject to change and students enrolled in the course should refer to the current semester’s syllabus presented by the instructor. GIST graduate level courses offered online are labelled ‘online‘ while courses meeting in a traditional classroom setting are labelled ‘classroom.‘

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
GIS 501 Geospatial Professionalism (8 week course) 2
GIS 510 Fundamentals of Geospatial Information Science and Technology 3
GIS 512 Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing 3
GIS 515 Cartographic Design 2
GIS 520 Spatial Problem Solving 3
GIS 521 Surface Water Hydrology with GIS 3
GIS 530 Spatial Data Foundations 3
GIS 540 Geospatial Programming Fundamentals 3
GIS 550 Geospatial Data Structures and Web Services 3
GIS 582 Geospatial Modeling 3
GIS 590 Geospatial Information Science Master’s Project 3
GIS 609 Geospatial Forum 1
GIS 630 Independent Study 1-3
GIS 660 MGIST Professional Portfolio 1
GIS 595/610 Special Topics 1-3
Other Courses Additional Applied GIS Graduate Courses varies

GIS 501: Geospatial Professionalism (8 week course)

  • Credits: 2
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Setting: Online/Classroom
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet/Synchronous Discussion
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring

Students will examine a variety of topics critical to successful navigation of the geospatial profession, with an emphasis on map communication and presentation, interpreting geospatial research, the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of using spatial data, linking results to policy actions, and the landscape of geospatial certifications and credentialing. Students will engage in several writing, presentation, and interpretation exercises.

GIS 510: Fundamentals of Geospatial Information Science and Technology

  • Credits: 3
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Setting: Online
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet and Face-to-Face Help Sessions (optional)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring

This course provides an advanced overview of how geographic information systems [GIS] facilitate data analysis and communication to address common geographic problems. Students improve spatial reasoning and problem definition expertise while emphasizing geographic data models and structures, data manipulation and storage, customization through programming, and the integration of geospatial analysis and modeling into project-based problem solving applicable to a variety of disciplines. Skilled application of both desktop and cloud-based GIS software supports these areas. Extensive independent learning and computer experiences include virtual laboratory sessions, alongside optional online or in-person weekly help sessions to facilitate student learning.

 

GIS 512: Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing

  • Credits: 3
  • Prerequisite: None
  • Setting: Online and Classroom
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet, Classroom Lecture
  • Semester Offered: Fall, Spring

Principles and hands-on techniques for processing and analyzing remotely sensed data for natural resource applications. Topics include review of the electromagnetic spectrum, pre-processing [georectification, enhancements and transformations], processing [visual interpretation, indices, supervised and unsupervised classification] and post-processing [masking, change analysis and accuracy assessment] of digital image data. This course will provide students with fundamental concepts and skills needed to pursue further studies in digital processing of remotely sensed data.

 

GIS 515: Cartographic Design

  • Credits: 2
  • Prerequisite: GIS 510 (cannot be taken concurrently)
  • Setting: Online
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet, Face-to-Face Help Sessions (optional)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring

Principles of cartographic design and how to apply them to produce high-quality geographic information system [GIS] based maps. Successful students will acquire an understanding of map design and experience applying it with GIS software. Students produce project maps in both print and web media. (formerly known as Computer Cartography)

 

GIS 520: Spatial Problem Solving

  • Credits: 3
  • Prerequisite: GIS 510 (cannot be taken concurrently)
  • Setting: Online
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet, Face-to-Face Help Sessions (optional)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring

Focus is on advanced geospatial analysis and technologies. Students enhance geoprocessing skills and understanding of the analysis capabilities of geospatial technology, learn to integrate and analyze spatial data in various formats, and explore methods for displaying geographic data analysis results in decision support and modeling systems. All course materials are delivered through the Internet and student activity can be accomplished with student owned computers. (formerly known as Advanced Geospatial Analytics)

 

GIS 521: Surface Water Hydrology with GIS

  • Credits: 3
  • Prerequisite: GIS 510 (cannot be taken concurrently)
  • Setting: Online
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring

The application of geographic information systems [GIS] to surface water modeling including stream and watershed delineations, regulatory wetlands jurisdiction determinations, and flood mapping. In addition students will develop spatial computation methods to support hydrological analysis in land use planning, landscape management, and engineering assessments.

 

GIS 530: Spatial Data Foundations

  • Credits: 3
  • Prerequisite: GIS 510
  • Setting: Online
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring

This course focuses on geospatial information systems from a mathematical and information science perspective. We discuss theoretical frameworks for conceptualizing geographic data, including levels of measurement, data control, and the vector data and raster data paradigms. Then we discuss the geometric underpinnings of geospatial systems: representing data with geographic elements, spatial referencing systems, and projection. Next, we explore map-related topology and computational geometry concepts. Finally, we survey the algorithms for core spatial manipulations, such as interpolation and polygon operations. (former knows as Principles of GIS)

 

GIS 540: Geospatial Programming Fundamentals

  • Credits: 3
  • Prerequisite: GIS 510; MGIST/PhD Student (cannot be taken concurrently)
  • Setting: Online (Fall, Spring), Classroom (Spring)
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet, Classroom Lectures
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring

This course provides fundamental skills for geospatial programming. Topics include calling geographic processing tools, batch processing, performing file i/o in an external computing language and building, graphical user interfaces and displays. To support these tasks, students learn basic programming concepts, such as pseudocode, flow-control, code re-use, and debugging. In the final project, students streamline GIS work-flow and customize GIS user interfaces. Familiarity with GIS software is required, but no prior programming experience is expected.

 

GIS 550: Geospatial Data Structures and Web Services

  • Credits: 3
  • Prerequisites: GIS 540 (cannot be taken concurrently)
  • Setting: Online (Fall, Spring), Classroom (Fall)
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet, Classroom Lectures
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring

This course examines the spatial database models and structures used in geospatial information science and technology as well as the design and implementation of web and related mobile computing geospatial tools and systems. Students develop, evaluate, and deploy multiple spatial data models and web services that include connections to external data sources and systems.

 

GIS 582: Geospatial Modeling

  • Credits: 3
  • Prerequisites: GIS 510 or equivalent or Permission of Instructor
  • Setting: Online, Classroom
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet, Classroom Lectures
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring

The course explains digital representation and analysis of geospatial phenomena and provides foundations in methods and algorithms used in GIS analysis and modeling. Special focus is on terrain modeling, geomorphometry, watershed analysis and introductory GIS-based modeling of landscape process [water, sediment]. This course includes analysis from lidar data, 3D visualization, and principles of open source GIS. Introductory level knowledge of GIS or surveying/geomatics principles is required.

 

GIS 590: Geospatial Information Science Master’s Project (Capstone)

  • Credits: 3
  • Prerequisites: GIS 550 (cannot be taken concurrently)
  • Setting: Online, Classroom
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet, Weekly Synchronous Discussion (online and on-campus students meet at the same time)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring

This is the culmination course for the MGIST degree. Students will work with a community partner to design and implement a significant “real world” project addressing a complex spatial data management and analysis issue and professionally communicate solutions, outcomes and impact. The project will include interoperable spatial and non-spatial data, web services, and customized user interfaces and work flows completed in collaboration with a community partner.  Projects will emanate from contacts with private sector firms, non-profits and government agencies and be provided to the students.

  • The course provides identical content and delivery for both on-campus and DE students by using a flipped format for lectures and assignments.
  •  Course meets synchronously (DE and on-campus students meet in real time with the instructor once a week (required)

 

GIS 609: Geospatial Forum

  • Credits: 1
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Setting: Online, Classroom
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet, Live Seminars
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring

The Geospatial Forum brings together researchers, educators, practitioners, and students of the geospatial sciences in an exciting, weekly series of lively presentations and facilitated discussions centered upon frontiers in geospatial analytics and geospatial solutions to complex challenges. Live discussions are recorded and made available online for students.

 

GIS 630: Independent Study

  • Credits: 1-3
  • Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor and Program
  • Setting: Online, Classroom
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet, Face-to-Face Discussion, Off-Campus
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Advanced topics not otherwise included in curriculum for advanced graduate students on a tutorial basis. Determination of credits and content by participating faculty in consultation with Director of Graduate Programs. Departmental consent required.

 

GIS 660: MGIST Professional Portfolio

  • Credits: 1
  • Prerequisites: Currently Taking GIS 590 or Permission of Instructor
  • Setting: Online
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring

This course will focus on creating an effective digital portfolio, including content selection, description and reflection, and website organization and design. The digital portfolio will present personal MGIST program accomplishments to demonstrate individual competences through knowledge, skills, and abilities of a geospatial science professional. Intended for students in their last semester in the MGIST Program.

 

GIS 595/610: Special Topics

  • Credits: 1-3
  • Prerequisites: Varies by topic; Contact Instructor
  • Setting: Online, Classroom
  • Mode of Interaction: Internet, Classroom Lectures, Labs (depends on topic)
  • Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring (check catalog for current offerings)

Along with our standard courses that are offered most semesters, there are a revolving number of Special Topics courses meant to expose students to new and innovative topics that may be experimental or not currently part of the permanent curriculum.  Specific topics change each semester, and the current semesters offering can be found here or in the course catalog. Students should contact the instructors listed in the course schedule for more information on each course listed below. Many special topics require permission of instructor to enroll.

  • Spring 2018 Special Topics (contact instructor for details)
    • GIS 595-003/603: UAS Mapping for 3D Modeling (Helena Mitasova) (3 credits, on-campus or online)

Additional Applied GIS Graduate Courses

Students should consult the course catalog or department website for full course descriptions and availability.

  • SSC 540: GIS in Soil Science and Agriculture
  • SSC 545: Remote Sensing Applications in Soil Science and Agriculture
  • BAE 536: GIS Applications for Precision Agriculture
  • MEA 511: Introduction to Meteorological Remote Sensing
  • FOR 753: Environmental Remote Sensing
  • FOR 510: Introduction to GPS
  • PA 541: GIS for Public Administration
  • HI 535: Spatial History

 

Upcoming Deadlines

  • Apply by Oct 15 for Spring
  • Apply by April 15 for Fall

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Student Highlights

Student Project: Delineating Food Deserts in Raleigh