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