MPS Course List

This program offers both a Master's degree and Graduate Certificate in GIS. The Master's degree requires 31 credits (11 courses) to complete while the Graduate Certificate requires 12 credits (4 courses). The following courses are offered in the MPSGIS program:

Course #
Course Title
Prereq (P)
Core (C)
Elective (E)
Credits
Introduction to Quantitative Methods for GIS
P
3
Introduction to GIS
P
2
Introduction to Remote Sensing
P
2
Introduction to Computer Programming
P
2
Spatial Statistics
C
3
Digital Image Processing and Analysis
C
3
Spatial Analysis
C
3
Programming and Scripting for GIS
C
3
Web Programming
C
3
Internet GIS
E
3
GIS and Spatial Modeling
E
3
Spatial Database System
C
3
Mobile GIS
E
3
Advanced Remote Sensing using Lidar
E
3
Open Source GIS
E
3
Professional Practices Seminars
C
1
Project Management
E
3
Professional Project (Capstone)
C
3
Fundamentals of Geospatial Intelligence
E
3
Big Data Analytics
E
3

Prerequisite Courses

GEOG506: Introduction to Quantitative Methods for the Geographic Sciences
This course provides an introduction to quantitative methods for geographic and environmental sciences. The class covers the fundamentals of statistical analysis including data display, data description and summary, statistical inference and significance tests, analysis of variance, correlation, and regression. The main goal of this class is to provide a foundation in the quantitative analysis of spatial and other data. Students will 1) develop an understanding of important theoretical concepts in statistical analysis and 2) gain experience in the application of statistics to spatial and other data using statistical software.

  • Prerequisites: Admission to the MPSGIS program. Credits received for this course will not count toward degree.
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG579 and GEOG579B: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing
An introduction to geographic information systems and remote sensing. Topics include methods of obtaining quantitative information from remotely-sensed images, interpretation of remotely-sensed images for spatial and environmental relationships, characteristics and organization of geographic data including spatial data models for thematic mapping and map analysis and use of geographic information systems in society, government, and business. Practical experience with remote sensing software and geographic information systems.

  • Prerequisites: Admission to the MPSGIS program. Credits received for this course will not count toward degree.
  • 2 credits each [Back To Course List]

GEOG579C: Introduction to Computer Programming
This course is an introduction to computer programming using the Python programming language. It is recommended for students before they enroll in the more advanced programming courses. This course teaches students the fundamentals concepts of computer science. The students will learn about the core components of a computer program, such as data management, conditional statements, iterative statements, and file processing. Students will develop programs the purpose of automating tasks and assisting with data analysis.

  • Prerequisites: Admission to the MPSGIS program. Credits received for this course will not count toward degree
  • 2 credits [Back To Course List]

Standard Courses

GEOG651: Spatial Statistics
This course is about quantitative analysis of spatial data. It is intended to provide a broad survey of various spatial statistic methods. The course is geared towards helping students: (1) develop an understanding of the important theoretical concepts in spatial data analysis; and (2) gain practical experience in application of spatial statistics to a variety of social and environmental problems using advanced statistical software. This course covers five broad topical areas: (1) point pattern analysis; (2) area data analysis; (3) continuous data analysis; (4) spatial sampling; and (5) multivariate spatial and temporal analysis.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in elementary statistics (GEOG506) and introductory GIS (GEOG579)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG652: Digital Image Processing and Analysis
Digital image processing and analysis applied to satellite and aircraft land remote sensing data. Consideration is given to preprocessing steps including calibration and georegistration. Analysis methods include digital image exploration, feature extraction thematic classification, change detection, and biophysical characterization. Example applications will be reviewed.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in basic remote sensing concepts (GEOG579B)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG653: Spatial Analysis
This course is designed to help students develop a comprehensive and systematic understanding of spatial analysis methods and learn practical skills in using GIS and spatial analysis to discover features of spatial distribution. The class covers the methods of spatial analysis including measuring aspects of geometric features and identifying spatial patterns of geospatial objects that are represented as point, line, network, areal data, and 3-D surfaces. Spatial statistics, geospatial processing, and modeling will be used for analyzing the data. In terms of the software used in this class, besides the ArcGIS Desktop suite, we will be migrating to ArcGIS Pro, which is a new platform that represents the current trend in GIS field.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in basic GIS (GEOG579)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG656: Programming and Scripting for GIS
This course teaches programming and scripting for GIS users. The concepts of scripting and object-oriented programming using the Python programming language are reviewed. This course teaches students to design clearly structured programs and introduces ArcPy, a library providing access to ArcGIS geoprocessing tools. ArcPy includes a series of modules such as data access, mapping, spatial analysis, and network analysis. Students will develop geoprocessing programs to edit, query, manipulate, and analyze spatial data (both vector and raster data) with Python, ArcPy, and other modules like NumPy.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in basic computer programming or logical thinking (GEOG579C)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG657: Web Programming
Component-based web server design and efficient session and secure access management have become challenges to provide fast, robust, and flexible GIS services on the Internet.  This course is designed to teach fundamental techniques required in developing both client-side and server-side web application for not only GIS but also non-GIS applications. This course covers web design and static web generation using HTML5 and CSS, client-side programming with JavaScript, and dynamic web development using PHP and MySQL. Basic web design using HTML, XHTML, CSS, etc. is helpful, but not required.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in basic computer programming (GEOG579C or GEOG656)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG677: Internet GIS
This course is designed to: (1) introduce the concepts and theories that are related to an increasingly important technology – Internet/Web GIS; (2) introduce various technologies or techniques for creating, analyzing, and disseminating GIS data and services via the Internet. The topics covered include the hardware/software structure of the Internet (e.g. server-client model, TCP/IP protocol), the evolution of Web GIS, and most importantly, different technology options. Students will be required to practice almost all of the Web GIS tools including Google Map API, ArcGIS Server, JavaScript API, GeoJSON, Mapbox, and Leaflet. Students will also be exposed to the experience of working with the cloud environment such as AWS EC2 and ArcGIS Online

  • Prerequisites: It is recommended students have some background in basic web design (GEOG657), but not required
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG654: GIS and Spatial Modeling
This course introduces advanced techniques in GIS data manipulation, geostatistics, and geospatial modeling. The fundamental theories behind analytical and modeling techniques are covered in detail, including model design, construction, evaluation, and application. The theoretical knowledge will be enforced by a series of intensive computer exercises using real data sets. The course covers descriptive and predictive GIS modeling techniques, including regression modeling, suitability modeling, hydrological modeling, and agent-based modeling.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in GIS and spatial analysis (GEOG653)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG655: Spatial Database System
This course is designed to help students understand, analyze, design, and implement spatial databases. Topics covered include: spatial data models, spatial query languages, database architecture, data storage and indexing, SQL, data mining, etc. Oracle and ArcSDE are used to design database in GIS context.

GEOG650: Mobile GIS
The emergence of highly-capable mobile devices has opened new opportunity for location-based services. Mobile apps are generally classified into web apps and native apps. This course covers how to develop, test, and publish mobile GIS web apps and native apps working across multiple mobile platforms (Android, iOS, etc.).This course uses the jQuery Mobile framework to create visually rich, interactive mobile web apps and the PhoneGap framework to compile hybrid web-native apps. This course also leverages the capabilities of various APIs such as Google Maps to develop and publish mobile GIS apps.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in web development and programming (GEOG657)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG660: Advanced Remote Sensing using Lidar
This course will expand on remote sensing concepts with a focus on light detection and ranging (lidar) technology. Lidar, also known as laser scanning, is an active remote sensing tool that can produce high resolution point clouds. This course will cover the fundamentals of lidar, explore current developments in lidar technology, and discuss different applications where it is being used. Students will get hands-on learning about lidar data management, processing, and analysis. It is recommended that students have a some background in spatial modeling and computer programming.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in passive remote sensing analysis (GEOG652)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG788A: Open Source GIS
Students will learn to use Free and Open Source Software for GIS (FOSS4g) to conduct GIS analysis and articulate the strengths and weaknesses of FOSS4g compared to commercial offerings. Students will be introduced to advanced concepts and techniques including enterprise GIS, spatial SQL, parallel processing, and displaying the results of GIS analysis over the Internet - something very few professional know how to do. Students will learn how to use the FOSS4g products QGIS, PostGRES/PostGIS, and Geoserver into their technology stack and will become familiar with using spatial SQL for solving GIS and database related tasks.

GEOG795: Professional Practices Seminars
This course will provide a preparation for students who are embarking upon professional careers with government agencies, companies, and other institutions who utilize geographic information science and technologies. The topics covered in this class include but not limited to: expectations and requirements of GIS professionals in government agencies from a manager perspective, understanding about Enterprise GIS, GIS data and services in DC, Maryland and Virginia, how to develop Resume and portfolio as a GIS professional, review of latest developments in the GIS field, research seminars in GIS and remote sensing, etc. Alumni from the MPSGIS program are also invited to talk about their GIS career in real world. The content of the class may vary in different years.

GEOG796: GIS Project Management
This course covers project management methodology emphasizing implementing geographic information systems and integrating geospatial information sciences into broader projects. Topics include project initiation, planning, scope, scheduling, budgeting and risk management.

GEOG797: Capstone - Professional Project
Each student must undertake a project as a demonstration of his/her competence in geospatial science and technologies. The data and materials for this project can originate from an internship, or from relevant work experience at the student's current employer. The Department of Geographical Sciences will work with each student individually to determine the best mechanism for obtaining the necessary data and experience. Under the direction of a faculty advisor, the student will prepare a project report which shall contain an explanation of the requirements for the work, a technical account of the activities undertaken, including a literature review, a description of the methods and approaches taken, a critical discussion of the results obtained, along with conclusions and recommendations developed from the project. The final project will consist of a full-fledged GIS application that is up and running and can be tested. This will enable the student to present potential employers with a portfolio containing an example of their ability to manage and develop a GIS application project and will show that they understand how to apply the technology to real world situations.

  • Prerequisites: None, but it should be your final course in MPSGIS
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG661: Fundamentals of Geospatial Intelligence
Cross-listed with MPS GEOINT. See their website for course listing and details: https://geospatial.umd.edu/education/course-list.

GEOG663: Big Data Analytics
Cross-listed with MPS GEOINT. See their website for course listing and details: https://geospatial.umd.edu/education/course-list.

Map with GEOG - Lefrak location
GEOG650: Mobile GIS