Feb 26, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Geographic Information Science and Technology (MS)

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(213) 740-8298
Email: watsonke@usc.edu

Director: John P. Wilson, PhD

The online MS in Geographic Information Science and Technology requires 28 units of graduate work and provides state-of-the-art training in the core geographic information technologies (geographic information systems, global positioning systems and remote sensing, among others) and the underlying scientific principles and concepts that guide their design and use. The individual courses incorporate multiple curricular pathways tailored to the increasingly diverse backgrounds, occupations and applications that rely on geospatial data, analysis and visualization.

Course Requirements

Twenty-eight units of graduate work are required.

Additional Requirements

All electives are chosen in direct consultation with the student’s academic adviser based on background, academic interests, etc.

The courses in this program are open to students living and/or working anywhere, including students at USC’s Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento and Washington, D.C. centers. The master’s program can be completed in two to three years as long as students take one or two courses in each of the fall, spring and summer semesters. Continuous enrollment in the fall, spring and summer terms is required in this program, including SSCI 594a , SSCI 594b  and SSCI 594z  summer registration.

Admission Requirements

Four groups of students are served by this program:

  1. New students who wish to apply directly to the geographic information science and technology master’s program.
  2. Students currently enrolled in the geographic information science and technology graduate certificate program since this certificate program may serve as a possible “stepping stone” toward the master’s program.
  3. Students currently matriculated in a USC master’s or doctoral degree program.
  4. USC undergraduate students who want to stay for a fifth year and earn both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Candidates for admission among the first two groups of students must have: (1) a BA or BS degree or its international equivalent; (2) a minimum 3.0 GPA (A = 4.0). All course work taken at the undergraduate level is used to calculate the GPA. Exceptions will be made in cases of very high GRE scores or some other compelling evidence of potential to excel in graduate studies (e.g., outstanding letters of recommendation). Preference will be given to candidates with significant professional experience working with geographic information systems and related geospatial technologies.

Application Procedures

Applicants are required to submit the following documents: (1) completed application for admission, which can be found online at usc.edu/admission/graduate; (2) statement of purpose; (3) a writing sample; (4) official transcripts from all schools previously attended; (5) two letters of recommendation; and (6) results of the GRE General Test. International students must submit TOEFL scores with a minimum score of 100 on the Internetbased examination, or an IELTS score of 7.

The statement of purpose should be uploaded into the online application. This statement should: (1) describe the student’s motivation, field of interest and career goals; and (2) identify potential projects that the student might pursue for the master’s thesis project.

The master’s program utilizes rolling admissions and enrollment based on the standard academic calendar. This means that students may start the program in either the fall, spring or summer semesters.

Those interested in learning more about this program should contact Ken Watson, University of Southern California, 3616 Trousdale Parkway, AHF B55B, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0374.

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