Aug 06, 2020  
USC Catalogue 2017-2018 
USC Catalogue 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Spatial Informatics (MS)

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Viterbi School of Engineering, Department of Computer Science, Informatics Program

Program Director: Cyrus Shahabi, PhD

Program Associate Director: Craig Knoblock, PhD

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Spatial Sciences Institute

Program Director: John P. Wilson, PhD

Program Associate Director: Susan H. Kamei, PhD

The Master of Science in Spatial Informatics is a cross-disciplinary joint degree program offered by the Viterbi School of Engineering and the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Students must be admitted by both the Viterbi School of Engineering and the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Geospatial data accessibility, spatial decision support systems and geospatial problem solving environments are revolutionizing most industries and disciplines, including health care, marketing, social services, human security, education, environmental sustainability and transportation. Spatial informatics professionals draw upon engineering, computer science and spatial sciences principles to solve data-intensive, large-scale, location-based problems.

The USC Master of Science in Spatial Informatics provides students with the knowledge and skills to:

  • Understand and contribute toward the significant technical and societal challenges created by large location-based data environments, including architecture, security, integrity, management, scalability, artificial intelligence topics and distribution;
  • Understand the principles and application of informatics and geographic information science (GIS), and the goals of enterprise information intelligence and analytics; and
  • Utilize technical, engineering and GIS skills coupled with informatics capabilities to intelligently mine data to provide enterprise-centric solutions for diverse societal issues.

Students complete a core set of courses to provide a foundation in information engineering, analysis and spatial thinking with their choice of electives to optimize preparation for their preferred career path and unique professional opportunities.

Students will understand the overall field of data analytics, the role of the analyst and/or data scientist and the domains where spatial informatics skills can be applied to critical organization missions. They will understand how data management, data visualization and artificial intelligence techniques (specifically data mining and machine learning) are critical to the spatial analysis process and how these can be applied to real world challenges. Throughout their course work, students will assemble a digital portfolio of work product that is intended to help them demonstrate their capabilities and skills for the job market.

Applicants to this program are expected to have a previous degree in science, technology, engineering, math or a related social science with at least a 3.0 overall GPA and satisfactory GRE Test results. Programming experience or at least a year of calculus is required for admission.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 32 units with an overall cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 is required for the MS in Spatial Informatics. Students should consult with an academic adviser prior to registering for any classes.

Required Courses (6 courses/24 units)

Spatial and Informatics Elective Courses (2-3 courses/8 units)

 SSCI 596  and ENGR 596  are optional.


*SSCI 582  meets the CSCI 585  prerequisite for CSCI 587  and must be taken before it.

**SSCI 596  may be taken in addition to one of the 4-unit SSCI elective courses, but SSCI 596  by itself does not fulfill the Spatial Sciences elective requirement.

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