The Geospatial Science and Engineering Ph.D. is a novel interdisciplinary program that integrates advanced coursework in the sciences and engineering with cutting-edge research to advance the emerging field of Geographic Information Sciences (GISc). The focus of GISc is on understanding geospatial data and transforming the data into relevant information through its acquisition, processing, characterization, analysis, and modeling.
The program consists of faculty from the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Geography, and Natural Resource Management. Current faculty research interests range broadly, and include quantitative remote sensing, sensor design and calibration, land cover and land use change, geography, hydrology, landscape ecology, climate change, and fire science as well as applications of geospatial technologies in natural resource management, public health, agriculture, and other fields. The program seeks highly motivated students with strong backgrounds in the geospatial sciences or a closely-related field to compliment these efforts.
Program coursework is offered in classroom, laboratory, and field-based settings.
Facilities and Services
The program facilities are housed in various locations on campus at SDSU, including the Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence in Wecota Hall, Image Processing Laboratory in Daktronics Engineering Hall, as well at the United States Geological Survey’s Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science near Baltic, South Dakota.
Available Options for Graduate Degrees
Doctor of Philosophy 60 Credit Plan
90 Credit Plan
Students may declare a specialization in Remote Sensing Geography or Remote Sensing Engineering; or elect to pursue a degree in interdisciplinary geospatial science.
Additional Admission Requirements
Admission to the GSE program is competitive and limited by the availability of personnel, facilities, and funding necessary to provide quality graduate education. GSE is a multidisciplinary program with participating faculty members from several departments. The scope of the geospatial sciences is broad, and individual faculty members will only advise students within their particular area of specialization. Financial support for students is provided by individual faculty members through their research grants or other funding sources. Students can also bring their own funding, which could be obtained through a fellowship program or through the support of their employer. For these reasons, the application process is highly competitive, and meeting the minimum standards does not guarantee admission. In particular, the critical criterion for admission into the PhD program is that a GSE faculty member must agree to serve as the student’s advisor.
Before applying to the program, prospective students are strongly encouraged to contact individual faculty to identify prospective advisors, discuss their research interests and educational goals, and determine if graduate research assistantships are available. Prospective students may also contact Dr. Michael Wimberly, the program coordinator, for additional information.
All applications must meet the admission criteria of the Graduate School before being accepted into the GSE program, and formal offers of graduate assistantships will not be made until students have been officially accepted by the Graduate School.
TOEFL: Score of 525 paper-based, 197 computer-based, 71 Internet-based
Two letters of recommendation from persons acquainted with the academic ability and professional competency of the applicant should be sent directly to the GSE graduate coordinator.
Applicants must provide a letter describing their research interests and academic goals in pursuing a Ph.D. and identifying one or more faculty members as potential advisors. The letter of intent should be sent directly to the GSE graduate coordinator.