Academic U2G Geoinformatics MS Plan of Study

Master of Science (M.S.) Program

The geoinformatics M.S. requires completion of a minimum of 32 s.h. beyond the bachelor's degree. Twenty-one semester hours must satisfy the Informatics/Geoinformatics requirements. Thesis students may take up to six hours of thesis hours. Any remaining hours should be selected in consultation with the student’s advisor from courses relevant to the student’s particular geoinformatics focus. The requirements described here are in addition to the university-wide requirements for master's degrees described in the Graduate College Manual of Rules and Regulations, Section X.

Each student, in consultation with her/his committee, will prepare a plan of study by the end of the first semester that will be reviewed by the committee at least once each year and revised as necessary.

Degree Thesis Option

Students selecting a thesis option must submit an original contribution to scholarship in geoinformatics. This contribution can be in the form of a traditional thesis or the equivalent of one article suitable for publication in an academic journal. The student’s thesis committee must approve the student’s thesis proposal. An oral thesis defense before an examining committee will constitute the final examination.

Non-Thesis Option

In lieu of a thesis, students may choose a master’s degree designed to be completed through coursework alone over a two-year period. The program builds skills across a range of topics in participating departments in the first year. During the second year students will develop expertise in particular application areas. The student will provide the committee with a portfolio of coursework completed in the program. The committee will conduct an oral review of the content of the portfolio with the student.

Advising and Committee Composition

Each student must designate a faculty advisor from affiliated geoinformatics faculty. Once an advisor has been selected, each student, in consultation with the advisor, will select no fewer than two additional members of the graduate faculty from the core participating departments to complete their committee. The student’s advisor will chair this committee.


Students may petition the IGPI Advisory Council for deviations from the requirements outlined here.


First Semester

  • Advisor identified

Second Semester

  • Committee identified
  • For thesis students: proposal passed
  • Core informatics and geoinformatics courses completed

Third Semester

  • Geoinformatics electives completed

Fourth Semester

  • Thesis or portfolio defended