M.S. in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Course Offerings

One unit of credit equals four semester hours.

All courses are eight weeks in duration. Courses are considered “accelerated,” with 16 weeks’ worth of coursework in eight weeks. Students take one course at a time. All courses are aligned with the U.S. Department of Labor Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM).

AGS 500 Fundamentals of Geospatial Technology
.75 credit
This course provides a review of the geospatial technologies industry and the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications and analysis. It includes core concepts, such as data acquisition and management, topology, accuracy, metadata, output, quality control, analysis methods, new and traditional software options, web mapping, and GIS implementation/management for research and production. There is an emphasis on spatial skills. Required course for both graduate certificate and thesis tracks. May be waived with appropriate degree, coursework or industry experience or at the discretion of the program director.

AGS 510 Remote Sensing and Imagery Interpretation
.75 credit
This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of image processing and understanding using remotely sensed images. Applications focus on pre-processing of satellite and aerial images, remote sensing and image/video enhancement. The course will provide foundations and explore passive and active collection methods (RADAR and LiDAR), digital image composites and band combinations, image display and visualization, image enhancements and rectification, image segmentation, classification, and digital stereoscopy and evaluation techniques. Required course for both graduate certificate and thesis tracks. Prerequisite: AGS 500 or equivalent.

AGS 520 Fundamentals of Geospatial Programming
.75 credit
This course provides an introduction to automating data preparation, workflow, spatial processing (via Python), basic programming, Python syntax, variables, strings, keywords, integrated development environments, exporting ModelBuilder models to scripts, programming components of flow control, built-in data structures, debugging, file i/o, user-defined functions and modules, built-in modules, introduction to object-oriented programming, and using object classes. It also includes performing GIS analysis, batch processing, manipulating attribute tables, customizing ArcGIS Desktop with script tools and buttons by managing map layers and adding layers to maps with Python. Required course for both graduate certificate and thesis tracks. Prerequisite: AGS 510.

AGS 530 Principles of Geodatabases
.75 credit
This course includes geodatabase modeling, relational models, object-oriented data modeling with universal modeling language (UML), distributed database concepts and implementation, query language, transactions, recovery, security, ArcSDE with SQL (and/or Oracle) server, web delivery (including open source software), interoperability, Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards, and web services activities. Required course for both graduate certificate and thesis tracks. Prerequisite: AGS 520.

AGS 540 Spatial Analysis and Web Mapping
.75 credit
The first of a two-course sequence with AGS 550, this course introduces the student to data acquisition, integration, display and 3-D visualization, neighborhood and proximity operators, map algebra, cost surfaces, least cost path, emergency response applications, spatial interpolation and approximation, topographic analysis, line of sight, viewshed analysis, landform analysis, modeling of geospatial processes, and hands-on experience with several ArcGIS extensions. Required course for both graduate certificate and thesis tracks. Prerequisite: AGS 530.

AGS 550 Advanced Spatial Analysis
.75 credit
The second in a two-course sequence with AGS 540, this course includes a high-level review of geospatial data acquisition systems, sensors and associated processing technologies and high-level analysis of spatial visualizations. Course considers geospatial metadata generation principles, interoperability, and major tools for manipulation with geospatial data, as well as advanced spatial analysis activities. Required course for thesis track. Prerequisite: AGS 540.

AGS 560 Graduate Internship
.75 credit
This course experience requires the employment of the student in an internship, working for a GIS professional in the geospatial industry. The student will have a close working relationship with the employer and graduate advisor during the internship experience. Those already employed may work with employer, in an additional work-related setting and/or by completing a relevant project for employer, to learn and/or enhance GIS skills. Required course for thesis track. Prerequisite: AGS 550.

AGS 580 E-Portfolio and Research Seminar
.75 credit
Students will participate in the construction of an e-portfolio, detailing geospatial skills and experiences in preparation for their entrance into the geospatial workforce. This is the culminating course for certificate track students. Thesis track students will also begin planning for the geospatial research thesis. Required course for both graduate certificate and thesis tracks. Prerequisite: AGS 540.

AGS 590 Geospatial Thesis
.75 credit
Students will undertake a geospatial research thesis in consultation with thesis advisor and one external advisor. Once completed, the student will successfully defend thesis before a graduate thesis committee. Successful completion of the course includes a formal binding of the thesis and submission to the library. Required course for thesis track. Prerequisite: AGS 580.

AGS 591 Geospatial Capstone
.75 credit
This course is the capstone for students with a specialization in Advanced Placement Human Geography within the graduate geospatial information systems program. Based on previous coursework in both GIS and APHG, students will develop a teaching module that builds upon the spatial concepts and thinking learned in previous coursework to instruct participants how to incorporate data collection and analysis with GIS technology. Students will write a manuscript, detailing the teaching module, to be subsequently submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. Participants will successfully defend their manuscript to a committee of human geography and geospatial educators.

AGS 592 Geospatial Thesis
.75 credit
Based on content and skills taught in previous courses, students will develop a geospatial capstone project in consultation with their course instructor. The topic and methodology chosen for the project must relate to the student’s coursework and interests. Students currently employed in a GIS position may elect to use their current position for the project. Students will present their capstone project to the graduate committee for review. Required course for master’s tracks. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: AGS 500 or equivalent experience, 510, 520, 530, 540, 550, 560, 580, an approved elective course.

MBA 509 Project Management
.75 credit
This elective course teaches students the art and science of project management, as applied to a variety of business and technology settings. Students will learn and practice project techniques that relate to the five phases of project management: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing projects. The program allows students to immediately practice course concepts in various activities to create key project documents, including a business case, project charter, scope statement, WBS, and a project plan. Required for Professional Science Masters (PSM) designation in thesis track. May be taken at any time by master’s thesis track students. May be replaced with another geospatial or approved elective, if student is not attaining PSM designation. No prerequisite.

* Sub-Discipline Electives

AGS 553 Crime Mapping
.75 credit
The purpose of this course is to provide students with the theoretical, analytic and technical skills necessary for studying crime in a geographic context. The course will involve a combination of approaches to the subject, including readings, hands-on lab exercises, using mapping software and independent research projects. May be substituted for MBA 509 to complete master’s degree without PSM designation. Prerequisite: MS-GIS students: AGS 540; CSI students: AGS 500 or equivalent.

AGS 554 Topics in Geospatial Intelligence (GeoiNT)
.75 credit
This course covers topics relevant to geospatial intelligence, especially addressing emerging trends in the field, focused intelligence applications, and relevant technological advances specific to intelligence gathering, analysis and planning. Sample topics addressed in this course include geo-sensor networks, landmine detection using remote sensing techniques, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and drones in intelligence operations, and the use of virtual reality techniques for geospatial information modeling and analyst training. May be substituted for MBA 509 to complete master’s degree without PSM designation. Prerequisite: AGS 540.

MPH 535 GIS in Health Care
.75 credit
This course seeks to impart a working knowledge of geographic information systems for students seeking to complement a quantitative analysis skill set in pursuit of a career in public health, medicine, nursing, hospital administration or health research. May be substituted for MBA 509 to complete master’s degree without PSM designation. Prerequisite: MS-GIS students: AGS 540; health care students: none.

Elmhurst College reserves the right to modify courses, schedules and program format without advance notice to students.

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