Coursework

Body

For the M.S. in Geodetic Science a minimum of 30 graduate semester credit hours is required. Of those 30 graduate semester credit hours, approximately 16-24 semester credit hours are earned by completing 4 to 6 courses from 4 core areas; these courses cover basic knowledge and analytic skills required of all M.S. students in the Geodetic Science program. The remaining credit hours are fulfilled with elective courses, including research courses, in one or more areas within Geodetic Science or in related disciplines. Three standard sets of courses are pre-approved to meet requirements within the core areas, as described below. If a student chooses one of these standard sets of courses, then his/her selection of core and elective courses only requires approval by his/her advisor. Any selection of "core courses" that deviates from these 3 pre-approved sets of courses must be approved by the student's advisor and the GSC.

Courses

Except as noted below for one of the pre-approved sets of core courses, a student must complete the 2 foundational courses and 1 course chosen from each of the following 3 categories: Geodetic Science, Geomathematics, and Sensor Systems and Applications.

  1. Foundational Courses
    1. Geod Sci 5660, Geometric Reference Systems (4 semester credit hours)
    2. Geod Sci 5636, Geovisualization Geometry (4 semester credit hours)
  2. Geodetic Science
    1. Geod Sci 6776, Physical Geodesy (4 semester credit hours)
    2. Geod Sci 6777, Satellite Geodesy (3 semester credit hours)
    3. Geod Sci 5781, Geodesy and Geodynamics (3 semester credit hours)
    4. Geod Sci 6786, Geospatial Data Structures for Computer Mapping and GIS (3 sem. cr. hrs.)
    5. Earth Sci 5646, Geodynamics (3 semester credit hours)
  3. Geomathematics
    1. Geod Sci 5652, Adjustment Computations (5 semester credit hours)
    2. Earth Sci 5642, Geomathematical Analysis (3 semester credit hours)
    3. Math 5601, Essentials of Numerical Methods (3 semester credit hours)
    4. Physics 5300, Theoretical Physics (4 semester credit hours)
    5. Stat 6450, Applied Regression Analysis (4 semester credit hours)
  4. Sensor Systems and Applications
    1. CE 7442, Fundamentals of GPS and Reference Systems (4 semester credit hours)
    2. Earth Sci 5781, Gravity Exploration (3 semester credit hours)
    3. Earth Sci 5782, Magnetic Exploration (3 semester credit hours)
    4. Geod Sci 7745, Inertial Navigation/Positioning Analysis (4 semester credit hours)
    5. Earth Sci 5650, Glaciology (4 semester credit hours)
    6. Earth Sci 5655, Land Surface Hydrology (3 semester credit hours)

2-year coursework plans

The following represents suggested 2-year coursework plans for students specializing in Geodesy, GIS, and Geodynamics. These are pre-approved curricula; however, petitions from the student and his/her advisor for deviations in these plans will be considered for approval by the Graduate Studies Committee,

Geodesy

  • Autumn Semester, Year 1: GS5636, GS5652, GS5660
    Total = 13 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1: CE7442, GS6776, GS6777
    Total = 11 credits
  • Subsequent Semesters: Geod Sci or other electives + research credits

GIS

  • Autumn Semester, Year 1: GS5636, GS5652, GS5660
    Total = 13 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1: GS6786, Other courses
    Total = or > 8 credits
  • Subsequent Semesters: Geod Sci or other electives + research credits

Geodynamics

Because this track tends to engage the students more deeply in the Earth sciences, it is common
that the core selections in the Foundational Category 1 deviate from the prescribed ones.

  • Autumn Semester, Year 1: GS5636, GS5652, GS5660
    Total = 13 credits
  • Spring Semester, Year 1: GS5781, CE7442 Other courses
    Total = or > 8 credits
  • Subsequent Semesters: Geod Sci or other electives + research& credits

Thesis Option ("Plan A")

The Application to Graduate form must be submitted to the Graduate School for the semester in which the student wishes to graduate, according to the rules of the Graduate School. The final Master's Examination cannot be scheduled until the Advisory Committee has given preliminary approval of the thesis document.

Each student must complete a Master's thesis, which describes the results of an original research project. The thesis document must be prepared according to the guidelines described in the Graduate School handbook.

Upon completion of the Master's thesis, candidates for the M.S. degree must complete a final oral examination, which may include questions on both the thesis research and aspects of the M.S. degree preparation not necessarily related to the thesis. The Master's Examination Committee consists of the Advisory Committee as originally constituted, although substitutions may be approved by the GSC in situations where a member cannot be present at the time of the examination. The advisor serves as chairperson of the examination. The final oral examination will be scheduled and conducted according to the rules of the Graduate School.

Non-Thesis Option ("Plan B")

In addition to the core course requirements for the Thesis Option, the Non-Thesis-Option student must complete a minimum of 7 additional semester credits of graded graduate-level coursework in Geodetic Science or other approved areas, chosen in consultation with his/her advisor, as part of the completion of a minimum of 30 graduate semester credit hours.

The student must also write a 3000–5000 word technical paper on an approved topic, chosen in consultation with his/her advisor, and must orally present it satisfactorily prior to the written Master's Examination. This oral presentation will be evaluated by the student’s advisor and one other faculty member, approved by the Geodetic Science Graduate Studies Committee, who usually is also on the Master’s examination committee.>/p>

The Master's Examination for the non-thesis option (Plan B) is a written, comprehensive examination covering material presented in the required courses. Questions will be written and evaluated by the student’s advisor and one other faculty member, approved by the Geodetic Science GSC. The student must successfully complete the Master’s Examination to receive the M.S. degree.

Awarding of the M.S. Degree upon Completing the Ph.D. Candidacy Examination

In general, the M.S. degree is also awarded (if it has not been earned through a formal curriculum as described above) upon the successful completion of the Ph.D. Candidacy Examination.

Transition Plan

Students who began their degree under quarters will not be penalized as we move to semesters, either in terms of progress towards their degree or their expected date of graduation. Arrangements will be made for individual students on a case-by-case basis by their advisors and the Graduate Studies Committee within Geodetic Science, but we anticipate few complications because few of our courses are contained in sequences.

Because our M.S. degree requirements are specified in terms of a required number of credit hours, rather than a required number of courses, credit hours will serve as the "currency" during the transition. Students who have completed graded coursework under quarters will be allowed to count the equivalent number of semester credit hours toward their degree requirements. Students who have completed the quarter equivalent of a pre-approved semester "core course" will be considered to have fulfilled that semester-course requirement; students who have completed quarter courses that are not included in the new pre-approved "core courses" will apply the semester-equivalent credit hours toward their electives.