In this information session, our panelists talk about the required courses for USC Dornsife’s online graduate programs in Geographic Information Science and Technology in an on-screen presentation with audio commentary.
The Data of Space
The GIST graduate programs incorporate multiple curricular pathways tailored to the increasingly diverse backgrounds, occupations and applications that rely on geospatial technologies. Classes cover the various ways in which space (geography) is used to acquire, represent, organize, analyze, model and visualize information, and equip students with core science education and tailored practical applications that they can use in their professional and research careers. GIST graduates have the advanced knowledge and techniques to develop their own GIS applications, rather than merely being schooled in the use of software.
Students are afforded an unrivaled opportunity to work intensively with faculty and fellow students in designing and conducting their own geospatial data collection projects during a one-week field excursion to the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. There are three primary learning outcomes during this weeklong trip; learn and understand GIS hardware and software and gain confidence and experience conducting a research project—methodologies, limitations, assumptions, findings and conclusions. Students get professional training in the use of some of the most advanced GPS mapping tools available today, use the data they acquire for their own research project, and discuss with faculty and peers how this knowledge might be applied to other geospatial applications.
Dr. John P. Wilson, the faculty and students offer their views about the field excursion to Catalina Island.
Graduate students enrolled in the GIST online graduate programs have access to a wide variety of academic, technical and human resources. These resources include, but are not limited to: an extensive array of proprietary GIS and other programming-level software streamed live (online), a significant collection of current and classic professional articles and book chapters: direct Internet access to USC’s impressive library holdings and E-resources, and opportunities to participate in GIST events such as webinars, field trips, M.S. thesis defenses, and related Spatial Sciences Institute professional events and networking activities.
Hardware and Software
Coupling academic excellence with significant information technology investment means students have access to the best data, tools and research, and learn from the most skilled professors, equipping them to cope with increasing data complexity and more sophisticated applications.
The curriculum exposes students to fundamental science and skills to understand and use:
- Esri ArcGIS Desktop and Server
- ArcGIS Online
- Microsoft SQL Server
- GeoDA, R, and SAS
- Trimble Pathfinder Office and Terrasync
- Microsoft Visual Studio Professional
In this information session, GIST faculty members introduce themselves, their areas of focus, and the classes they teach in the program.
An All-Ph.D. Faculty
The Spatial Sciences Institute faculty is one of its richest sources of academic distinction. They are drawn from a wide range of academic disciplines, including Geographic Information Science, Geology, Geography and Computer Science. Each faculty member has a Ph.D. in their respective field, and is constantly evaluating the field of GIS to offer the most cutting edge and foundational courses. They employ state-of-the art platforms for research and teaching to engage scholars, students, and researchers across and beyond USC to advance pedagogical methods and fundamental spatial science research.