There has never been a better time to expand your education in the geospatial sciences and technology, and NC State provides an outstanding opportunity for scholarship and training in this quickly growing field. At the Center for Geospatial Analytics, we prepare the next generation of geospatial professionals to meet the urgent need for skilled leaders across a range of industries, career paths, and disciplines.

A photo of two users in the Earth Observation and Remote Sensing Lab at the North Carolina State University Center for Geospatial Analytics

Graduate Degrees

Our center administers two interdisciplinary graduate degree programs: a Ph.D. in Geospatial Analytics and professional master’s degree in Geospatial Information Science & Technology (MGIST).

The Ph.D. program unites expertise from across NC State University to craft a unique curriculum and training experience tailored to each student. Learn from world-class faculty while developing new understanding of spatial phenomena and applying that knowledge to grand challenges.

Our MGIST program was one of the earliest nationally recognized Professional Science Master’s Degree programs in GIS when it launched in Spring 2010. The degree can be completed entirely online and affords students an exceptional opportunity to partner directly with companies and agencies in hands-on service-learning projects.

Our faculty also contribute to the GIS Technical Option for the Natural Resources Master’s Program, administered by the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources in the College of Natural Resources.

Graduate Certificate

Launched in 2002, our Graduate Certificate in GIS provides students with a recognized professional credential and a quick start into the field. The program is designed for students who wish to establish themselves in GIS practice and build essential skills, without committing to a full graduate program. If certificate students later decide to pursue an MGIST degree, they can easily transfer up to 12 credit hours from their certificate work. Like the MGIST degree, the certificate can be completed entirely online. NC State graduate students currently enrolled in another master’s or Ph.D. program may also earn the certificate.

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Graduate Minors

If you are enrolled in a non-GIS graduate degree program at NC State, you may earn a graduate minor in either Geographic Information Science or in Environmental Remote Sensing. The minor provides students the opportunity to develop a recognized academic credential in conjunction with their major field of graduate study. Admissions to these minors requires adding an approved graduate GIST faculty member to your graduate committee and indicating the appropriate minor on your official plan of work. Students may email the Associate Director of Professional Education, Dr. Eric Money, for a current list of approved GIST faculty.

Students enrolled in Option B programs cannot declare a formal minor. Students also pursuing a Graduate Certificate in GIS cannot double count minor and certificate coursework.

We encourage students to review the course catalog for up-to-date course descriptions and current semester offerings.

Minor in Geographic Information Science

Students complete a total of 9 credit hours in selected courses to receive the minor. Six credit hours are earned in required courses, with three additional credits earned from choosing among a wide range of electives.

Required courses (6 credit hours): 

  • GIS 510 – Fundamentals of Geospatial Information Science and Technology
  • GIS 520 – Spatial Problem Solving or MEA 582/GIS 582 – Geospatial Modeling

Elective courses (3 credit hours):

  • GIS 512 – Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing
  • GIS 515 – Cartographic Design
  • GIS 521 – Surface Water Hydrology with GIS

  • CSC 540 Database Management Concepts and Systems

  • BAE 590 AutoCAD Civil 3D-GIS Integration (not currently offered)
  • BAE 535 Precision Agriculture Technology
  • BAE 536 GIS Apps in Precision Agriculture

  • CE 538 Information Technology and Modeling
  • CE 705 Intelligent Transportation Systems

  • FOR 510 Introduction to GPS (not currently offered)
  • FOR 753 Environmental Remote Sensing

  • LAR 500 Landscape Design Studio (selected sections)

  • MEA 511 Introduction to Meterological Remote Sensing
  • MEA 582/GIS 582 Geospatial Modeling
  • MEA 592 Applied Data Analysis in the Earth Sciences using Matlab (Fall)
  • MEA 592 Tectonic Geomorphology (Fall)
  • MEA 592 Advanced Earth Surface Processes – Landscape Evolution (Fall)
  • MEA 592-004/GIS595-002 Multidimensional Geospatial Modeling (Fall only)

  • PA 541 GIS for Public Administration

  • SSC 540 GIS in Soil Science and Agriculture
  • SSC 545 Remote Sensing Applications in Soil Science & Agriculture

  • ST 533 Applied Spatial Statistics 


Minor in Environmental Remote Sensing

Students complete a total of 12 credit hours in selected courses to receive the minor. Six credit hours are earned in required courses, with six additional credits earned from choosing among electives.

Required courses (6 credit hours): 

  • FOR 753: Environmental Remote Sensing
  • ST 533: Applied Spatial Statistics or ECE 759: Pattern Recognition

Elective courses (6 credit hours): 

  • ECE 751 Detection and Estimation Theory
  • ECE 764 Digital Image Processing
  • FOR 510 Introduction to GPS (not currently offered)
  • GIS 512 Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing
  • GIS 520 Spatial Problem Solving
  • GIS 530 Spatial Data Foundations
  • ST 533 Applied Spatial Statistics


Browse all current courses at the center