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Advising & Curriculum Overview


Mentoring and advising are an essential part of the program. Students meet with faculty and the academic program director to ensure that educational goals and career learning and development goals are met. To learn more about the program, prospective students should contact the academic program director, Professor Ruibo Han via e-mail: ruibo@umd.edu.

Graduate Programs in Geospatial Intelligence includes a Master of Science and a Graduate Certificate. Students who successfully complete requirements for the Graduate Certificate may apply these credits towards the master’s program if the student applies and is admitted.

MS-Geospatial Intelligence

  • A 30-credit, 10-course curriculum that offers fundamental and advanced courses in three main areas:
    • Fundamentals of geospatial intelligence science and technology;
    • Geospatial data handling processes using advanced algorithms, models, and commercial and open source platforms; and
    • Support systems for applying geospatial intelligence in behavioral and social science, emergency and security management, and computational science.
  • Plan of study includes five 3-credit core courses (15 credits) and five 3-credit electives (15 credits).
    • Includes GEOG697: Capstone Project (core course) which is an independent research project that demonstrates competence in geospatial intelligence technologies. This project can originate from an internship, from relevant work at a current or past employer, or can be developed in conjunction with CGIS faculty. The student prepares a project report and presentation which contains an executive summary, background information including a literature review and establishment of requirements, a detailed technical description of the project data and methods, a discussion of results obtained, and final conclusions and recommendations. The final project submission includes all data, computer code and/or workflow documentation required to replicate the project results. In completing this project, students develop a concrete example of how GEOINT technologies can be applied to solve real-world problems, and begin developing a portfolio that can be presented to potential employers.
  • The programs provides workforce-focused training at graduate level in ways that can nimbly respond to developments in what is often a rapidly shifting landscape of applied problem-sets, analysis schemes, big and growing data-sets, and software platforms that characterize today’s geospatial intelligence. 

GC-Geospatial Intelligence

  • A 15-credit, 5-course program that covers spatial analysis, remote sensing, big data analytics, geovisualization, programming in web and mobile GIS, and geospatial intelligence in various fields.
  • Plan of study includes three 3-credit core courses (9 credits) and two 3-credit electives (6 credits).  

The program offers two learning options: in-person or 100% online. Instruction is provided by University of Maryland faculty and professionals in the field. The curriculum is the same for both learning options. Courses are scheduled for weekday evenings (e.g., after 5:30 p.m.).

In-Person Learning

  • Instructors present dynamic and interactive seminar-style instruction.
  • Classes are held in UMD College Park campus classrooms, offering a focused, distraction-free learning environment.
  • Lectures are video archived. Students who are unable to attend a class session can review the session at their convenience.

100% Online Learning

  • Using advanced audio and video technology, UMD’s online learning environment delivers dynamic and interactive content.
  • Featuring convenience and flexibility, online instruction permits asynchronous or synchronous participation.
  • Students attend in real time via the use of webcams and headsets with microphones. Through synchronous participation, students see slides, see and hear instructors speaking, and also ask questions.
  • Lectures are video archived. Students who are unable to attend in real time can review the session through asynchronous participation.

International Students and Online Learning

  • Due to visa requirements, international students admitted into the in-person learning option are required to register for on-campus sections and attend lectures in person. 
  • International students admitted into the online learning option are not eligible for Occupational Practical Training (OPT).

MS-Geospatial Intelligence

Upon successful completion, graduates will have mastered the following competencies:

  • A well‐rounded understanding of the fundamental nature of geospatial intelligence and analysis, including the core theory, methods, and protocols for gathering and management of geospatial intelligence data, analyses and visualization of those data, use of the resulting products in operational settings for applied geospatial intelligence, and the ethical treatment of data and analysis throughout those procedures.
  • Advanced expertise in either or both of the challenges and opportunities for geospatial intelligence in human, security, and engineering domains; and technologies for future geospatial intelligence and analysis in computing, machinery, and software.
  • Practical, hands‐on project and lab‐style training with data collection procedures, data analysis, algorithm development, using commercial and open source modeling and analysis software and platforms.
  • The ability to design and implement strategies to solve real‐world intelligence problems as they present across a variety of domains, including intelligence activities, security and defense, hazards and emergency response and management, and transportation and urban applications.
  • Training in analytic thinking and real‐world problem solving for future success in the workforce. Skills include but are not limited to interpersonal communications and teamwork, creative and critical thinking, occupational planning and organizing, problem‐solving and decision making.

GC-Geospatial Intelligence

Upon successful completion, graduates will have mastered the following competencies:

  • Understand the fundamental nature of geospatial intelligence and analysis, including the core theory, methods, and protocols for gathering and management of geospatial intelligence data, analyses and visualization of those data
  • Understand the use of the resulting products in operational settings for applied geospatial intelligence
  • Understand the ethical treatment of data and analysis throughout those procedures.

Graduate Programs in Geospatial Intelligence have access to a variety of physical facilities, hardware and software resources.

ELMS

  • UMD maintains an Electronic Learning Management System (ELMS) for coursework. ELMS is a Web-based platform for sharing course content, tracking assignments and grades, and enabling virtual collaboration and interaction. ELMS delivers online course content through easy-to-use web-based technology that enables learning in an engaging, interactive environment.

WebEx

  • The Department of Geographical Sciences also maintains a Cisco WebEx Online course delivery platform, by which lectures and discussions can be streamed virtually. WebEx is a Web conferencing application that can be used to host classes, office hours, and other meetings, in an online environment. Faculty, staff, and students communicate in real-time using chat, voice (microphone and speakers), and video (webcam). WebEx allows for the ability to display presentations, annotate overtop slides, perform live editing of documents, and conduct a poll within the software. These interactions also allow the instructor to identify and authenticate the student and his/her involvement in the teaching and learning processes.

GIS Labs

  • Students have access to two 25-seat GIS labs equipped with dual-monitor high-end workstations and connected to remote storage facilities. The labs run a wide variety of commercial and open source software for GIS, remote sensing, statistical analysis, data access, image processing, mathematical analyses, graphics and 3D modeling, and software development. Students can study in these labs anytime as long as there are no classes in session.

High-Performance Computing

  • The CGIS has two high-performance Hadoop-based computing clusters that have been purchased for research and student teaching. These clusters are networked to other HPC resources in the Department of Geographical Sciences (the Department maintains a Linux-based HPC cluster). The CGIS and Department of Geographical Sciences link to high-performance computing in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (the "BSWIFT" cluster), as well as to the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), which operates several clusters. In partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX), we also have high-performance networking access to other high-performance computing sites around the country, as well as nimble access to commercial computing resources (Amazon A WS).

GIS/Web/Data Servers

  • Two servers have been purchased specifically use in instruction. Students have access to these servers when they take classes such as Web Programming, Spatial Database, Internet GIS, etc.

VMWare Servers

  • VMW are servers provide a virtual environment so that students can access to the software installed on the server anywhere anytime as long as they have an Internet connection. It is essentially a cloud-based service that gives students free access to software needed for teaching and learning.

ArcGIS Software Suite

  • Graduate Programs in Geospatial Intelligence is one of the Esri Development Centers (EDCs). Based on the agreement, the students have free license to most ArcGIS software products including desktop ArcGIS, ArcGIS Server, ArcGIS Pro, and ArcGIS Online. They can install the software on their own computer as long as they are enrolled in the program. Students also have free technical support from Esri.
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