Geographic Information Science, PhD

Ready to apply state-of-the-art geospatial analysis methods to social, economic and environmental problems? Be part of the solution by joining a school filled with innovative faculty within the discipline and leading research centers that are forging this path of discovery.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: Geographic Information Science, PhD

The PhD program in geographic information science fosters training of next generation scientists and engineers who will excel at theoretical, computational, analytical and technical knowledge in transdisciplinary geospatial sciences.

Students in this doctoral program have the opportunity to conduct research at the Spatial Analysis Research Center alongside world-renowned faculty specializing in remote sensing and earth observation, GIS, geoinformatics, spatial statistics and spatial-temporal analysis. Researchers are investigating a variety of issues, including voting habits, health crises, altering landscapes and more --- all in an attempt to better understand this complex and changing world.

The program has sufficient flexibility to allow for individual needs and interests, allowing students to create a plan of study that fits their personal, academic and professional goals.

At a Glance: program details

Degree Requirements

Required Core (12 credit hours)
GIS 520 GIScience Issues and Debates (3)
GIS 521 Geographic Information Science Programming (3)
GIS 571 Spatial Statistics for Geography and Planning (3)
GCU 585 Geographic Research Design and Proposal Writing (3)

Electives or Research (55 credit hours)

Remote Sensing (3 credit hours)

Other Requirements (2 credit hours)
GCU 591 or GPH 591 Seminar: Geography Colloquium (2)

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
GIS 799 Dissertation (12)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students select electives, remote sensing and other requirements seminar coursework in consultation with their academic advisor.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in geography, geology, earth science, computer programming, GIS, environmental science, geomatics or a related field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. three letters of recommendation
  4. written statement
  5. professional resume
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

Letters of recommendation should be from academic professionals or professional colleagues capable of evaluating the applicant's abilities, accomplishments and professional potential.

The written statement must address the following questions:

  • What area of specialization within GIS do you wish to pursue, and why?
  • Describe the aspects of your education that will enable you to pursue this area of specialization.
  • What additional training do you feel you can obtain at Arizona State University to realize your education and career goals?

Also in the written statement, applicants should provide any other information (for example: research experience or information which might be drawn from a resume) that they feel the committee should consider in the application for admission. The written statement should be no longer than two pages. A generic statement, often sent to multiple universities, does not substitute for a statement that addresses the applicant's reasons for applying to this doctoral program in geographic information science.

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With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs.

Program Contact Information

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