Arizona State’s GIS master’s program thrusts students onto the leading edge of the field—and geospatial technologies
A good place to get a sense of where the geographic information system (GIS) field is headed is Lattie F. Coor Hall at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. That’s the home of the 30-credit-hour Masters of Advanced Study in GIS (MAS-GIS) Program within ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. Here, students are exposed to not only the latest GIS concepts but also ever-evolving technologies.
ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning offers additional options for GIS studies, including an undergraduate certificate and an undergraduate degree program that is in development. Like all master’s programs, though, the MAS-GIS is designed to convey the most advanced concepts in its field.
The program was developed from 2002–2003 and launched in 2004 by Dr. Robert C. Balling, Jr., who had overseen ASU’s Office of Climatology for 18 years. Balling—the associate program director—and several faculty associates—including Nik Smilovsky, MS, GISP, product specialist for Topcon Positioning Systems dealer RDO Integrated Controls in Phoenix—part of RDO Equipment Co.—teach a total of 10 courses in the program, which also includes an internship and capstone GIS project in the final semester. Typically, students start in the fall semester and complete their studies in 12 months.
Dr. Robert C. Balling, Jr., associate director of the Masters of Advanced Study in GIS (MAS-GIS) Program at Arizona State University, developed the curriculum for a program that has provided advanced training for more than 250 students since 2004.