Mar 03, 2021  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geospatial Computing Sciences, PhD

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Program Description

The Geospatial Computing Sciences (GSCS) doctoral program is an interdisciplinary program with a strong emphasis on developing the theory of computer science for handling geospatial data and exploring emerging technologies enabled by geographic information science. The GSCS program is a unique combination of the fields of computer science and geographic information science, with a technical and theoretical foundation of computer science.

The Geospatial Computing Sciences Ph.D. Program will:

  • Educate well-prepared students who will become experts in computer science, especially in geospatial computing,
  • Produce graduate researchers/faculty who will be able to pursue careers in higher education, government, and industries related to or affected by geographic information science,
  • Prepare graduates to teach and conduct independent research or oversee such research related to the collecting, processing, analyzing, and visualizing of geospatial data, as well as to the utilization of geospatial methods and data for developing new technologies, and
  • Provide students with a rigorous preparation to use computer science theoretical and applied techniques to pursue research and scholarship that will advance the state of knowledge in geospatial computing

Student Learning Outcomes

The program’s student learning outcomes are for students to:

  • Produce innovative research that advances theory or methodology in geospatial computing science.
  • Participate at academic conferences and publish in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Find employment in research departments of public and private organizations, in major academic institutions, and in industry.
  • Advance the science of computing to create new algorithms and applications for geospatial challenges.
  • Acquire the computer science and geospatial analysis skills necessary to advance the theory and methodology of geospatial computing science.
  • Develop the professional skills necessary to present research outcomes orally to a professional or general audience as well as in writing for peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings.


Admission Requirements

  1. Persons seeking admission to the GSCS program should first contact the program to identify a faculty member willing to serve as their graduate advisor. Applicants will not be admitted to the program without a graduate advisor.
  2. In addition to meeting all University requirements, students seeking admission to the graduate degree program in computer science must submit the following to the College of Graduate Studies:
    • An application and application fee,
    • Transcripts from regionally accredited institutions (international students will be required to submit relevant international transcripts),
    • An essay (500-1000 words) discussing why you are seeking admission to the program and what your research plans are,
    • A curriculum vitae,
    • GRE scores (within five years of the date of application), and
    • International students must submit TOEFL scores and additional documents to the College of Graduate Studies.
  3. A student entering the program is expected to have adequate preparation in computer science, geographic information science, and mathematics. For computer science, this preparation must include successful completion of coursework in data structures, a high level programming language, computer architecture, and operating systems. For geospatial science, students must have successfully completed course work in geospatial data analysis and visualization. In mathematics, students must have successfully completed course work in discrete mathematics, calculus, plus one additional junior level or higher mathematics course such as linear algebra, numerical analysis, or applied probability and statistics.

    Students who have not successfully completed the above courses may be required to take leveling courses in any missing subjects before being formally admitted into the program. Leveling coursework does not count towards the total credit hours required for the degree.  All leveling courses must be completed with a grade of “B” or better. While taking leveling courses, a student can take regular courses that can be counted towards the degree once admitted into the program formally. However, the total credit hours of such courses must not exceed nine hours.

Degree Requirements

There are two paths for students in the PhD in Geospatial Computing Sciences degree program, those coming in with 1) a bachelor’s degree in a related field, and 2) a master’s degree in a related field. Students entering the program with a bachelor’s degree are required to take a minimum of 75 semester credit hours (SCH).  Of these 75 SCH, students must take the GSCS core courses (21 SCH), 3 SCH of Graduate Seminar, at least 15 hours of Electives, and at least 30 hours of research and dissertation credits.

Students entering the program with a master’s degree are required to take a minimum of 57 credit hours beyond the master’s degree. Students are required to have coursework that covers the GSCS core courses. A minimum of 9 SCH of the core courses, must be taken at TAMUCC. Additional core courses are likely to be assigned depending on the student’s background. At least 15 hours of elective courses must also be taken at TAMUCC.  Three credit hours of Graduate Seminar and at least 30 hours of dissertation and research must also be part of the required 57 hours.

Students must file an approved degree plan by the end of their second semester in the program.

GSCS Core Courses

All students are required to have the following coursework. For students entering the program with a master’s degree, at least three (9SCH) of these courses must be taken at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. All GSCS students must master the content of the core courses prior to their candidacy exam.

Required courses

Students must take 3 hours of graduate seminar and at least 30 hours of research and dissertation credits.

Elective Courses

At least 15 hour of electives must be taken. Electives will predominately come from COSC, GSCS, and GSEN graduate courses.  Up to 6 hours can be from another graduate program with approval.  The following courses are standard electives:

For Additional Informaiton


Campus address:

Center for Instruction, Room 301; Phone: (361) 825-2474

Mailing address:

Computer Science Program, Unit 5825
College of Science and Engineering
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412-5825

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