MGIS students are required to take ten courses in their program. These ten courses must include the five core courses (see below). The remaining five options will be chosen by the student with approval from their Graduate Program Director, and will generally either build on the student's GIS skills or enhance their knowledge of their application specialty.
To enter the Core Courses (GIS: GEOG 647, Remote Sensing: GEOG 633, Spatial Modelling/Statistics: GEOG 639) the student must possess a strong background (e.g., minimum of one intermediate-level undergraduate course) and hands-on experience with the topics. The equivalent prerequisite would be two undergraduate courses for each core course topic area. If this background is lacking, the student must complete the "upgrade" course before enrolling in the advanced core course. These upgrade courses will count toward the ten courses taken in the program.
The five mandatory "core" courses that each student in the MGIS program must take are:
- Geog 647: Advanced Research and Applications in GIS
- Geog 633: Research and Applications on Remote Sensing
- Geog 639: Advanced Spatial Analysis and Modelling
- Geog 681: MGIS Project: Theoretical Issues
- Geog 683: MGIS Project: Application
Students without a strong GIS or remote sensing background will use their option courses to build their spatial analysis skills and experience.
- Geog 684: Fundamentals of Remote Sensing
- Geog 686: Applied Statistics and Geospatial Analysis
- Geog 682: Fundamentals of Geospatial Information Science
Comprehensive oral examination and exit requirements
The advisor is responsible for scheduling the final comprehensive oral examination, at the student's request, once all course requirements are fulfilled.
Course work requirements
All course work must be completed with final grades finalized before the exam can be scheduled. This includes Geog 681 and Geog 683.
The Examination Committee consists of the student’s advisor and two qualified examiners. The advisor is the Chair of the committee. Examiners that are external to the Geography Department must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.
Date and time
Normally, two weeks before the examination is to take place, the advisor is to arrange with the Graduate Program Advisor the date, time and location of examination. The advisor is to provide the Graduate Program Advisor with the names and contact information of the other examination committee members.
The Graduate Advisor will provide the examination committee members with the formal notification of examination and information on the courses the student has taken as part of their program. Course outlines/syllabi of the courses taken by the student can also be provided, on request.
Final project delivery
The student is to supply the examination committee members with their MGIS final project, once the formal notification has been distributed. The final project is normally delivered to the examination committee two weeks in advance of the oral exam, however, it may be requested earlier from a committee member under certain circumstances.
The comprehensive examination is designed to determine if the student has achieved a comprehensive understanding of the breadth of topics covered throughout their course work of their program.
The MGIS final project represents a major component of the student’s effort in the program and can serve as inspiration for questions for examiners. However, examiners are also expected to pursue questioning in any of the courses taken by the students. Normally, emphasis will be placed on the three core areas (i.e. GIS, Remote Sensing, Spatial Statistics). The chair of the examination committee is responsible for ensuring that questions remain relevant to the program
As the MGIS final project has already been graded in the Geog 681 and Geog 683 courses, the examination committee is NOT evaluating the project, only the performance of the student in the oral comprehensive examination.
The student may give a short presentation (15 minute maximum) on their MGIS final project before the questioning begins.
Questioning must be completed within two hours of the start of the exam.
Pass or fail
The outcome of the exam is either Pass or Fail. In the event of a Fail, a decision must be made on whether to allow a re-take of the exam (only one permitted) or to withdraw the student from the program. If a re-take is recommended it must be scheduled no later than six months from the original exam.
Notification of results
Immediately following the oral exam, the student will be verbally notified of the results. If the result of the exam is a Fail, the student will be officially informed of the outcome in writing by the Graduate Program Director.
Within one month of the examination, the student must submit the following to the Graduate Program Advisor: (i) one digital copy of the MGIS final project, (ii) one digital copy of the final project poster. All keys, lab cards and any other University property must be returned.
Upon successful completion of the Comprehensive Examination AND completion of all Post Examination requirements, the department will notify the Faculty of Graduate Studies that all requirements for the MGIS degree program have been satisfied.