Appendix D - Geomatics

B.1  Master's Degree Students

The first decision an incoming Geomatics Master’s student has to make is whether he/she is going to choose between the Thesis or Non-Thesis option. The thesis option consists of 7 courses and 3 research courses, totaling 30 credit hours. The non-thesis student takes 10 courses (also 30 credit hours).

The student will follow, as an example, any of the four tracks shown below in the table. The tracks have an enormous amount of overlap though. Non-thesis (and often thesis) students have to take six core courses sometime during their studies at Purdue. Typically a MASTER’S student follows the core-courses (course titles listed below) CE502, 503, (506), 510, and 545 in the fall, and CE(506), 50801 and 511 in the spring. The core course CE506 is offered either in the fall or in the spring semester.

All students are advised to defer the desired electives MATH511 and STAT511 to the summer semester. The reason is that it is very rare that Geomatics courses are offered during the summer.

Depending on whether the student is employed as a TA (or RA), the most often occurring course loads over the Fall/Spring/Summer/Fall semesters are either 4/4/2/0 or 3/3/2/2.

The advisor initially assigned to all new incoming graduate students is the representative of the Geomatics area in the Civil Engineering Graduate Committee. After a month or so, the student will finalize his/her selection of the academic advisor.

The Masters study will be concluded with a 2 hour oral exam. The student selects with his/her advisor a Master’s Advisory Committee that preferably consists of three Geomatics faculty members, and an external faculty member. The latter member is most often the instructor of one of the elective courses, i.e. “external to Geomatics” classes. The exam for the thesis-option student can be characterized by a “student driven” exam: the student presents during 45-60 minutes his/her findings of the research, followed by questions of the committee members. The exam for the non-thesis student can be characterized as "faculty driven.”

With exceptions the student may be given a waiver for the core courses. In this instance, the student should be prepared to detail the arguments to his/her advisor and instructor of the course for which the waiver is sought, by supplying textbooks, lectures notes, etc. The instructor may choose the student to submit to an exam in the course for which the waiver is requested.

A Professional Masters Concentration (CE-LEM) is also available in the MSCE program.  You can find more details about the concentration and the required coursework at:


B.2  PhD Degree Students

Some of the core courses may not be required for PhD students who have already a master's degree from another school or department with a very similar program as the Geomatics Master’s degree program at Purdue. Common practice is that the far majority of the PhD students go through the Geomatics Master’s program at Purdue first. The 30 credit hours course work for the Master’s non-thesis student, or the 21 credit hours course work for the thesis option student count towards the minimum 48 credit hours course work for the PhD degree. Popularly speaking, the PhD student may “cash-in” his/her first 30 of the 48 required credit hours for a (non-thesis) Master's degree.

In most instances, the Master’s exam in Geomatics is considered as the PhD qualifying exam.

This exam is different from the PhD Preliminary Examination. During the latter exam the Geomatics PhD student is subjected to various written exam’s by the embers of the PhD Advisory Committee. The oral part of this exam consists mainly of the presentation of the research proposal of the candidate. Only after the student has passed the written and oral exams of the Preliminary Examination the student is admitted to Purdue as a PhD candidate.

B.3  All Geomatics Graduate Students

Registration in the Geomatics Seminar, CE691, is required of all graduate students in the fall and spring semesters. The seminar is generally held once a week. It is also intended for student presentations of their research. All Master’s and Doctoral students make a presentation once a year. Attendance by all Geomatics graduate students is mandatory.

Geomatics (Thesis and) Non-Thesis Masters Required Courses

(30 credits total needed for degree)

Geomatics (Thesis and) Non-Thesis Masters Required Courses
Track Photogrammetry Geodesy Remote Sensing GIS
Common Core CE 502 (F)
CE 50301 (F)
CE 506 (S)
CE 50801 (S)
CE 511 (S)
CE 545 (F)
Track-Specific CE 510 (F) CE 510 (F)   CE 510 (F)
CE 603 (S)   CE 603 (S) CE 603 (S)
CE 605 (?) CE 605     
  CE 612 (S)    
Electives STAT 511 (Su), STAT 512, MATH 511 (Su), CE 562, AAE 532 (F), AAE 575 (F), AAE 590 (F), AAE 690, EE 301 (F), EE 538 (F), EE 577 (S), EE 637 (S), EE 638 (S), EAS … 

B.4  Course Numbers and Titles of Core and Elective Courses for Geomatics

Notes: myPurdue still has some of our CE courses under a 597 number, see below

You must sign up for 0 credit seminar each semester unless conflict: CE69100-004

If you think that you already know the material in a required course, then you must see the instructor of that course and get the instructor’s permission to skip it.

Brief course number / title

CE 50100 = Mapping Projection and Geometric Geodesy

CE 502 =analytical, ce59700-041, 34369 (fall semester)

CE 50301 = Digitial Photogrammetric Systems (fall semester)

CE 50400 = Laser Scanning

CE 506=data 1 (spring semester)

CE 50801 = Geographic Information Systems (spring semester)

CE 50900 - Geospatial Data Analytics

CE 510=coord sys, ce59700-PT3, 48031

CE 511=gps (spring semester)

CE 545=remote sensing, ce59700-063, 47986 (lab), and ce59700-064, 47987 (lec)

CE 603=photo 2

CE 605=data 2

CE 612=phys geodesy

STAT 511= statistical methods

STAT 512=regression and anova

MATH 511=linear algebra applications

CE 562=geometric hwy design

AAE 532=orbit mechanics (fall semester)

AAE 575=introduction to satellite navigation and positioning (gps) (fall semester)

AAE 590=remote sensing sys design (fall semester)

AAE 690=orbit estimation

EE 301=signals and systems (fall semester)

EE 538=digital signal processing I (fall semester)

EE 577=engineering aspects of remote sensing (spring semester)

EE 637=digital image processing I (spring semester)

EE 638=digital image processing II (spring semester)