Polytechnic University Graduate School

Geospatial Science and Technology


Geospatial Science and Technology refers to the science and technology used for visualization, measurement, and analysis of features or phenomena that occur on the earth. This terminology has become common in the United States, and is synonymous with Spatial Information Science and Technology. Geospatial science and technology includes three different technologies that are all related to mapping features on the surface of the earth. These three technology systems are GIS (Geographical Information Systems), Remote Sensing and GPS (Global Positioning Systems).

The master program will expose the student to the principles and techniques related to geospatial data model generation, data capture and representation, and will learn how these could help in the solution of different problems faced by society. By its integrative nature, the program will support research and application modeling in diverse disciplines such as Land Surveying, Architecture, Planning, Geography, Environmental Management, Biology, Engineering and other professionals who deal on a day to day basis with geospatial data capture and analysis


The program aims to develop professionals capable of contributing to the development of geospatial systems based on the principles of Geomatics. This broad overview of potential market provides a real and varied employment spectrum for the graduates of the program. Given the extent of possible applications that can be generated, Geospatial Science and Technology graduates may be employed in areas ranging from spatial data management for environmental problems to management of data for studies in insurance market. It is expected that many students are professionals in various fields who seek to add to their profession geospatial data management capabilities.

Graduate Profile:

Admission Requirements

General requirements for admission to the program are established by the Graduate School. In addition it is expected that the student has a 2.75 GPA in the bachelor degree that gives access to the program. If the candidate has a GPA lower than 2.75 he/she can request admission thru the Reconsideration Committee of the Graduate School.

Admission of any applicant to the program will be based on academic preparation. Qualified persons with a bachelor degree from a recognized and accredited university or college, who have approved credits in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Statistics, may be admitted directly to the program. Evidence of having these approved courses will be demonstrated through the submission of the transcript of the degree in question. The Graduate School will evaluate the applicants program’s qualifications to determine if he/she is admitted to the program directly. Applicants who do not have these courses will be required to take them as pre-requisites to the master’s program.

Degree Offered

Students in the Graduate Program in Geospatial Science and Technology earn a Master in Geospatial Science and Technology.

Curricular Sequence

The structure and sequence of the curriculum include blocks of courses classified as Core, Advanced, Geospatial Applications and Research Project.

Core Courses

This block of courses provides the knowledge in four fundamental areas of geospatial science and technologies. These are Geographic Information Science, Remote Sensing, Cartography and Spatial Database Management. The core courses total 12 credit-hours, distributed among 4 courses of three credit-hours each.

Advanced Courses

Advanced courses are designed to provide specialized preparation in geospatial science and technologies. Advanced courses total 9 credit-hours, distributed among 3 courses of three credit-hours each.

Application Courses

Students select courses related to their research interest. The idea is to reinforce geospatial research techniques on particular study areas. The student should select a total of 9 credit-hours, distributed among 3 courses of three credit-hours each.

Research Project

The student must prepare a proposal for his/her Master Research Project once approved 18 credits and taken the Research Design and Methods course (GEOM 6680). The proposal must be approved by the student advisor. The student must conduct the Master Research Project under the supervision of the advisor, who is the chairperson.

Through the Master Research Project, students must demonstrate expertise of geospatial science and techniques, and the ability to apply them in a cohesive. The Master Research Project can be an application to a real case or situation. The application must prove originality and contribution to the field of Geospatial Science.

At completion, the student must submit a technical article of the Master Research Project to the Graduate School. As a final requirement, the Master Research Project will be presented at the Graduate School Design Project Expo.

The technical article should follow the publication rules established by the Graduate School of the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico.

Graduation Requirements

The degree must be approved with 36 credits at a 3.00 GPA or higher. Course distribution is as follows:

Core – 12 Credits
Geospatial Technologies – 9 Credits
Geospatial Applications – 9 Credits
Research – 6 Credits

Flowchart - Geospatial Science and Technology


Matos Flores, Raúl – Associate Professor, Ph.D. (Candidate), Cartography, GIS and Remote Sensing, Universidad de Alcalá, Madrid, 2012; Msc. Geographic Information Systems, Huddersfield University, Great Britain, 2002; Master in Planning, Concentration: Urban Planning, University of Puerto Rico, 1997; B.A. Geography, University of Puerto Rico, 1991.

Rodríguez Rivera, Marisol – Assistant Professor, Ph.D. (Candidate), Integration, Economic Development and Land Planning, Universidad de León, Spain, 2012; Master in Planning, Concentration: Urban Planning, University of Puerto Rico, 1997; B.A. Geography, University of Puerto Rico, 1991.

Romero González, Victor M. - Assistant Professor; Ph.D. (Candidate) Topographic Engineering and Photogrammetry, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 2004; B.S. in Land Surveying, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, 1994.


The Geomatic Sciences Department offers students the opportunity to receive hands on experience, practice the concepts and techniques learned in the classroom allowing them the best opportunity to acquire current knowledge and the expertise the industry demands. In order to fulfill this commitment, these laboratories have been designed to cover all major areas of Geomatic Sciences. The Geomatic Science Department has the following laboratory facilities on campus: Geographic Information Systems Laboratory, Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Laboratory, Surveying and Topography Laboratory and a General Computer Laboratory. These laboratories have been designed to perform a wide range of applications in each of the areas of interest.

Geographic Information Systems Laboratory (GIS) - This lab is used primarily for GIS and Cartography practice. It has several Dell Precision T5500 and Precision model T5400 workstations. It has different types of software for GIS development and geospatial analysis such as ArcGIS 10, FME, IDRISI and Manifold. Open source software is also used for educational purposes. It also has general applications software such as Microsoft Office and Open Office.

Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Laboratory - This laboratory is used for Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry related practice. It has several Dell Precision model T5500, T5400 Precision and OptiPlex 745 workstations. It has PCI Geomatics software for work in remote sensing and photogrammetry. Open source software is also used for educational purposes. It also has general application software such as Microsoft Office.

Surveying and Topography Laboratory - This laboratory is used for practices and courses on Surveying and Topography. It has several Dell Precision T5400 workstations. It has the AutoCAD software, Carlson Survey, Mr. CAD, AutoCAD Map and general purpose software like Microsoft Office. The Department also has surveying equipment such as Total Stations and Levels (Topcon, Leica, and South Survey). There are also Topcon GPS receivers (GR3, GMS2, and Hyper) and Trimble GPS receivers.

General Computer Lab - This lab is available for general use projects and assignments. The laboratory has several Dell Precision T5500 and two Dell T5400 workstations. It has a page layout of 8.5 X 11 inches. In addition to the aforementioned equipment, the lab has software licenses of all the instructional software found in departmental laboratories. There is also general use software such as Microsoft Office and Open Office.

Contact Information

Raúl Matos, Ph.D. (Candidate)
Graduate Program Coordinator
Email: ramatos@pupr.edu
Phone: 787-622-8000 x. 615