Study with renowned faculty in a world-class program.
With a Professional MS in Remote Sensing & Geospatial Sciences, your career options are endless. Private, public, and nonprofit sectors demand professionals with advanced technical skills who can organize and analyze spatial data sets. From governmental planning, defense and transportation departments; to environmental, resource management, and public safety agencies; to consulting firms, research labs, and academia, your skills are in demand. In Boston University’s internationally recognized master’s program, the world’s most respected and influential remote sensing and geospatial faculty will educate you in both the underlying theory and the application of remote sensing, spatial analytical methods, digital cartography, and geographic information systems.
The Remote Sensing & Geospatial Sciences master’s program welcomes students with diverse natural science and social science backgrounds.
Degree Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate advanced knowledge of theory of remote sensing and GIS including sensor systems, basic radiative transfer, cartographic projections and display, and spatial databases, and of fundamental concepts in geospatial analysis and modeling techniques.
- Quantitatively analyze data to evaluate scientific hypotheses and arguments in remote sensing and geographic information science.
- Communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, advanced concepts in remote sensing and geographic information systems.
- Demonstrate understanding of the broader impacts and applications of remote sensing and GIS for natural sciences, social sciences, and for society at large.
- Apply a range of geospatial analysis techniques using remote sensing and GIS tools toward solving quantitative problems in one or more core disciplinary areas such as geography, ecology, environmental sciences, biogeosciences, urban planning or natural resources management.
The MS in Remote Sensing & Geospatial Sciences comprises eight courses or 32 credits: 3 core courses and 5 elective courses that are chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.
Core Courses (3 courses)
- EE 501 Advanced Topics in Remote Sensing
- EE 505 Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
- EE 509 Applied Environmental Statistics or EE 516 Multivariate Analysis for Geographers
Electives (5 courses)
- EE 503 Micrometeorology: Energy & Mass Transfer at the Earth’s Surface
- EE 504 Physical Climatology
- EE 509 Applied Environmental Statistics
- EE 516 Multivariate Analysis for Geographers
- EE 529 Modeling & Monitoring Terrestrial Ecosystem Processes
- EE 585 Ecological Forecasting & Informatics
- EE 622 Aquatic Optics & Remote Sensing
- EE 644 Digital Image Processing in Remote Sensing
- EE 645 Physical Models of Remote Sensing
- EE 646 Remote Sensing of the Lower Atmosphere
- EE 648 Remote Sensing of Vegetation
- EE 805 Spatial Data Analysis Using GIS
- EE 840 Advanced Topics in Remote Sensing
- GE 845 Advanced Topics in Geographic Information Systems
- CS 521 Information Structures with Python
With the prior approval of an advisor, students in the program may select graduate-level (500 and higher) courses beyond the approved list of electives to fulfill the elective requirement. Courses taken to fulfill statistical methods requirement cannot be double counted as an elective (i.e. EE 516).
Alumni Career Paths
Consultants utilize their skills and expertise to provide specialized knowledge for clients who need to solve specific problems. They can work as independent contractors or in large firms and typically work on a variety of projects for both private and public clients. A consultant might assist the EPA in formulating rules for power plant operations, help a rural community government determine how to manage water resources, analyze the impacts of a toxic waste site, develop environmental impact assessments for private firms or help a an energy firm better predict future electricity demand. Our alumni work at consulting firms such as:
- The Cadmus Group
- McKinsey and Company
- EBI Consulting
- Booz Allen Hamilton
- Synapse Energy Economics
Nonprofits and NGOs
Alumni at nonprofit organizations and other nongovernmental organizations work to address environmental and sustainability challenges from the local to the global levels. These organizations aim to fill gaps left by private firms and governments to solve otherwise unmet needs. Our alumni have built careers at some notable organizations such as:
- The World Bank
- Earthwatch Institute
- The Nature Conservancy
- Union of Concerned Scientists
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Global Brigades
Many of our alumni have found positions working in government at all levels both as researchers and policy makers. Our alumni have shaped environmental policy and helped answer pressing environmental questions with governmental bodies including:
- US Environmental Protection Agency
- US General Services Administration
- Louisville Sustainability Council
- New Jersey Water Supply Authority
- Office of the Governor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- New York City Emergency Management Department
- Maryland Transit Administration
Many of our alumni have gone on to work at both small and large private firms that conduct a wide range of business. Some of these firms provide specialized geospatial, environmental or energy services but many of our alumni have found the skills and knowledge gained in the Department of Earth and Environment to be valuable in private firms that do work in areas as diverse as finance and digital media.
- Personal Statement
- Three (3) letters of recommendation
- Transcripts (all institutions of higher education you have attended)
- Test scores (GREs for every applicant, TOEFL scores for international students)
- $1,000 deposit due May 1, 2021
A foundation in statistics and calculus is strongly recommended.
Please visit our master’s programs admissions page for more details on required application materials and testing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a minimum requirement for my GPA or GRE score?
No. In reviewing applications, the Department takes into consideration all aspects of your academic and professional experience.
Is there a minimum requirement for my TOEFL score?
No, but students who are most competitive for admission will have a composite score of at least 90-100 and minimum scores of 20 in each section.
Is there a minimum requirement for my IELTS score?
No, but students who are most competitive for admission will have a total/overall score of 7 or higher.
Is this a STEM-designated program for international students?
Yes! The program qualifies as STEM, according to the code listed on your visa (https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2016/stem-list.pdf).
Is the program intended for working professionals or is it suited to students coming out of undergraduate study?
Both! The majority of our students pursue the Master’s early in their career, and many enroll right after receiving their Bachelor’s. We do have students who work professionally full-time and pursue the degree part-time.
Is there a thesis?
There is no thesis to complete the degree.
What is your acceptance rate?
Boston University is selective in its recruitment and in encouraging prospective students to apply; for that reason, admission rates in the program are quite high.
Do graduates get jobs?
Yes! Since 2016, more than 83% of our students have found employment in the field immediately after graduating.
Is there financial aid available?
Click for information about potential support.
Is there an open house or information session I can attend?
The Department doesn’t hold regular open houses or info sessions, but prospective students are welcome to visit the Department, sit in on classes and other activities, and meet faculty. Contact Matt DiCintio, Graduate Program Coordinator, if you want to come see us. The Graduate School hosts virtual sessions about BU.