Geospatial Science Program Gains SCHEV Approval

students in the field

Students enrolled in the geospatial science program will gain knowledge in the classroom, laboratory and in the field.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) on Tuesday approved a Radford University degree program that will prepare students for careers in geospatial sciences.

The university’s new geospatial science program in the College of Science and Technology, approved by RU's Board of Visitors in November, is set to begin in the fall and to graduate its first class in 2015.

The geospatial science degree program, the first of its kind in Virginia, will provide specialized coursework for students who seek training in geographic information systems (GIS), digital cartography techniques and applications, remote sensing, environmental issues and geography in preparation for careers in geoinformatics or environmental planning and management.

“The degree in geospatial science will provide Radford University students enhanced opportunities to join a rapidly evolving workforce and to serve the Commonwealth by applying advanced technology and spatial analysis techniques to conduct research and solve problems,” said Orion Rogers, dean of the university’s College of Science and Technology. “This emerging field is transforming the way that geographic data is analyzed for scientific research and applications as well as the way business is conducted globally.”

The program is designed to prepare students for careers as GIS analysts, planners, surveyors, cartographers, environmental quality engineers, water quality engineers and telephone systems mapmakers.

Students enrolled in the geospatial science program will gain knowledge in the classroom, laboratory and in the field, working alongside faculty expert mentors while using the latest geospatial science technology.

“Our students will benefit from the faculty expertise that already exists in geographic information systems, digital cartographic techniques, digital imaging processing and GIS field research methods,” Rogers said.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) administers a variety of educational programs and makes higher education public policy recommendations to the governor and General Assembly in such areas as capital and operating budget planning, enrollment projections, institutional technology needs and student financial aid.