Master's in Earth Remote Sensing

Master of Science
Main Campus - Melbourne
Major Code: 8089 Degree Awarded: Master of Science
Age Restriction: N Admission Status: graduate
Delivery Mode/s: classroom only Location/s: main campus
Admission Materials:3 letters of recommendation, résumé, objectives, GRE

Program Chair
George A. Maul, Ph.D.

Earth remote sensing is the science, engineering and art of quantitative measurement from satellites, aircraft, marine vehicles, buoys and moorings, radar and other platforms removed from the target. It includes understanding the instrumentation, software, radiative transfer, hydroacoustics and principles of systems designed to acquire, process and interpret information about Earth for application to vital contemporary problems in agriculture, coastal zone management, ecology, engineering, environmental science and resource management, forestry, land use, meteorology, natural hazards, oceanography, urban planning and other issues.

Admission Requirements

Students applying for admission to the Earth remote sensing program should have undergraduate majors in the physical or life sciences with strong backgrounds in computer science. Students with bachelor's degrees in other scientific or engineering fields may need to complete certain preparatory coursework before starting the master of science program, and completion of such courses may require additional time. Any such requirements will be determined by the program chair and graduate faculty before admission. The prospective student will be advised of these requirements prior to acceptance. Applicants must submit GRE General Test scores for evaluation, a statement of interests, a résumé and three letters of recommendation.

General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented in the Academic Overview section.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Earth Remote Sensing is offered with thesis and nonthesis options. The thesis option requires the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours of required and elective credits (includes six credit hours of thesis) and the nonthesis option requires a minimum of 33 credits hours (includes a written final program examination), based on an approved program plan developed in conjunction with the faculty advisor. Included in the total are at least nine credit hours of core remote sensing courses as listed below.

Core Courses
  • ENS 5000 Environmental Science Seminar
    (each semester)
    Credit Hours: 0
    Reports and discussions of current research and environmental events by graduate students, faculty and visiting scientists. Required attendance for all graduate students.
  • ENS 5010 Environmental Optics and Remote Sensing
    Credit Hours: 3
    Describes methods for collecting and analyzing field and laboratory optical data related to water and plant canopies in detail. The methods covered via lectures and assignments are related to their use in remote sensing of the environment.
    Instructor approval
  • MET 5233 Atmospheric Remote Sensing
    Credit Hours: 3
    Nature of radiation, blackbody radiation laws, Maxwell's equations, radar equation, radiative transfer equation, inversion techniques. Applications from surface, aircraft and spacecraft observations using Doppler, Lidar, visible, infrared and microwave systems to infer synoptic atmospheric properties.
  • OCE 5550 Bathymetry
    Credit Hours: 3
    Determination of coastal and deep-sea bottom topography using modern techniques of remote sensing, GIS, swath and side-scan sonar, marine geodesy, computerized data acquisition and archiving, hydroacoustics and survey vessel design; includes field experience with offshore and harbor survey vessels.
  • OCN 5704 Oceanic Remote Sensing
    Credit Hours: 3
    Radiative processes, remote sensors and sensor platforms; photogrammetry, radiometry and multispectral pattern recognition; image interpretation, data processing and applications. Also includes ocean research examples from aircraft and spacecraft.

A list of restricted electives is available from the department.

The curriculum is modified to meet the student's needs, background and chosen area of emphasis, which may be atmospheric, land, submarine or oceanic remote sensing. Students are required to attend the graduate seminar.