Most recent graduates are just thankful to get a job offer to kick off their careers, but for those with a geospatial degree from Troy University in Alabama, that simply isn’t the case.
“The students go to the interview and say, ‘look, I have a number of offers. I will decide and let you know,’” says Steve Ramroop, Ph.D, associate professor and program director for the Surveying and Geomatics Sciences Program at Troy University.
It’s a unique position to be in, but it’s a testament to the program’s success in preparing students for life as geospatial professionals. This ABET-accredited program is the only one of its kind in the state. It came to life when the Alabama Society of Professional Land Surveyors reached out to Troy University’s chancellor expressing a need for a Bachelor's of Science degree in surveying. The university agreed and the rest is history.
Today, Troy University boasts four different pathways to land surveying licensure in the state of Alabama, which requires a degree in geomatics or a related field from an accredited program, Ramroop notes.
High school graduates can attend Troy University as a traditional four-year student or transfer from another institution to obtain a degree.
“Another pathway is for those who have been working in land surveying and want to get their license but don’t have a degree,” he says. “What we have done in our department is provide the minimum required credit hours of geomatics classes online to pair with our online Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) degree.”
They get a geomatics minor, which sets them on a path to take their national exam. The last option is for professionals who have a related degree that need the minimum geomatics credit hours to take the exam. These classes can be taken online.
“We are really catering to the different demands out there,” Ramroop says of the program. To further prepare students for life as geomatics professionals, the university boasts the latest technology used by licensed land surveyors.
“We are using the best technology, the best hardware, the best software in terms of what the professionals are using out there. That’s what we are using and teaching our students,” he says.
Those interested in obtaining a Bachelor of Science in surveying and geomatics sciences, which requires 120 credit hours, must complete the following Surveying and Sciences Program core cores (53 credit hours):
- GEM 1100 Computer-Aided Drafting 1
- GEM 1101 Computer-Aided Drafting 11
- GEM 2220 Basics of Surveying w/lab
- GEM 3309 Land Survey Principles w/lab
- GEM 3310 Land Survey Practice w/lab
- GEM 3330 Advance Measurement Analysis w/lab
- GEM 3366 Photogrammetry
- GEM 4408 Geodesy & Geodetics
- GEM 3379 Least Squares Adjustment
- GIS 3390 Fundamentals of Geographical Information and Analysis
- GIS 3391 Application of Geospatial Information Sciences
- GEM 4405 Route & Construction w/lab
- GEM 4407 Land Development w/lab
- GEM 4409 Hydrology w/lab
- GEM 4410 Intro to Global Positions
- GEM 4490 Geomatics Capstone
- Choose one of the following: GEM 4499 Geomatics / GIS Projects or GEM 3395 Cooperative Work Experience I GEM 4496 and Cooperative Work Experience I
The core courses for a Surveying and Geomatics Sciences Minor (20 credit hours) are as follows:
- GEM 1100 Computer-Aided Drafting I GEM 2220 Basics of Surveying
- GEM 3309 Land Survey Principles
- GIS 3390 Fundamentals of Geographic Information and Analysis
- GEM 4408 Geodesy and Geodetics
- GEM 4409 Hydrology
- GEM 4410 Introduction to Global Positions (GPS)