Whether it’s flying a drone or collecting data, if a land surveying professional is doing it out in the field today, students in the surveying and geomatics engineering technology program at Alfred State in New York are doing it too. 

“Almost every single surveying class that we offer has a two- to three-hour lab with it so there’s tons of hands-on,” says Erin Vitale, chair of the civil engineering technology department at Alfred State College. 

Alfred State’s Surveying and Geomatics Engineering Program
Photo by Nick Ford.

Hands-on exposure is a key component of this program. In fact, a year-long senior capstone course gives students the opportunity to design their own survey problem (just like one they would encounter at a firm), go out and collect data, produce the finished product and present it to the department’s Industrial Advisors.

Alfred State boasts a surveying and geomatics engineering bachelor and a surveying technology AAS degree, which are both ETAC and ABET accredited — the university also offers a GIS minor. It’s the only surveying bachelor’s degree in the state, she adds, and the demand for Alfred State’s students is high. 

“I have had 11 companies contact me in the last three months, most with multiple positions for seven graduates of the BS program,” Vitale says. “Our students work every summer in industry and most of the seniors already have jobs confirmed upon graduation.”

Collaboration between the university and local industry begins with the Industrial Advisory Board. 

“They come every spring and we tell them about the students’ accomplishments. We want to make a change to any of the curriculum, we get their input before we make it. And it also gives them to come to us as say, ‘hey we’re seeing this in the field and we think your students should get exposed to this somewhere,’” she says. 

Some of those licensed land surveyors who are currently working professionals also donate time as adjunct teachers. This is another way that students gain exposure to what’s happening in the profession at the moment.  

The program aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of mathematics and physics, in addition to graphics and computer-aided drafting and design. To round out their education, students will study modern surveying theory and practice. 

Those interested in receiving their bachelor of science degree in surveying and geomatics engineering must complete the following courses:


Alfred State’s Surveying and Geomatics Engineering Program
Photo by Nick Ford.

First Semester

  • COMP 1503: Freshman Composition
  • CIVL 1011: Civil AutoCAD
  • CIVL 1204: Surveying I
  • CIVL 1182: Civil Tech Graphics
  • MATH 1033: College Algebra
  • GLST 2113: Global Perspectives: Special Topic


Second Semester

  • CIVL 2204: Surveying II
  • PHYS 1024: General Physics I
  • MATH 2043: College Trigonometry
  • Literature Elective


Third Semester

  • CIVL 3204: Legal Aspect & Practice of Land Surveying
  • CIVL 3214: Geodesy
  • PHYS 2023: General Physics II
  • MATH 1063: Technical Calculus I


Fourth Semester

  • CIVL 4204: Subdivision Theory & Application
  • CIVL 4214: Surveying Practicum
  • CIVL 4243: Surveying Computer Application
  • CIVL 4273: Photogrammetry & Image Interpretation
  • General Education Elective


Fifth Semester

  • CHEM 5013: Applied Chemical Principles
  • MATH 2074: Technical Calculus II
  • CIVL 5114: Land Surveying or CIVL 7114: Geographic Information Systems
  • General Education Elective
  • BUAD 3043: Business Law I


Sixth Semester

  • SPCH 1083: Effective Speaking
  • CIVL 6104: Analysis & Adjustments of Surveying Mrmnts
  • CISY 1113: Computer Programming I
  • General Education (upper) (MATH 6114 recommended)
  • Technical or Business Elective (upper)


Seventh Semester

  • MATH 7123: Statistic for Engineering Technology and Science
  • MATH 7113: Economic Analytics for Engineering Technology
  • CIVL 8104: Global Positioning Systems or CIVL 5114: Land Surveying
  • CIVL 7001: Senior Seminar & Project Design I
  • COMP 5703: Technical Writing II


Eighth Semester

  • PHYS 8013: Modern Physics
  • CIVL 8003: Senior Seminar & Project Design II
  • Technical Elective (upper)
  • General Education Elective


For more information on the surveying and geomatics engineering program at Alfred State, visit the Alfred State website.