Skip to main content

GEOG 594A - Culminating Experiences in Geospatial Intelligence

This is a sample syllabus.

This sample syllabus is a representative example of the information and materials included in this course. Information about course assignments, materials, and dates listed here is subject to change at any time. Definitive course details and materials will be available in the official course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.


GEOG 594A: Culminating Experiences in Geospatial Intelligence (3 credits) is a required capstone (seminar) course for Penn State's:

  • Graduate Certificate in GEOINT Analytics (GEOINT)
  • Intercollege Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security (iMPS-HLS)

The course is a 16-week seminar and requires up to 15 hours of student activity each lesson. The first six weeks provide the foundation for the geospatial problem you will investigate in greater depth during the last ten weeks. This seminar brings together the threads of the Geospatial Intelligence program and reinforces the standards of professionalism applicable to geospatial intelligence analysis in government and business. The overarching aim is to enhance your understanding of the role of geospatial intelligence, develop individual competencies, reinforce professional concepts, and improve geospatial analytical techniques and methods. GEOG 594A is the culminating experience for the Intelligence and Geospatial Analysis Option of the Intercollege Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security as well as the final course for the Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Intelligence Analytics. As such, the course expects the student to explore and critically analyze a topical area of interest in appropriate depth. This seminar provides an opportunity to apply the technical tools, concepts, and theories learned in previous coursework while investigating a current analytic problem.


To successfully complete GEOG 594A, students must communicate a high level of knowledge of the subject based on their thinking, organization, and technical analysis of the geospatial evidence. The topic of this seminar is to examine the core analytic competencies of the geospatial professional; this is to say, to examine a geospatial analytic problem. The goals of this seminar are for you to:

  • identify a real-world problem.
  • perform an elementary Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis.
  • present and justify the need to study the problem.
  • provide the practical ways in which the proposed study should be conducted.
  • recognize the ethical and professional issues in the spatial domain.
  • evaluate and apply analytical methods in geospatial analysis.

Required Materials

Typically, there are no required materials for this course. If this changes, students will find a definitive list in the course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.


There are no specific course requirements in order to take GEOG 594A, but it does require courses or previous experience in GIS and remote sensing and a conversation with your advisor.


This course requires up to 15 hours of student activity each lesson. You will need to check out the course discussion boards regularly. That's where students and instructors share comments, pose questions, and suggest answers. I strongly encourage you to get in the habit of logging in to the course website every day to check in on the class. With only occasional exceptions, I check message boards every day. You can be sure that I will read, but not necessarily respond to every single message.

Major Assignments

Your grade for this course will be based on your course participation and ten (10) deliverables. Detailed instructions and due dates will be available in Canvas when the semester begins.

  • Research Question (5% of total course grade)
  • Refined Question and Bibliography (7.5% of total course grade)
  • Data Exploration Assignment (12.5% of total course grade)
  • Video Presentation & Discussion (12.5% of total course grade)
  • Capstone Proposal (12.5% of total course grade)
  • Workplan (12.5% of total course grade)
  • Project Review (12.5% of total course grade)
  • Presentation (12.5% of total course grade)
  • Final Paper (12.5% of total course grade)

Course Schedule

Course Schedule
1Lesson 1: Developing Your Research QuestionResearch Question
2 & 3Lesson 2: Literature SearchQuestion & Bibliography
4 & 5Lesson 3: Exploring Your Data with Maps and Descriptive StatisticsData Exploration Assignment
6Lesson 4: Proposal PresentationVideo Presentation
7Lesson 5: Finalized ProposalCapstone Proposal
8Lesson 6: WorkplanWorkplan
9 - 11Lesson 7: Project ReviewProject Review
12 - 15Lesson 8: PresentationPresentation
16Lesson 9: Finalized PaperFinal Paper