Academic Programs Home | Academics | Academic Programs | Surveying Degree

Surveying Degree

Apply Now Request information

Program Info

Degree Type:
(800) 414-5756
Application Deadline
*Available for International Students
About Highlights Curriculum Locations Spotlight Careers Faculty
Back to Top

About Alabama’s Only ABET-Accredited Surveying and Geomatics Sciences Program

Do you excel in math and science? Are you interested in computers, the latest technology and the environment? If your answer is “yes,” then a Troy University bachelor’s degree in surveying and geomatics sciences may be the perfect fit for you. TROY is home to the only ABET-accredited surveying and geomatics sciences program in Alabama and one of the few in the southeastern United States. Our program boasts a 100% job placement rate. In fact, our students typically have multiple job offers before they graduate. Your land surveying degree can be adjusted to meet your specific needs and interests in geomatics.

Geomatics students using surveying equipment on Troy University quad.
“The geomatics program at Troy University provides opportunities for a wide-ranging amount of career paths. The faculty has a genuine passion and interest to see the students succeed and equip them with the proper skills they need. The amount of job opportunities upon graduation speaks for itself. I believe the program has prepared me to successfully pursue a career as a geomatics professional, all while making some life-long friends in the process.”
Reid Jones, PLS | Surveyor III, Hargrove Engineers & Constructors | 2018 graduate, B.S. in Surveying & Geomatics Sciences

A Surveying Degree Balancing Theory with Hands-on Practice

Through core courses and labs, you’ll take a deep dive into a range of subdisciplines in geomatics, such as land surveying, land development, photogrammetry, remote sensing, geodesy surveying and geographic information systems (GIS). Throughout the program, you’ll be exposed to state-of-the-art surveying equipment including robotic total stations, laser-equipped total stations and GPS equipment. TROY’s geomatics computer lab is equipped with photogrammetry and the latest computer-aided design (CAD), land surveying, GIS, drone and scanning software.

Connections and Experiences that Can Lead to Surveying Jobs

In small classes, you’ll receive individual attention and feedback from highly trained and experienced faculty members in TROY’s Department of Geospatial Informatics. You’ll have access to one-on-one faculty advising to help you plan your academic and career goals in surveying and geomatics. You’ll also gain more meaningful interactions with your peers. Through two co-ops built into the program, you can earn competitive wages, gain invaluable work experience, and make connections that could lead to future surveying jobs and other career opportunities.
Apply Now

Surveying and Geomatics Degree Curriculum

While specific courses may vary from year to year, your coursework may include:
Academic Catalog Degree Map

Survey Degree Locations

Get the flexibility you need by taking courses online, in class or through a blend of both. For more information about program availability and delivery options, call 1-800-414-5756.

Path to Your Surveyors License

Through TROY’S surveying and geomatics sciences program, you’ll be prepared to play a fundamental role in designing and constructing buildings, roads, bridges, tunnels, water-supply systems and utilities. You could also go on to create computer systems for land management, resource management, utility organization, traffic control and urban planning — or put your TROY education to work helping less developed countries change their land ownership systems and promote economic growth and democracy.

Our program is approved by the Alabama Board of Licensure for Engineers and Land Surveyors, so you can be assured your TROY degree can lead you to a career as a licensed land surveyor in Alabama. To become a professional licensed land surveyor, you must apply through the Alabama Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. For more information, visit

Students using computers in the geomatics lab.

Careers with the TROY Surveying Degree

With TROY’s bachelor’s degree in surveying and geomatics sciences, you’ll be well-positioned for surveying jobs with leading surveying and engineering companies. Most of our geomatics graduates start as survey crew chiefs or surveying technicians and proceed to positions like project manager or surveying manager. Several have started their own survey companies.

Faculty Profiles

Bill Hazelton, Ph.D.

Bill Hazelton, Ph.D.

Bill Hazelton holds a Ph.D. in Surveying/Land Information from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and is a registered surveyor in Australia. Following his time working in the survey industry in Australia, he spent almost 10 years at The Ohio State University, where he developed their Geomatics Engineering program. Bill’s interests cover the full breadth of geomatics, including professional, theoretical and technical issues.
Dr. Steve Ramroop, GISP

Dr. Steve Ramroop, GISP

Dr. Ramroop serves as Program Director for the Surveying and Geomatics Sciences Program. In 2002 he earned his Ph.D. in Geographic Information Sciences from the University of Otago in New Zealand. His research interests range from traditional Land Surveying concepts to the techniques of knowledge-based and machine-learning Geographic Information Systems.
Dr. Xutong Niu

Dr. Xutong Niu

Dr. Niu is chair of the Department of Geospatial Informatics at TROY. He received his Ph.D. in Geodetic Science and Surveying Engineering from The Ohio State University in 2004 and began his career at Troy University in 2008.

Subdisciplines in Geomatics

Your surveying degree can be adjusted to meet your specific needs and interests in the field of geomatics. Through your core course, you’ll study the following subdisciplines in geomatics:
Land surveying

The subdiscipline of land surveying is an ancient science dating back to the first need to delineate land ownership on the ground. The need for land boundaries or cadastral surveyors is just as important today. In fact, one could argue that as human population grows, the demand for the fixed quantity of land on the earth surface increases. As land values increase, the need for the accurate determination of land boundaries becomes even more important.

Land development

Many geomatics professionals assist in the design and construction of roads, bridges, subdivisions and planned unit developments. Areas of interest are planning and zoning, the principles of route surveying, hydrology, large-scale mapping, subdivisions design and CAD drafting. 

Students are offered the opportunity to study land development in GEM 4405 Route and Construction Surveying, GEM L407 Land Development Lab and GEM 4409 Hydrology. Topographic mapping is studied in GEM 3330 Advanced Measurement Analysis and GEM L405 Route and Construction Surveying Lab. GEM 4409 is a design course focused on the determination of peak flows and design of hydraulic flows to accommodate runoff. An exciting integration of land development and GIS is offered by new software that offers parcel management features. 

Career opportunities exist for geomatics professionals in construction surveying, subdivision design and layout, and land information systems (GIS).

Least squares

Least squares is a statistical criterion for the estimation of the goodness of fit in correlation analysis. Least squares methods aim to minimize the sum of squared differences between the observations and the predictions from a model. Least squares is a method for determining the line that comes nearest to passing through a set of data points. The squares come in because of Pythagoras’ theorem about triangles. The method aims to minimize (hence the word “least”) the sum of the differences from the data points to the line in question. Least squares is a mathematical optimization technique that attempts to find a “best fit” to a set of data by attempting to minimize the sum of the squares of the differences (called residuals) between the fitted function and the data.

Geodesy and GPS

Geodesy is the study of the size, shape and the effect of the physical properties of the earth on measurements. A mathematical model of the earth is the subject of geometric geodesy, the earth’s gravity field is the subject of physical geodesy, and the use of earth satellites to measure the earth’s surface is the concern of satellite geodesy. The civilian use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) is a major component of the study of geodesy. GPS plays a valuable role in providing precise measurements between receivers on the earth’s surface based on one-way signals broadcast from a network of satellites. Study of the models used by GPS systems to determine precise coordinate locations and the transformation of these initial coordinates to facilitate the accomplishment of local geomatics projects is a major portion of the course work in GEM 3370 Geodesy and Geodetics.

GPS is a complex system that is easy to use. However, to understand the system itself, one needs to study the propagation of electromagnetic waves (microwaves), the properties of the atmosphere, the orbits of the satellites and the impact of solar radiation, the concept of precise timing, the ellipsoid model used as a reference system for GPS measurements, transformations between coordinate systems and the principles of least squares adjustment.

Construction surveying

Construction surveying is the translation of construction plans into physical points on the ground that can be used as a basis for the actual construction. The results of construction surveying are seen in almost any urban, suburban and even rural setting. Almost any roadway, building, or other man-made improvement probably had some amount of construction surveying involved. Construction surveying provides not only the horizontal location of new improvements but also the vertical information required to ensure that surfaces drain or pipes flow as required. The stakes and points set during the process of construction surveying are not usually set at the actual construction point, but usually on some sort of offset. This is done so that the survey stake is not disturbed by excavation or other activities that will take place at the actual point of construction. The stakes are marked with an “offset” and a “grade,” which provides the construction crew with the spatial relationship of the construction stake to the actual point of construction. The “offset” is the distance from the survey stake to the horizontal position of the actual point of construction and would typically be three feet for curb and gutter to 10 feet for underground pipes. The distance of the offset should be coordinated with the contractor to accommodate any specific needs due to existing field conditions or special equipment and should be clearly marked on the survey stake (usually by a number enclosed in a circle). The “grade” represents the change in elevation that needs to be obtained from the reference point to the actual construction point, expressed as a “cut” (lower in elevation) or a “fill” (higher in elevation). The grade should also indicate the vertical feature that the grade is referencing, usually a flow line or finished floor elevation. The need for accuracy is inherent in all of the surveyor’s tasks but is especially evident in construction surveying. It is not only important to perform all calculations correctly but also to communicate clearly with the contractor about the distance of offsets and reference points for grades. If the surveyor provides grades to the flow line of curb and gutter and the contractor uses those grades as top-of-curb elevation, the net result is a construction site that is not going to work as planned! Additionally, scheduling should be coordinated in a manner that minimizes the risk of the stakes being damaged by human or natural activities, as any disturbance to the survey stake may carry over to actual construction. (

Photo and remote sensing

The U.S. National Map Program providing full map coverage of the continental United States was made possible by the development of the theory and practice of photogrammetry. Photogrammetry is the science of obtaining measurements from photographs. Today the importance of photogrammetry has not diminished as the most effective method of providing precise spatial data over large project sites.

The pressing need for precise spatial data for geographic information systems makes the field of photogrammetry an exciting area to study. Students are taught the fundamentals of photogrammetry with an emphasis on being able to apply photogrammetry in a practical way to all types of surveying and mapping problems. TROY has made an investment in leading-edge imaging software to allow students to use computers to view photography, perform image enhancement, set up stereo models and to produce orthophotos to use as maps. Our students are taught how to perform aerial flight planning to ensure the photography and control necessary to meet specific project data accuracy requirements. Students are exposed to the following technology:

  • SUMMIT EVOLUTION digital photogrammetric workstation: This is a user-friendly system for performing 3D feature collection directly into AutoCAD®, MicroStation® or ArcGIS®. The SUMMIT EVOLUTION system allows for easy management of multiple model images along with their appropriate camera and control files in a project-based environment.
  • ERDAS IMAGINE is one of the world’s leading providers of geographic imaging solutions. The software facilitates visualizing, manipulating, analyzing, measuring and integrating any type of geographic imagery and geospatial information into 2D and 3D environments. ERDAS IMAGINE is easily integrated with ArcGIS®.
Geographic information systems

GIS is an application that can benefit from the input of a team of interdisciplinary professionals. A geomatics professional is a valuable member of a GIS team when the mapping data is required to be precise such as the base map for county land ownership or utility location. Applications requiring precise data typically use photogrammetry and survey-grade GPS receivers to acquire the data. 

The ability to determine the procedures and equipment necessary to acquire a specification for precise data is one of the benefits from study in our geomatics program. GIS is a major component of our surveying and geomatics sciences program. You’ll be offered two courses on the fundamentals and application of GIS. GIS applications are introduced in the curriculum to demonstrate the impact that GIS is and will continue to make on your career in geomatics.

Simply put, a GIS combines layers of information about a place to give you a better understanding of that place. One of the main benefits of GIS is improved management of your organization and resources. A GIS can link data sets together by common locational data, such as addresses, which helps departments and agencies share their data. By creating a shared database, one department can benefit from the work of another.

Impactful Online Geomatics Minor

If you prefer to pursue a surveying and geomatics sciences minor, you can supplement your TROY major with a 20-credit-hour minor through the Department of Geospatial Informatics. You can complete your studies in person or completely online and gain the knowledge you need for specific surveying jobs, business ownership or graduate school.

Surveying Degree Scholarships

There are a number of surveying degree-specific scholarship opportunities for students enrolled in this program. You may also be eligible for a variety of TROY undergraduate scholarships.

Related Programs

Helpful Links


Brett Orrell, center, and Polysurveying have funded a scholarship for geomatics students in honor of his grandparents, seated.

TROY alum creates endowed scholarship for geomatics students in honor of entrepreneur grandparents

Troy University alumnus Brett Orrell and his family-owned company, Polysurveying, have created an endowed scholarship for future geomatics students who choose to further their education at TROY. The scholarship was created in honor of Orrell’s grandparents, Sidney and Theresa Orrell, who founded the company in 1971.

Read More


Apply Now Request Info Contact Us
Cookie Acknowledgment
This website uses cookies to collect information and to improve your browsing experience. Please review our privacy statement for more information.