Geospatial Information Science and Technology - Online and Distance Education

Geospatial Information Science and Technology


GIST Policies and Procedures

Students should be aware of a number of important graduate school and GIST policies. If at any time you have a question about any of the GIST policies and procedures detailed here, you should consult with your advisor or the Director of Graduate Programs.

All of our program policies mirror the policies of the Graduate School at NC State. All students are responsible for knowing the contents of the Graduate School Handbook. Students should also review their program handbooks, which are provided during orientation.


MyPack portal allows you to add and drop classes. If you are only enrolled in one class, you cannot simply drop that class, as that is considered withdrawal from university. To withdraw from the university, you will be required follow the procedures outlined below.

Enrollment Advising

Registration typically opens in the 3rd week of October and 3rd week of March. Your advisor will notify you approximately 3 weeks prior to discuss course selection and plan of work, if needed. A mass email will be sent by the program 2 to 3 weeks prior to registration alerting students to advising holds, etc.

Advising Holds

GIST policies state that each student will have an advising hold placed on their account at the beginning of each semester. This hold must be removed by your academic advisor before you can enroll for a particular semester. Students should consult with their advisors prior to the enrollment period each semester on progress and intended courses. Cashier Holds can only be removed by the Cashier’s office; students must contact them directly.

NOTE: Students should plan to enroll early in the registration period, as courses can fill up and it may be difficult to get into your desired courses if waiting until later in the semester to register.

Continuous Enrollment Requirements

Students are required by the Graduate School to maintain continuous enrollment while in their respective programs. This means enrolling in at least one course each semester (summers excluded). Students are only allowed up to 2 semesters of Leave. If you know you will not be taking any courses in an upcoming semester, MGIST students need to request an official Leave of Absence prior to the leave semester (see Graduate Handbook for procedures).

NOTE: Only students with a GPA greater than 3.0, which is considered good academic standing, are typically eligible for a Leave of Absence.


Students who have registered for courses but experience documented hardships after the official drop period (census day) in a given semester and wish to withdraw (be removed from all courses) for that semester must contact the Director of Graduate Programs and follow the procedures outlined in MyPack Portal: Student Home Page –> Planning and Enrollment Tile –> Term Withdrawal. Students who withdraw after census day do NOT need a Leave of Absence to meet the continuous enrollment requirement. Students withdrawing between the start of the semester and census day will need a Leave of Absence to accompany the withdrawal.

Academic Progress

No grade below a C- can be counted towards Graduate Credit on the student’s plan of work. It is in the GIST policies that a student who makes below a C- in a required course will be allowed to repeat the course to increase their grade and meet the requirements of the degree. If the student makes below a C- a second time, then the student, advisor, instructor, and Director of Graduate Programs must meet to discuss continued progress in the degree.

If a student makes below a C- in an elective course, the student has the option of retaking the course or choosing another course. Any course with grade below a C- will still be factored into the student’s overall cumulative GPA calculation, even if that course is repeated (both grades will count).

Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in order to remain in good standing and be allowed to graduate. If a student is terminated from the program, they must petition for reinstatement with the Graduate School by contacting the Director of Graduate Programs.

The following warnings will appear on your transcript if you meet the following criteria in a given semester:

  • Academic Warning: Students completing fewer than 18 hours of coursework with a GPA lower than 3.0
  • Academic Probation: Students completing more than 18 hours of coursework with a GPA between 2.667-2.999
  • Termination: Students completing more than 18 hours of coursework with a GPA lower than 2.667


MGIST Students must:

  • Ensure a Plan of Work has been submitted in MyPack Portal and approved by the academic advisor and program director showing a 3.0 gpa or better and matching exactly the courses taken to meet the degree requirements. Incompletes must be resolved before you can graduate.
  • Submit an application to graduate via MyPack Portal by the specified deadline each semester (note the program deadline may be before the university deadline)
  • Submit a Program Exit Survey
  • Participate in the Digital Symposium & Professional Showcase
  • Attend the College of Natural Resources graduation ceremony (optional)