Nicholls State University

Geomatics is listed as one of the Top 3 emerging industries by the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Education.
Nicholls geomatics students are in high demand, often receiving multiple job offers before graduation.
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Looking for a cutting-edge and fast-growing profession with tons of high-paying job opportunities? Consider the field of surveying, made possible by today’s high-tech instruments, software and drones. At Nicholls State University, our geomatics program integrates traditional mapping and land surveying with advanced geographical technologies like GPS and laser scanning, giving students a competitive edge in the job market.

If you enjoy working with technology, video games, and puzzles, our geomatics program is perfect for you. It’s the only one of its kind in Louisiana, offering a unique and valuable skill set. Don’t miss out on the chance to launch a fulfilling career in a growing field.

With today’s high-tech instuments and software, mapping has become a fast-growing, cutting-edge profession with tons of new high-paying job opportunities. The Nicholls geomatics program offers students a competitive advantage by integrating traditional mapping and land surveying with sophisticated geographical technologies such as GPS and laser scanning. Ideal for people who enjoy technology, video games and puzzles, our geomatics program is the only one of its kind in Louisiana.

" Geomatics gives you the opportunity to solve problems and design things that really matter, things that make the world a better place."
– James Reeves, Major: GEOMATICS
"The Geomatics program provides a rigorous curriculum that opens great opportunities to explore multiple areas of Surveying and to grow academically, professionally, and personally. I have been offered multiple opportunities for employment, volunteer outreach, and advancement of skills through hands on and advanced courses. Additionally, the curriculum is built on the idea of fundamentals, professionalism and has stressed the importance of being able to work alongside various licensed land surveyors in hopes of also becoming licensed in the future. It is the people that I have met in this program that have made it such a valuable experience and that pushed me to succeed. The one-on one advice and mentorship from the professors has allowed me to establish a strong relationship that no other University could offer! "
Bethany Ekiss, Major: GEOMATICS
"Studying Geomatics has been a great decision. It has given me the opportunity to learn about cutting edge emerging technologies and how to apply practical knowledge to the world. Everything you learn in the math and science of Geomatics has applications in solving real world problems. Geomatics is a passionate challenge of pushing your abilities to create solutions to intricate technical problems. "
– James Jones, Major: GEOMATICS
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Geomatics is the branch of science that deals with the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data relating to the earth’s surface.

Are you interested in math, science, computers, high-tech equipment or maps? Our students are often artistic,
pay attention to details and enjoy working both in an office and outside in the field. Some hope to own their own
firm one day; others look forward to the wide variety of well-paying career opportunities available to geomatics
graduates. We cater to traditional college students as well as veterans.



The geomatics program educates students in the way landform and spatial data are measured, recorded, processed, stored, retrieved and shared by the use of conventional methods and new technologies in geographic information systems, land information systems and global positioning systems. The program also prepares students to face the increasing demands by society for more data with increasingly higher standards of accuracy.

Traditional courses, distance learning technologies and internships maximize educational opportunities for both traditional and nontraditional students. Classes for the Professional Land Surveyor Certification have been incorporated into the geomatics program.

Nicholls has one of the leading drone research programs in the state.


Engineering is a challenging and rewarding career path. The Nicholls Pre-Engineering program allows students to complete their first two years of courses in an environment where they can receive one-on-one attention from instructors. The Pre-Engineering curriculum is tailored to fit each student’s needs by meeting with their adviser early during their freshman year to select electives and plan a curriculum that will help them successfully prepare them for an engineering program.

While students spend the majority of their two years completing general education requirements, such as English and mathematics, most also take beginning engineering science courses in engineering graphics, computer-aided drawing and surveying graphics offered through the Nicholls Department of Applied Sciences.

Your future career in geomatics

3D Printers
Autodesk Civil 3D
Bentley Openroads

Average salary for the Geomatics/Surveying industry:


Nicholls geomatics students are in high demand, often receiving multiple job offers before graduation.

Louisiana workforce statistics show that at least 60 surveyors are needed each year, leading to many fast-advancement opportunities within the profession. Upon graduation, you’ll be prepared to register as a certified Professional Land Surveyor in Louisiana as well as pursue careers in:

Cartography (map making)
• Construction
Geographic Information System (GIS)
Global Navigation Satellite Systems
• Homeland security and intelligence
Hydrography (water mapping)
Photogrammetry (measuring objects from photos)
Remote sensing
Terrestrial laser scanning
Unmanned aerial systems (drones)

Programs you'll learn:

Trimble Business Center
Autodesk Civil 3D
Bentley Microstation
Bentley Openroads
Erdas Imagine
Resonon Hyperspectral Image Processing Software
Google Earth Pro
Google/Trimble SketchUp


Geomatics Student Association at Nicholls State University

Outside of the classroom, you’ll have the opportunity to get involved with the student chapter of the Louisiana Society of Professional Surveyors.


The Nicholls Geomatics program invites you to Geographic Information Systems Day — a fun day full of hands- on activities for students interested in geography, math, physics, high-tech gadgets, computers or maps.

During GIS Day, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in a GPS scavenger hunt
  • Watch a drone simulation
  • See geospatial demonstrations from state and federal agencies as well as surveying and mapping firms
  • Compete in geography games
  • Enjoy lunch in the Dining Hall
  • Learn more about the Nicholls geomatics program (the ONLY one of its kind in Louisiana) and tour our high – tech labs


Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission LOGO

Setting The Standard Worldwide

ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental agency that accredits programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.

ABET accreditation provides assurance that a college or university program meets the quality standards of the profession for which that program prepares graduates.

Industry advisory boards for each of the Department of Applied Sciences’ programs ensure that the faculty is addressing industry needs and emerging industry trends through their curricula.

Members of the Nicholls Geomatics Program Advisory Committee:

Mr. Charles Coyle Sr., PLS
Past President of LSPS
Coyle Engineering and Land Surveyors
Bossier City, LA

Mr. Charles Coyle III, PLS
Past President of LSPS
Coyle Engineering and Land Surveyors
Bossier City, LA

Mr. Clifford Smith, PLS
Past President of LSPS
T Baker Smith, LLC
Houma, LA

 Mr. David L. Paterson, PLS
Past Member of Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board
Past President of LSPS
LandSource, Inc.
Baton Rouge, LA

Mr. James B. Pellegrin, PLS
Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors
Galliano, LA

Mr. Jimmy Chustz, PLS
Chustz Surveying, LLC
New Roads, LA

Mr. John Hebert, PLS
Mph, Inc.
Houma, LA

Mr. Kappy Cullum, PLS
C & R Land Surveying, LLC
Broussard, LA

Mr. Morris Hebert, PLS
Past President of LSPS
Past Member of LA Board of Regents (BoR)
Past Member of Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board
Mph, Inc.
Houma, LA

Mr. Paul Kocke, PLS
Past President of LSPS
Gandolfo Kuhn, LLC
Harahan, LA

Mr. Ricardo M. Johnson, PLS
Director of Coastal Services
Chairman of LSPS Elevation Committee
Lafayette, LA    

Mr. Stanley Ard, PLS
Past President of LSPS  
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development

Mr. Steven Flynn, PLS
Past President of LSPS
Riverland Surveying Company, LLC
LaPlace, LA

Mr. Timothy Allen, PLS
Past member of Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board
Apache Corporation
Houma, LA

Mr. Vic Weston, PLS
Board Member of LSLBC

Mr. Will Fontenot, PLS
Forte & Tablada, Inc.
Baton Rouge, LA

Mr. Brad Holleman, EI, PLS
Current President of LSPS
Denham Springs, LA



Dr. Esra Tekdal Yilmaz
Assistant Professor of Geomatics
Department Head of Applied Sciences
Morris&Sandra Hebert Endowed Professor
Nicholls State University

Dr. Balaji Ramachandran
Associate Professor of Geomatics
T Baker Smith Endowed Professor
Contractors Educational Trust Fund Super Endowed Professor
President Elect Surveying and Geomatics Educators Society
Geomatics Program Coordinator
Nicholls State University         

Dr. John Dennis
Assistant Professor of Geomatics
Nicholls State University

Dr. Terry Dantin
Professor Emeritus
Nicholls State University

Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission LOGO

 Total Undergraduate EnrollmentDegrees Awarded
 Part TimeFull TimeBachelors
Fall 2021927TBA
Fall 20203423
Fall 20193368
Fall 20185386
Fall 20175324
Fall 20167232
Fall 20154265
Fall 2014102811
Fall 2013104711
Fall 201213518


  • Comprehensive knowledge of the fundamental principles of Geomatics and Land Surveying.
  • Proficiency in the practice of surveying and related mapping disciplines. 
    Preparedness for graduate or advanced technical education.
  • Understanding and appreciation of how local experience translates to societal and global needs.
  • Commitment to lifelong learning and professional and leadership developments.  

In the United States, surveyors are licensed at the state level by professional licensing boards. Surveying boards confer the P.S. license when licensure candidates meet a combination of requirements in education, experience, and exams. Before registering for an upcoming NCEES surveying exam, review your state’s unique approval and registration process by selecting your state or territory from the map or drop-down list below.

The FS and PS exams are administered via computer-based testing. Registration is open year-round. Contact your state licensing board directly for information about state-specific surveying exams.

Nicholls State University meets NC-SARA requirements. MORE INFO HERE>

SARA – the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement – is an agreement between member states, territories and districts of the United States of America. As of July 2019, 49 states (all but California), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have joined SARA.

SARA provides a voluntary, regional approach to state authorization of postsecondary distance education. SARA member states assume the principal responsibility of ensuring that SARA policies are followed by the institutions they approve to participate in SARA – policies designed to result in high-quality distance education offerings being available to students around the country. Institutions approved to participate in SARA enjoy a streamlined approach to securing approval to offer distance education/online programming in SARA member states.

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