Ph.D. in Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing


Program Description

132433_geoinformatics_banner_v1.pngphoto courtesy of Pavol Jozef Safarik University Faculty of Science

Ph.D. program description

Our doctoral program Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing (GIS & RS) links to the research and education expertise of the Institute of Geography, Faculty of Science, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice. The academic personnel and technology infrastructure of the Institute of Geography provides very favorable conditions to support the GIS & RS study. The ongoing and past research projects and published results provide evidence of our know-how and its scientific relevance.

The dissertation topics have been recently focused in the following areas: mapping and modeling landscape surfaces using airborne and terrestrial laser scanning and unpiloted aerial systems equipped with various sensors, 3D city modeling and applications, land surface temperature and urban heat island modeling, innovations in geospatial visualization and user interaction.

The students are involved in the research projects since the beginning of the study, actively contributing to the publication of the results in collaboration with members of the research team thus actively learning the art of excellent research. They work in a diverse research team of senior researchers, post-docs and other Ph.D. students with state-of-the-art software and mapping technologies in the Laboratory of GIS and Laboratory of RS. Students are encouraged to actively participate in international conferences, networking events and undertake part of the study abroad, for example, via the ERASMUS+ program.

131118_131011_background_7_cathedral_laser_scan.jpg photo courtesy of Pavol Jozef Safarik University Faculty of Science

Admission requirements

All applicants to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD.) program at the Faculty of Science must meet the admissions requirements for entry. We welcome graduates in the field of Geography, Geoinformatics, but also in related fields such as Computer Sciences, Geosciences, etc. The applicant should support their interest with relevant background in GIS/RS which they either acquired during previous study or job.

Personal contact with a potential supervisor is advisable to consult the focus of the thesis. A specific topic can be negotiated but it is subject to the focus of the current research project at the Institute.

The focus of the thesis can be modified during the study to more accurately reflect the content of the thesis. The number of new doctoral positions is limited to 2-4 places per year.

Applicants must provide the following materials to be considered for the Ph.D. graduate program:

  • Complete online application form
  • Transcripts
  • Motivation Letter
  • Resume/CV
  • Application Fee
  • Letters of Recommendation (optional)

All qualified applicants will be invited for the admission committee hearing (late June). The applicants can ask for a Skype call instead. During the approximately 30-minute meeting, the applicant introduces himself/herself (education, experience, results) and presents his/her preliminary research plan based on the abstract of the Ph.D. theme published in the admission call and his/her current knowledge of the research problem.

Our selection criteria:

  1. Personal skills, knowledge, motivation, and ability to work on the topic. (40%)
  2. Study results and other activities such as participation in science fairs, scientific competitions, publications, conferences. (40%)
  3. The Institute priorities such as ongoing and planned projects, number of Ph.D. students of the selected supervisor, etc. (20%)


photo courtesy of Pavol Jozef Safarik University Faculty of Science

Admission Fees and Funding

Application forms need to be submitted either by post or online. Bachelor and Master programs require to pay an application fee of 30 EUR. The application fee for doctoral study programs is 50 EUR.

The doctoral study is financially supported by providing funding (stipend) for students. Each year the University allocates a certain number of Ph.D. positions for each doctoral study program. These positions are eligible for funding of ca. 10,000 EUR annually per student. More doctoral students than this number of funded positions can be admitted only as self-payers. Such a study is subject to a tuition fee of 5,000 EUR per academic year (2,500 EUR per semester) and no state funding is applicable. The study is taught in Slovak or English with no impact on tuition fees at the Faculty of Science.

We also welcome students within mobility exchange schemes such as Erasmus+, Ceepus, SAIA, Cotutelle, and others following the conditions of the schemes and the candidates should contact the International Relations and Scientific Research Office before sending an application.

How is the study organized?

The standard duration of the study is four years. Normally, submissions are due by June and the study commences in September.

The doctoral degree is based on coursework and research that leads to a dissertation. The coursework includes compulsory and selective compulsory courses. The compulsory courses are aimed at expanding the knowledge of the theory and methodology of Geoinformatics, Remote Sensing and Methods of geospatial analysis, geospatial modeling, and methods of geographic research, which can be used effectively in an environment of geographic information systems. The selective compulsory courses allow for specialization of the student according to his or her thesis, for example, programming for GIS, methods of geospatial data acquisition, mapping with unmanned aerial systems (UAS), geomorphometry and digital terrain modeling, cartographic coordinate systems, webGIS and interoperability of geodata, geostatistics, software engineering, distributed computing.

The scientific part involves reaching scientific objectives such as publications, citations, research projects, etc. The successful finish of the doctoral study expects acquiring skills and scientific expertise to publish the achieved results in international peer-reviewed research journals. The student must be the main author in at least one such a peer-reviewed paper thus confirming his/her ability to publish research results and leading the author team. Students will learn these skills in the process of supervision and communication with other colleagues at the Institute. Students meet with their supervisors on a regular basis and they are required to report their progress annually.

Both components of the study start since the first year of study and, typically, the study part is finished within the second year. By the end of the second year of the program, the student has to pass a written and oral state examination demonstrating the ability to independently conduct research. Writing the dissertation expects to detail the results of a substantial and original research project. The study ends with the public defense of the dissertation thesis, typically, in the fourth year of the study.

Ph.D. graduate profile

The graduate has a wide range of theoretical and empirical knowledge of Geographic Information Science and Remote Sensing. He or she is capable of solving complex geospatial tasks and apply the knowledge in practice. The graduate is capable of developing the theoretical-methodological base of Geoinformatics, particularly in the field of geospatial analyses, environmental modeling and the application of the most advanced methods of Remote Sensing.

The graduate knows the principles of scientific work and research, including publishing in international scientific journals and presentation of scientific results. He or she can formulate research questions and solve them creatively with appropriate methodological procedures. The graduate has an excellent overview of the contemporary state-of-the-art.

Graduates of this Ph.D. program are highly relevant on the job market especially for institutions focusing on research and development, universities, governmental institutions for landscape management, in the business where the development of geographic information systems software, spatial data acquisition, and analysis is required.


photo courtesy of Pavol Jozef Safarik University Faculty of Science

Career Prospects

Ph.D. graduates can apply for an academic position at universities and research institutions, highly-qualified positions in government organizations and private companies dealing with geospatial data, acquisition, and processing of satellite imagery, laser scanning data, UAV mapping, data analysis, 3D computational modeling, precision farming, forestry, environment protection.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

Founded in 1963, the Faculty of Science, has educated over 6 000 graduates of both, joint and single degree study. Currently, over 350 Bachelor’s, Masters’s, and Doctoral students graduate each year i ... Read More

Founded in 1963, the Faculty of Science, has educated over 6 000 graduates of both, joint and single degree study. Currently, over 350 Bachelor’s, Masters’s, and Doctoral students graduate each year in disciplines that impact lives today and will shape our future. Read less