PhD in Spatial Informatics

Spatial Informatics Research Programme

Spatial Informatics, also referred to as Geospatial sciences and technologies, Geo-Informatics and such deals with the study, research and technology advancement in the fields of Remote Sensing, Geospatial Science and Systems, and its various applications across multiple disciplines including Spatial Modelling and Simulations.

The research group at Lab for Spatial Informatics, IIIT Hyderabad works on a range of research areas in these related fields ranging from Spatial, Spatio-temporal data handling and data processing to GeoVisualization; from Spatial Data bases to Spatio-temporal analytics and Spatial BigData; from Satellite/UAV image analysis to GeoAI; from applications in Land use, Environment, Forests, Hydrology, Climate to Urban and traffic simulation models; Web and Mobile GIS to Geospatial standards. A brief glimspe of on-going research topics can be seen in the following figure. The group has also worked and contributed to Open Source software development/FOSS4G activities.


For more information and current research works, you may visit LSI Center’s website [1] [2] [3]; and current years RnD Showcase posters.

About the Program

PhD Programme in Spatial Informatics is aimed at promoting research in the areas of GeoSpatial technologies (Remote Sensing and GIS) and its related areas. The program provides opportunities for students to work in different areas of GI science and system related research, new methodologies and algorithm development for both RS and GIS and in all related application domain areas.

The PhD student is expected to carry out the academic and research requirements in pursuance of his/her PhD program. This will include, but not limited to, publishing and presenting the findings in top rated related journals and conferences. Also, s/he may need to contribute to projects in related areas and actively participate in the activities of the research group.


The candidate should have completed or completing a Master’s program (Master of Science/M.E/M.Tech/MSc/MCA/MA).

While a student with a Masters Degree in Geospatial/Spatial sciences or Geoinformatics is eligible to the PhD program, students with Master’s in other related areas like Geogrpahy, Forestry, Urban Planning, Computer science, etc are also eligible if they have done or have sufficient experience in working or handling Geospatial data and a good understanding of its concepts. Applicants will have to write and clear the common General Aptitude paper.  The Spatial science subjective paper may be tested/evaluated during or just before the interviews.

* Note Students with background in Computer Sceince can also apply for the regular PhD program in CSE offered here at IIIT-H and do research in Spatial Informatics area. It be noted that such students will be governed by the PhD in CSE program guidelines.

Modes of Admission to PhD in SI

The admissions selection processes is mainly through the Post Graduate Entrance Exam (PGEE). See for details regarding this process. Applicants will have to write and clear the common General Aptitude paper.  The Spatial science subjective paper may be tested/evaluated during or just before the interviews.

Alternatively, exceptional students and students pursuing research at IIIT already can also apply through the PG Standing Committee. An Interview will be held for all such candidates. For details Click here

Program Requirements - Institute Regulations

A student of the PhD program in Spatial Informatics is expected to successfully complete the following 4 stages (I to IV) for the award of the degree.

I. Course requirements (Depth)

A minimum of three courses, each at or above 4000 level course, will need to be done by the student with a satisfactory grade of competence. Of these courses, one or more should be from the Compulsory course group and one from Group 1.

II. Breadth Qualifiers

Students of Geospatial/Spatial and other non-CSE background are required to do 3 or more courses from Groups 2 to 4 (in consultation with the Advisor). While Students of CSE background are required to do the foundations and systems part of the breadth courses/qualifiers as specified in PhD in CSE program guidelines.  An average grade of B or above is required for the Breadth Courses. Courses may preferably be done within the first 4 semesters.

After finishing the Breadth Courses, there will be a Comprehensive Viva, clearing of which clears the student of the Breadth Qualifier requirements.

Course Groups are as follows. Always consult your advisor for a better understanding of the courses required as per your research area/plan.

Compulsory SI related courses like Remote Sensing, GIS, and other main program courses.

Group 1: Related Domain courses in Environmental and Natural Sciences, Hydrology, Agriculture, Social Sciences and others

Group 2: Maths, Statistics, Programming (Computing tools, Advance Problem solving, etc) related courses.

Group 3: Computer science courses that are used or fundamental in geospatial technologies and the research problem you will work on. It may be courses like Digital Image processing, Pattern recognition, Algorithms, Databases, Computer vision, and others that are offered at the Institute.

Group 4: Other courses of relevance to the student’s research area/plan. They may be course in AI, Cognitive Science, and others.

III. Dissertation proposal defense

The student is expected to defend the dissertation proposal in front of an appropriate committee appointed by the Dean (Research). A student is declared a PhD candidate after this requirement is satisfied.

IV. Dissertation Final defense

On submission of the full thesis and clearing the final defense, the student will be awarded the PhD.

Regular Review The progress of the student will be reviewed once every semester, till the thesis proposal is submitted. If in the first 2 years, there has been no satisfactory progress, the candidate may be asked to leave the PhD program.

** For any updates/changes to these regulations, please see

For Lab-overview, please click here


Click here for Detailed Curriculum Document


Page last updated on April, 2023