Professional Certificate

Professional Land Surveying

photo of a professional land surveyor

The Professional Land Surveying Certificate (PLS) at Wentworth Institute of Technology is intended for professionals currently working in the land surveying field, who are seeking to become a registered Professional Land Surveyor in Massachusetts. Learn field measurement, survey calculations, evidence gathering and assessment, boundary determination, publication and presentation of final survey results, and the applicability of emerging technologies.  

For tuition information, click hereTo view the current academic schedule, click here 

Admissions Requirements

Successful applicants for admission should

  • Be 22 years of age or older
  • Have a minimum of 1 year of land surveying work experience
  • Prerequisites for program entry include:
    • English I & II
    • Pre-Calculus

Certificate Requirements

  • Overview of Surveying Technology 
  • Surveying Measurement I
  • Legal Aspects of Land Surveying I
  • Surveying Measurement II
  • Massachusetts Regulations Affecting the Surveying Profession 
  • Legal Aspects of Land Surveying II

Course Descriptions

SURV150 OVERVIEW OF SURVEYING TECHNOLOGY (3 credits)
This course will introduce the student to the various methods and applications of and surveying to the real estate, construction, and land development industries. Students will also be introduced to the various technologies employed by Professional Land Surveyors in accomplishing their work including differential leveling, electronic distance measurement (EDM), electronic data collection, computer-aided design (CAD), the global positioning system (GPS) and geographical and land information systems (GIS/LIS). Prerequisite: ENGL105 English Composition 

SURV160 SURVEYING MEASUREMENT I (4 credits)
This course will introduce the student to the fundamental theories and techniques for horizontal and vertical measurements with theodolites, automatic levels and steel tapes. Labs include projects in linear measurements, leveling, traversing and stadia surveys. Prerequisite: MATH235 College Math C

SURV250 LEGAL ASPECTS OF LAND SURVEYING I (3 credits)
This course includes an introduction to the realm of real estate law that is essential to the practice of land surveying and the basics of land surveying research. Real estate law and conveyancing terminology, evidence gathering, and research theory will be taught. Key principles of boundary law will be explored such as the relative weight of evidence, sequential and simultaneous conveyances, easements and rights of way, and the public land survey system. Prerequisite: ENGL105 English Composition  and SURV160 Surveying Measurement I

SURV340 SURVEYING MEASUREMENT II (4 credits)
This course includes traverse calculation, and error analysis, applications of coordinate geometry, horizontal and vertical curve calculations, introduction to geodetic survey principles, basic map projection calculations, and introduction to, and use of, data collection equipment and software. Labs include layout of horizontal and vertical curves, field techniques for boundary layout, data collection and site detail mapping. The final project in this course will involve the detailed surveying and mapping of a section of the campus suitable for use in engineering design, construction or conveyance. Prerequisite: SURV160 Surveying Measurement I

SURV380 MASSACHUSETTS REGULATIONS AFFECTING THE SURVEYING PROFESSION (3 credits)
This course will involve the study of those regulations directly affecting the practice of Land Surveying in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts such as the Registration Law, (MGL Chap. 112, Secs. 81D-81T), the Regulations of the Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and of Land Surveyors (250 CMR), the Subdivision Control Law (MGL Chap. 41), the Zoning Act, (MGL Chap 40A) and the Massachusetts Land Court Manual of Instructions. Students will be introduced to other bodies of regulations often encountered in the practice of Land Surveying such as municipal subdivision regulations, The Wetlands Protection Act, The Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act (MEPA). Prerequisite: ENGL105 English Composition

SURV390 LEGAL ASPECTS OF LAND SURVEYING II (3 credits)
Building on the principles taught in Legal Aspects of Land Surveying I, special boundary topics such as water boundaries, unwritten transfers, and writing legal descriptions will be covered along with the roles of statute and case law in the boundary decision process. Students will complete a final project that will involve the application of legal principles to an actual surveying problem requiring them to make boundary decisions involving conflicting evidence. Prerequisite: SURV250 Legal Aspects of Land Surveying I and SURV340 Surveying Measurement I

Program Total: 20 credits

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