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Geographic Information Systems, MAS

At a Glance: program details

Are you interested in working with computers and new technologies? Do you appreciate thoughtful design? Do you have a passion for problem-solving? Combine these highly marketable skills and interests, and be prepared for an in-demand career.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MAS Geographic Information Systems

The MAS in geographic information systems is a compact, one-year degree program fostering advanced study in the management and use of GIS technology in public and corporate environments. The degree program meets important educational needs of working professionals and recent college graduates seeking to improve their career standing. The program provides a comprehensive professional program that balances work in the theoretical and technical aspects of GIS with the applications domain. Students are exposed to innovative technology with a focus on building invaluable problem-solving skills, and the opportunity to work on real-world GIS projects.

The program places the focus on location --- the heart of geography and GIS. From that foundation, students learn advanced modeling solutions in GIS and Earth observing as well as how to integrate computer science, statistics and geography to address a multitude of questions.

Small class sizes ensure quality attention from the faculty, and classes are held in the evening during the week, allowing flexibility for the working professional.

The degree is achievable in one year. A new cohort begins the program each August, with students attending evening classes during the fall and spring semesters. Upon completion of the spring semester, students select a project to complete during a summer eight-week session. Final presentations take place in mid-July, and in fewer than 11 months the degree program is complete.

Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

  • 30 credit hours including the required applied project course (GPH 693 or GIS 693)

Required Core (24 credit hours)
GIS 601 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (2)
GIS 602 Intermediate GIS (2)
GIS 603 Spatial Statistics and Modeling (2)
GIS 604 Implementation in the Corporate and Public Sectors (2)
GIS 605 GIS Project Planning and Implementation (2)
GIS 606 GIS Project Presentation (2)
GIS 610 Programming the GIS Environment (3)
GIS 630 GIS Technologies (3)
GIS 640 GIS for Business (3)
GIS 650 GIS for the Internet (3)

Other Requirement (3 credit hours)
GIS 684 Internship (3)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
GIS 693 Applied Project (3) or
GPH 693 Applied Project (3)

Additional Curriculum Information
Other requirement coursework may be substituted with approval of the academic unit.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's degree in a related field from a regionally accredited institution or if they demonstrate a minimum of three years related professional experience with a bachelor's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. personal statement
  4. resume
  5. two letters of recommendation
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

Applicants must prepare a formal, written personal statement regarding relevant academic experience, professional experience and overall interest in GIS.

Letters of recommendation must be from two people who can attest to the applicant's academic and professional achievements. Letters can be from any combination of current or former instructors, supervisors or professionals currently employed within the GIS or related discipline.

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Career Opportunities

Professionals with expertise in geospatial information science are in high demand across sectors and industries, including consulting firms, government agencies and community organizations. Skills in geographical data science, mapping and data analysis are valuable to businesses and institutions relying on data-driven approaches to solve complex real-world problems.

Graduates are prepared for careers in private and public industry, in which employees with these skill sets are needed for a wide range of positions, such as software developers, GIS analysts, mapping engineers, real estate researchers and more. Additional career examples include:

  • cartographer or photogrammetrist
  • geospatial information scientist or technologist
  • geospatial intelligence analyst
  • mapping technician
  • remote sensing scientist or technologist
  • software developer

Program Contact Information

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