Master of Science in Geographic Information Science Online

Enhance your potential as a geographic information science specialist! This online program employs advanced spatial data-collecting methods and state-of-the-art technologies to hone your GIScience skills.

Apply by: 4/15/24
Start class: 4/29/24 Apply Now Apply Now

Program Overview

What our online master's in geographic information science offers you

Rise as a subject matter expert in the innovative field of spatial data when you earn the Master of Science in Geographic Information Science 100% online from Northwest Missouri State University. As the first higher education institution to pilot a master's-level GIScience program, Northwest offers you a history of excellence for graduating GIScience experts and a comprehensive GIS curriculum that combines modern technology systems with science, preparing you for any data mapping challenge in today's setting.

The M.S. in Geographic Information Science online program is ideal for professionals working in conservation, intelligence, police, military or health industries who aspire to be at the forefront in data-gathering to uncover patterns and solve complex geo-spatial challenges.

In the online master's in GIS program, you will add to your specialized acumen by expanding your technical data-mapping skills using both hardware and software technology systems; discovering innovative ways to capture, process, analyze and represent data in real-world settings; advancing your understanding of remotely sensed information as it pertains to a GIS landscape; examining the latest trends in cartography and geographic information science as a whole—and much more.

Our highly qualified GIScience faculty is committed to your success. Our educators have years of experience working as specialized geographers in sectors such as academia, public and private agencies and GIScience research, plus they maintain strong ties with industries that seek to employ well-trained GIS candidates. Throughout the coursework, you will have ample opportunities to collaborate with your professors and peers, including the completion of a comprehensive capstone project.

Graduates of this GIS online program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the use of GIS through election maps, COVID-19 maps and any other up-to-date categorization mapping
  • Conduct a GIS capstone project from beginning to end, including identifying an issue/problem and demonstrating the ability to find usable spatial data
  • Apply Python™, Google Earth, Google Images and ArcGIS technologies as tools in gathering geographic information science data
  • Explore the use of remotely sensed information in a geographic information science environment, with emphasis on understanding data sources, tools and techniques in remote sensing
  • Understand the analysis and statistical tools used by geographers and uncover the fundamentals of geostatistics that are used in research and business
  • Study advanced vector data models and analytical methods using vector data
  • Comprehend the process of GIS database design, including user needs assessment and conceptual, logical and physical database design, with an emphasis on the design of spatial components in GIS data
  • Demonstrate the use of GIS through election maps, COVID-19 maps and any other up-to-date categorization mapping
  • Conduct a GIS capstone project from beginning to end, including identifying an issue/problem and demonstrating the ability to find usable spatial data
  • Apply Python™, Google Earth, Google Images and ArcGIS technologies as tools in gathering geographic information science data
  • Explore the use of remotely sensed information in a geographic information science environment, with emphasis on understanding data sources, tools and techniques in remote sensing
  • Understand the analysis and statistical tools used by geographers and uncover the fundamentals of geostatistics that are used in research and business
  • Study advanced vector data models and analytical methods using vector data
  • Comprehend the process of GIS database design, including user needs assessment and conceptual, logical and physical database design, with an emphasis on the design of spatial components in GIS data

Geographic information science careers:

  • Conservationist
  • Climate Scientist
  • GIS Manager
  • Health Geographer
  • App Developer
  • Meteorologist
  • GIS Technician
  • Cartography Technician
  • Precision Agriculture Researcher
  • Marine Survey Analyst
  • Conservationist
  • Climate Scientist
  • GIS Manager
  • Health Geographer
  • App Developer
  • Meteorologist
  • GIS Technician
  • Cartography Technician
  • Precision Agriculture Researcher
  • Marine Survey Analyst

Accreditation:

AAQEP logo

Northwest Missouri State University is accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) and is recognized by the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education™ (DESE) and the Higher Learning Commission.

Also available

Northwest offers a variety of specialized online degree options. Check out our other online graduate programs.

Total Tuition $11,250*
Program Duration As few as 20 months
Credit Hours 30

Accreditation:

AAQEP logo

Northwest Missouri State University is accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) and is recognized by the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education™ (DESE) and the Higher Learning Commission.

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Need More Information?

Call 844-890-9304

Call 844-890-9304

Tuition

Our budget-friendly tuition can be paid as you go

Our M.S. in Geographic Information Science online program offers affordable, pay-by-the-course tuition, which is the same for in-state and out-of-state students. All fees are included.

Tuition breakdown:

Total Tuition $11,250*
Per Credit Hour $375

Transfer your credits for lower tuition

Use our Tuition Estimator to see how affordable your degree could be. Slide the notch to the number of credits you've already earned—which may qualify for transfer credit—to get an estimate of what your degree might cost.

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Transfer Credits: 0
Your Estimated Tuition: $16,140
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Transcripts sent from other colleges and universities will be evaluated, and accepted credits will be added to the student's A-State record. The Tuition Estimator is not a guarantee or predictor of the number of credit hours that will be accepted.

Calendar

Northwest online dates and deadlines

Northwest online programs are delivered in an accelerated format ideal for working professionals, conveniently featuring multiple start dates each year.

TermProgram Start DateApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlineRegistration DeadlinePayment DueLast Class Day
Spring 23/4/242/19/242/22/242/26/242/28/244/19/24
Summer 14/29/244/15/244/18/244/22/244/24/246/14/24
Summer 26/24/246/7/246/12/246/14/246/18/248/9/24
Fall 18/26/248/12/248/15/248/19/248/21/2410/11/24

Now enrolling:

Next Apply Date: 4/15/24
Next Class Start Date: 4/29/24
Ready to take the next steps toward

earning your degree?

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Admissions

Steps to being admitted into our online master’s in GIS program

At Northwest, we've streamlined the admission process to help you get started quickly and easily. Please read the requirements for the M.S. in Geographic Information Science online, including what additional materials you need and where you should send them.

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended

NOTE: Students are highly encouraged to have a PC for MS Geographic Information Science courses. Students with a Mac are likely to run into issues with the ESRI software.

To apply for this program, you must meet these requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited higher education institution with a GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Combined GRE score of 286 or higher on the verbal and quantitative sections. Students who do not meet this criteria may be admitted under the condition of maintaining a 3.0 or higher in the first 9 credit hours of graduate study.
  • The GRE requirement will be waived for:
    • Applicants with a graduate degree (master's or higher) from an accredited institution
    • Applicants who have earned the Geographic Information Science certificate at Northwest
    • Applicants with one year of documented full-time professional work experience in the field of geographic information science OR three years of documented full-time professional work experience in any field

Official transcripts can be emailed to [email protected]. To submit official documents by mail, send them to:

Graduate Records Specialist
Northwest Missouri State University
800 University Drive
Maryville, MO 64468-6001

Have a question? Call us at 844-890-9304.

Click here for State Authorization information.


Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended

Courses

A look at the online GIS curriculum

For the M.S. in Geographic Information Science online, the curriculum is comprised of 10 courses (30 credit hours), including 12 credit hours of core courses, 12 credit hours of elective courses and 6 credit hours of research courses.

Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
GIS is a powerful technology for managing and analyzing geographic data. This course provides students with the conceptual background for a rigorous study of fundamental GIS principles, including the nature of spatial data, vector and raster data models, and key GIS analysis operations. It provides a strong foundation for advanced courses or work in GIS.
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course integrates the use of remotely sensed information into a GIS environment. Emphasis is placed on understanding image formats, imagery sources on the internet, composite color display schemes, visual interpretation, and getting data out of images.
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
A cartography course that introduces fundamental cartographic theory and emphasizes effective visual thinking and visual communication with Geographic Information Systems.
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course helps students develop a comprehensive and systematic understanding of spatial analysis methods and learn practical skills in using GIS and spatial analysis to discover features of spatial distributions.
Students must choose four of the following courses.
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Covers advanced topics in GIS using the raster data structure. Emphasis is placed on the use of raster-based data for spatial modeling applications.
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
An introductory course for developing programming skills for geoprocessing in ArcGIS using the Python scripting language. Python fundamentals and the use of ArcGIS geoprocessing functions and methods will be the primary focus of this course. A brief overview of ModelBuilder for developing geoprocesses will also be discussed. No previous programming experience is required.
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course provides concepts and hands-on experience on current technologies for disseminating maps on the internet. Students will learn how to author and publish GIS maps online and develop web applications. Experience in web programming is helpful but not required.
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
A comprehensive study of the process of GIS database design, including user needs assessment and conceptual, logical and physical database design. Emphasizes design of the spatial component of GIS data
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
Addresses the applications and latest trends in Geographic Information Science and provides a framework and theoretical concepts for understanding spatial problems along with real-world case studies to implement GIS solutions.
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
An advanced remote-sensing course focusing on image-processing techniques. In this course, we will further the understanding of the concepts learned in the introductory remote-sensing course (Geog 32-604) and explore various image-processing techniques to extract information from remotely sensed images.
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
A research seminar for GIScience graduate students who are ready to start their research component. This seminar is to help students develop an awareness of various research methods and of the literature review process as well as their own GIScience research interests. Students become familiar with thinking, writing and criticizing at the graduate level.
Duration: 7 weeks
Credit Hours: 3
This course will help GIScience graduate students conduct a project and fulfill their research component requirement for graduation. Through this project, students will demonstrate their abilities to apply GIScience knowledge and skills to an appropriate problem or situation. Students will document and present their research process and findings.

Ranked #1

Northwest Missouri State University is ranked #1 among the "Best Online Colleges in Missouri" by SR Education Group (2020)

Highly Qualified Faculty

100% of classes taught by professionals, not graduate assistants

*Tuition and fees are based on current rates. Textbooks and laptops are not included with tuition.

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