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Geographic Information Science - MGISc PDFDownload to print

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Geography

413 McGilvrey Hall
Tel: 330-672-2045


The Master of Geographic Information Science is offered fully online and will prepare graduates for analytical and managerial positions that utilize geospatial technologies in three professional areas: cyber-infrastructure, environment, and health.

Students in the CyberGIS concentration will focus on the challenges of managing, filtering, analyzing and visualizing large volumes of spatiotemporal data from mobile devices, web-based services and supercomputers. This knowledge will prepare graduates to work in government and industry and provide the expertise to enable scientists, businesses and policymakers to gain new insights from large spatial datasets.

Students in the Environmental Geographic Information Science concentration will focus on the use of geographic information science to understand environmental changes and hazards. Practitioners in the fields of emergency management, public safety and homeland security rely on geospatial technologies and mapping for planning, response, mitigation and recovery activities. Geographic information science is a key contributor to obtaining situation awareness in cases of natural and human-technological events. Jobs are available for GISc-skilled professionals at all levels of government and in private-sector consulting.

Students in the Geographic Information Science and Health concentration will focus on the use of geographic information science and allied geospatial technologies that have become widespread in the study of health and in management of healthcare resources. Geographic information science skills are needed through all levels of health-related agencies in government, and are becoming standard across private industry and non-profits in this area. From understanding and preventing epidemics around the world, to identifying healthy lifestyle resources in a neighborhood, geographic information science has proven invaluable in adding the necessary spatial insight for improved health quality and outcomes. Students who choose this concentration will graduate with the highly-valued technical skillset to advance these goals in health research and management.

Admission Requirements

Official transcript(s), minimum 3.000 undergraduate GPA; undergraduate degree in geography or a related field*; goal statement and two letters of recommendation. Please refer to the University policy for graduate admissions.

* Requirement that undergraduate degree be in geography or related field may be waved with evidence of professional experience using geospatial technologies or alternative evidence of ability to excel in a geographic information science graduate program.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 32 credit hours and selection of one concentration. Students are permitted to specialize in maximum two concentrations.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Collect, edit, integrate, manage and analyze geospatial data.
  2. Demonstrate skills and working knowledge of commerical and open source GIS application suites and utilities.
  3. Identify, explain and analyze spatial patterns, relationships and processes. 23
  4. Apply cartographic principles and techniques to create quality maps.
  5. Apply critical and spatial thinking to solve geospatial problems with respect to theories, principles and practices of geographic information science and fields in the degree concentration areas.
  6. Demonstrate good communication skills and ability to work in a team environment.
Culminating Requirements

As the capstone to the program, students will complete a practicum that is designed to provide practical experience in the application of MGISc course content in real-world professional settings. Students will select a professional project in consultation with their employer and program faculty and then will design, implement and report on their activities in a culminating professional paper.