MASTER OF
Geographic Information Systems

Enhance understandings of place, space, and time using Geographic Information Systems.

DEGREE TYPE
MGIS
MODE OF STUDY
Online
ADMISSION
Year Round
REQUIREMENTS
36 Credits
COMPLETION TIME
3 Years
TUITION
$1007 per credit hour

Program Overview

Our Master of Geographic Information Systems degree program is designed for students who are ready to serve as leaders in the geospatial profession. Through a combination of courses that explore all aspects of advanced GIS concepts, and a mentored capstone learning experience, graduates will be empowered to help shape the future of the geospatial field.

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spatial data
Spatial Data

Employ best practices in GIS database development to facilitate effective and proper creation, management, and analysis of spatial data.

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diagram of interacting data
Spatial Analysis

Leverage spatial data and statistical methods to quantitatively analyze geographic phenomena across space and time.

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GIsystem design
GISystem Design

Apply geospatial system analysis and design methods to improve the accessibility, usability, and utility of GIS platforms and tools.

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Maps that Matter
Maps that Matter

Use geospatial technology and maps to solve real-world problems and become an effective leader in the field of Geographic Information Systems.

Prepared for the Future


Graduates of this program will demonstrate mastery of the technical competencies and leadership skills required to design, manage, and use geographic information technologies successfully in a wide range of professional fields.

Curriculum

The Master of Geographic Information Systems is a 36-credit degree program in which it is also possible to earn a certificate in GIS, Geospatial Programming and Web Map Development, Remote Sensing, Geospatial Intelligence, or Geodesign while studying completely online. The degree program consists of a combination of required courses (9 credits), elective courses (21 credits), and a capstone project (6 credits). Program options exist for students who wish to specialize their studies in Geospatial Intelligence or GeodesignStudents must complete a minimum of 18 credits of 500-level or 800-level courses.

The typical student course load is expected to be three to five courses per year. It is recommended that students take only one course at a time. At the rate of four three-credit courses each year, most students will complete the MGIS in about three years of part-time study.

COURSE NUMBERTITLENEXT OFFERINGTECHNOLOGY
GEOG 583 Geospatial System Analysis and Design Fall 2, 2022 Varies
GEOG 586 Geographic Information Analysis Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Pro, GeoDa, R
GEOG 871 Geospatial Technology Project Management Fall 2, 2022 Microsoft Project, Project Libre

Each of these courses is worth three credits.

Ethics Requirement: Penn State’s Graduate School requires that every graduate student complete formal training in professional ethics during their first year of study. MGIS students may fulfill this requirement in either of two ways: 1) successfully complete GEOG 581: Spatial Data Science Ethics, or 2) successfully complete the non-credit Responsible Scholarship and Professional Practice Workshop, which is offered three times per year. Your advisor can help you decide which option is best for you.

Credits taken as part of one of our certificate programs may count toward the total number of credits required for the MGIS. Certificate programs range from 12 to 15 credits.

COURSE NUMBERTITLENEXT OFFERINGTECHNOLOGY
GEOG 479 Spatial Data Science for Cyber and Human Social Networks Fall 2, 2022 NodeXL
GEOG 480 Exploring Imagery and Elevation Data in GIS Applications Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Pro
GEOG 481 Topographic Mapping with Lidar Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Pro, GeoCue LP360
GEOG 482 Making Maps that Matter with GIS Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Story Maps, Python
GEOG 483 Problem Solving with GIS Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Story Maps
GEOG 484 GIS Database Development Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, ModelBuilder
GEOG 485 GIS Programming and Software Development Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, Python
GEOG 486 Cartography and Visualization Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Pro, Mapbox, Mapbox Studio, Tableau
GEOG 487 Environmental Applications of GIS Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Story Maps, OpenStreetMap, Prezi
GEOG 489 Advanced Python Programming for GIS Fall 2, 2022 Anaconda, ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, GDAL, Github, Jupyter, OGR, OpenStreetMap, Python, QGIS, R
GEOG 495 Internship Fall 2, 2022 Varies
GEOG 570 Capstone in Spatial Data Science N/A Varies
GEOG 571 Intelligence Analysis, Cultural Geography, and Homeland Security Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Story Maps, Google MyMaps, Portal for ArcGIS
GEOG 580 Geovisual Analytics Spring 1, 2023 ArcGIS Insights, ArcGIS Pro, CARTO, Tableau
GEOG 581 Spatial Data Science Ethics Summer, 2023
GEOG 585 Open Web Mapping Fall 2, 2022 CSS, GDAL, GeoServer, HTML, Javascript, Leaflet, OGR, OpenLayers, OpenStreetMap, QGIS, TileMill
GEOG 586 Geographic Information Analysis Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Pro, GeoDa, R
GEOG 587 Conservation GIS Spring 1, 2023 ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, QGIS, R
GEOG 589 Emerging Trends in Remote Sensing Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, Google Earth Engine, Javascript, Python
GEOG 591 GIS for Analysis of Health N/A ArcGIS, GeoDa, R
GEOG 597 Geospatial Intelligence Principles and Methods in the Cyber Domain N/A Varies
GEOG 597G Challenges in Global Geospatial Analytics Summer, 2023 ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, D3, HTML, Javascript, R, Tableau
GEOG 850 Location Intelligence for Business Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Online, Claritas PRIZM, Esri Business Analyst Online (BAO), US Census Bureau
GEOG 858 Spatial Data Science for Emergency Management Fall 1, 2023 ArcGIS Pro
GEOG 861 The Earth is Round and Maps are Flat: Spatial Reference Systems in GIS Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Pro, Geocart
GEOG 863 Web Application Development for the Geospatial Professional Spring 2, 2023 ArcGIS API for Javascript, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Web AppBuilder, CodePen, CSS, HTML, Javascript, Portal for ArcGIS
GEOG 865 Cloud and Server GIS Fall 2, 2022 Amazon Web Services, ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Server, CARTO, HTML, Javascript, Mapbox, Portal for ArcGIS
GEOG 868 Spatial Database Management Spring 1, 2023 Amazon Web Services, ArcGIS Pro, ArcSDE/Multiuser Geodatabases, PostgreSQL/PostGIS, QGIS, SQL
GEOG 871 Geospatial Technology Project Management Fall 2, 2022 Microsoft Project, Project Libre
GEOG 882 Geographic Foundations of Geospatial Intelligence Fall 2, 2022
GEOG 883 Remote Sensing Image Analysis and Applications Spring 1, 2023 Amazon Web Services, ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, eCognition Developer
GEOG 884 GIS for the Geospatial Intelligence Professional Spring 1, 2023 ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, CARTO, GeoDa, QGIS
GEOG 885 Advanced Analytic Methods in Geospatial Intelligence Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, Google Maps, QGIS
GEOG 892 Unmanned Aerial Systems Spring 2, 2023 Pix4D

Each of these courses is worth three credits.

Capstone Project studies are commonly undertaken in year 3. With mentorship from a faculty advisor, students prepare and present a project proposal in GEOG 596A and deliver a formal oral presentation at a professional conference in GEOG 596B.

COURSE NUMBERTITLENEXT OFFERINGTECHNOLOGY
GEOG 596A Individual Studies - Peer Review Fall 2, 2022 Varies
GEOG 596B Individual Studies - Capstone Project Fall 2, 2022 Varies

Each of these courses is worth three credits (may be repeated up to 9 credits).

Options

MGIS students may add to their degree an option in Geospatial Intelligence or Geodesign. Requirements are the same as those listed above, but additional prescribed courses will replace some elective credits, and the student’s capstone research project will be on the option topic.

Declare the GEOINT Option and focus your studies on producing information and insights through skillful and conscientious analysis of diverse geo-referenced data to manage natural and cultural assets, enforce the law, and plan and conduct military operations. In addition to the required courses listed above, MGIS students who choose to complete the GEOINT Option use elective credits to complete the courses listed below. 

COURSE NUMBERTITLENEXT OFFERINGTECHNOLOGY
GEOG 571 Intelligence Analysis, Cultural Geography, and Homeland Security Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Story Maps, Google MyMaps, Portal for ArcGIS
GEOG 882 Geographic Foundations of Geospatial Intelligence Fall 2, 2022
GEOG 883 Remote Sensing Image Analysis and Applications Spring 1, 2023 Amazon Web Services, ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, eCognition Developer
GEOG 884 GIS for the Geospatial Intelligence Professional Spring 1, 2023 ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, CARTO, GeoDa, QGIS
GEOG 885 Advanced Analytic Methods in Geospatial Intelligence Fall 2, 2022 ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, Google Maps, QGIS

Each of these courses is worth three credits.

Geodesign is a powerful approach to spatial problem-solving that requires the synthesis of geographic knowledge with the best practices of environmental design. Declare the Geodesign Option and focus your studies on combining science and evidence-based approaches to become more adept at assessing the impact of designs on people and nature.

If you choose the Geodesign Option with your MGIS degree, you need to take GEODZ 511 Geodesign History, Theory, Principles and your capstone will have a Geodesign focus.

Please direct any questions to Geodesign Lead Faculty:

David Goldberg
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in Geodesign

(Office) 814-865-4148
goldberg@psu.edu

COURSE NUMBERTITLENEXT OFFERINGTECHNOLOGY

Ready to become a leader in the field of Geographic Information Systems?