Master’s in GIS Degrees (Geospatial Science)

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The Masters in GIS program is a highly innovative degree option that includes elements related to Geography, geographical technologies, and cross-disciplinary learning into different cultures and languages. Every GIS degree program is different, but the primary focus of the Master of Geospatial Science program includes using advanced data science and analytics, computer software, drones, and GPS technology to advance civilization and business.

Are There Online Master of GIS Programs?

Yes, there are multiple options for online Masters in GIS programs including offerings at renowned universities in the US. Johns Hopkins University, Calvin University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Washington, and the University of Denver are several examples of schools that have a Master of GIS online.

Master of Geospatial Science Programs

What you should be interested in if you are considering a Masters in GIS

The GIS degree is a specific high level degree for students considering a career within the field of geographical technology and Geospatial Science. Read more through this guide to see specific constituents of this degree program, courses, and career fields that you could take part in through studies in this area. The type of career that you are seeking can help in guiding you into the right degree and specialization along the way.

Students considering a GIS degree program should have a profound interest in the current geographical information systems and geographical imaging systems currently used all across the country. The schematics of these programs can outline areas for change and modification that can lead to even more utility within these technologies for future development.

Different subjects that can contribute to your success in these programs include regional, physical, and human geography, each providing its own contribution to this field as a whole. It is your role as a student in this program to maximize the potential of current software to provide accurate and helpful programming for use in the field.

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Studying Geospatial Science Online

Online degree programs have shown remarkable growth over the last decade in the U.S. This is likely due to the flexibility that these programs can provide to learners, some of which hold full-time jobs and little time for furthering their education. If you are currently working in a position that requires 40 hours per week, you can consider online Masters in Geospatial Science for your degree program. You can make your own schedule for studying and completing assignments, which can contribute to higher changes of success in your program.

In the online environment, students can review their assignments and utilize online resources for projects and research. Most online courses have virtual drop box tools for assignment submission, making it easy to turn your work in on time each week.


Online courses were designed based on the traditional classroom model. You can have access to study materials, discussion boards, and in-class email for support from other students and instructors, mirroring the real-world environment of the traditional course.

While graduate programs for this curriculum can be standard for some industries or professions, students can become familiarized with geospatial studies without the time or cost commitment of a masters program. For example, the University of Texas at San Antonio offers an undergraduate certificate in GIS.

Typical GIS Courses

Before you participate in any online program, you should take the time to explore the curriculum and how it is organized from start to finish. This can help you better prepare for what is ahead in your program, as well as alleviate any surprise courses from coming up throughout your learning experience.

Most online programs in this field offer you the opportunity to explore the course list online through the degree's web page. This can be a great way to see course titles and also read descriptions provided by the university.

The courses required for this major program can include some unique component related to general and advanced geography, technologies related to geography and navigation, and even some of the computer information systems that are responsible for providing you with helpful geographical information everyday.

In some programs, students can also practice their skills in the analysis and modification of current programs through technologies in the online classroom. These opportunities can be great for gaining skills and becoming familiarized with the programs available for use in the field.

In order to make you journey a little smoother, our team has gathered a few sample courses from actual programs in the field. You are encouraged to read through the courses below to learn about the different topics that come together as the Masters in Geospatial Science.

Top Masters in GIS Courses

<table Course Description Intro to Physical Geography Students enrolled in this course can be introduced to the study of Earth, including components such as biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. A look at maps and how they explain the locations and shapes of Earth's surface and locational data may also be part of this course. Students may also focus on how people affect the Earth and its systems as part of course requirements. Military Geography This course provides an outline of the significance of Geography on military operations. Particular focus is placed on how regions, locations, maps, and geographical dimensions can affect the overall planning process of military actions and processes. Remote Sensing and Imagery Analysis While enrolled in this course, students can utilize the particle and wave theory equation to exploit the electromagnetic radiation spectrum. An investigation into digital image processing techniques may also be a part of this course, which can encourage students to further explore the fundamentals of imagery analysis within the field of GIS.

What is GIS (Geospatial Science)?

If you choose to pursue your Masters in GIS program in the online environment, you can begin your journey to higher knowledge in this field from your very own home. Geospatial Science is a science-driven field that can lead you into many different specialized options depending on what interests you as an upcoming professional.

Geospatial Science at its core is concerned with the study of Geography, geographical technology, and understanding of different cultural areas all around the world. You can choose to specialize within many different subfields within Geospatial Science, each providing its own contribution to innovation in the field.

Through studies in this program, you can learn to create technologies used for monitoring different geographical areas for the purpose of human studies, climate change, transportation, or even navigation. There are numerous applications that you can find for skills in this degree area.

Society has grown increasingly dependent on technologies associated with mapping locations and even commonly use these applications for recreational purposes. The experts behind the development of these innovative programs have received training just like what is provided in the online Masters in GIS.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in this field, our team encourages you to look through some of specialization options available for this degree program. There are numerous that can be more fitting for what you desire in your day-to-day work environment.

Our team of educational experts has pulled information from open and enrolling online Masters in Geospatial Science programs in the field. The list below shows some of the common concentration options that you can choose for your learning experience.

  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Transportation Systems and Technology
  • Geospatial Applications
  • Cartography
  • Geoinformatics

Typical Prerequisites

Planning for a future Masters in Geospatial Science should include a look into what type of skills and prerequisite courses might be beneficial for you during this experience. In most cases, universities can provide you with requirements that should be completed prior to becoming accepted into their program that can guide you along the way.

You can start preparing for this program as early as the bachelors level. Some students can enroll in and complete undergraduate programs in Geography, Information Technology, or even Engineering prior to beginning this program as a means for gaining as many skills as possible before extensive learning in GIS.

Courses that focus on computer information systems, computer programming, and Geography can be helpful to students without any history or experience within this professional areas. The Masters in GIS program can jump right into advanced topics, making your current understanding important to your movement through the program.

If you want to learn more about what is expected of you for admissions into this innovative degree program, our team encourages you to research the specific degree program you are interested in to review the degree-specific prerequisites for that program.

Geospatial Science Scholarships for this Program Area

Masters-level learners that are ready and willing to engage in advanced learning in the field of Geospatial Science can seek out financial resources to help cover the high costs of their education. If you are holding back from applying due to the costs of this program, you should look for scholarship opportunities currently open for GIS programs.

Different colleges that offer GIS programs can provide scholarship opportunities to promote interests in their program and a higher influx of professionals in the field. Historically, colleges like Purdue University and Northern Illinois University have provided opportunities for upcoming learners depending on the level of demand for students in the program.

Professional organizations and businesses can also provide scholarship opportunities from year to year for students interested in this line of work. These options are typically reliant on your achievements at the undergraduate level or your community service work during your lifetime.

Learning about scholarship opportunities in your area may require you to conduct regular searches within your state, as well as look at online resources for new and exciting scholarship application periods. You may be required to submit proof of prior education, achievements, or contributions during the application process.

Where You Can Work Within Geospatial Science

Graduates of the Masters in Geospatial Science can use the skills learned during their educational training in a wide variety of professional areas. One of the most popular career fields for students from this program is at the government level.

Government jobs in Geospatial Science

GIS professionals working for the U.S. Government can find careers associated with national defense, surveying, or even urban and regional development. Information systems designed by GIS specialists can be utilized to monitor areas for safety, as well as survey different areas for weather related changes or natural disasters.

Military careers in Geospatial Science

The U.S. Military currently uses geographical software to establish safety in foreign lands, to view foreign territories during the planning process, and even to identify enemy settlements during foreign wars. This type of programming can be essential to success in critical situations in the military setting.

Private Business and Contractors in Geospatial Science

Businesses within society can also hire Geospatial Science professionals as experts in the usage of geographical technologies during the development of new manufacturing plants, surveying of lands for economic development, and making decisions based upon resources within a regional area.

Tech jobs in Geospatial Science

The field of technology is another field that can benefit from added GIS specialists. The technologies that you use to find your location, navigate, and research new areas across the world were likely developed by professionals in this field, making it a great opportunity for you as a member of this specialized area.

Masters of Data Science Degrees

Online Masters in Geospatial Science Programs

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University Program Online/State

Johns Hopkins University

Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems Online (Maryland)

Michigan Technological University

Master of Science Degree in Integrated Geospatial Technology Online (Michigan)