Program Description

The Geographic Information Science program provides students with high-quality training in a cutting-edge field combining geography, information science, statistics, remote sensing and environmental studies. The wide diversity of faculty expertise in the program enables students to pursue their own research interests by applying geospatial technologies (e.g. GIS, spatial statistics, cartography, unmanned aerial systems remote sensing) to surface hydrology, atmospheric processes, cultural and natural resource management, demography, historical change, location analysis, transportation/land use planning, and regional economics. Program graduates are highly competitive in the job market and most past graduates have obtained high-quality jobs upon graduation or continued on to pursue a doctorate. 



Research Opportunities and Assistantships

The program provides research assistantships and teaching assistantships for qualified students. Most of the graduate students in the program receive support as a teaching or research assistant. All graduate students are encouraged to present at state and national meetings and publish their research in peer review journals. The department has a variety of equipment and software to support research including survey-grade GPS, environmental data loggers with GPS, Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler, UAVs for mapping and remote sensing, specialized GIS and remote sensing software (e.g. ArcGIS and e-cognition) and workstation and servers for computation of large datasets.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Geographic Information Science (GISci) program requires:

  • GPA: expected minimum of 3.0
  • Entrance Exam: GRE
  • Application Deadline: rolling admission; but February 1 (to be considered for funding the following Fall)
  • Applicants should allow approximately one month for materials submitted to the College of Graduate Studies to be processed and forwarded to the department.
To be eligible for Regular Admission at any time, applicants should have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Applicants must submit transcripts, general GRE scores, two recommendation forms containing letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose on the scope of approximately 500 words that addresses the following questions: What are your career goals? How will this program help your career goals?

An applicant who does not meet the foregoing requirements may be granted admission with stipulations by the department graduate committee. Details may be found at our How to Apply Webpage.

Program Course Requirements for Admission

  • Three hours of Statistics (CMU equivalent: STA 282 or STA 382)
  • Six hours of M.S. GISci-relevant courses at the undergraduate lefvel - or -
    three hours at the graduate level.

  • Apply online at
    apply.cmich.edu.

    We also offer an accelerated master's admission for current Central Michigan University undergraduates. Please contact the program director for details.

    Graduation Requirements

    The MSGISci program offers students two tracks to graduation. Option A requires students to complete and defend an M.S. thesis. Option B requires students to complete and defend a smaller research project and complete an additional course.

    Career Outlook


    For More Information

    Dr. Matthew Liesch
    Director, MSGIScience Program
    Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
    277 Dow Science Complex
    liesc1me@cmich.edu
    (989) 774-2675

    Visit our MSGIScience program website.