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:

  • a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0;
  • GRE general test scores;
  • evidence of adequate academic proficiency in fields related to GIS, including undergraduate course work and/or experience in GISci, statistics and computer science; and
  • two letters of recommendation.

Applications are due March 15 for fall semester and Oct. 15 for spring semester. Apply online at

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.

For More Information

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