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Master's in Geographic Information Science

Students learning how to use the gps unit

Accelerate Your Career

The MSGIS program is an intensive two-year, course-based Master's degree program where you can learn leading edge technology and develop expertise in GIS and Remote Sensing.

  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems - analyze agricultural data with UAS
  • Environment - quantify land use change with image classification
  • Visualization - buildmaps and interactive apps online
  • Exploration - explore for valualbe mineral and geothermal resources

How to Apply

A "Bachelor of Science" or "Bachelor of Arts" degree in any discipline that allows research focus on geotechnologies including, but not limited to: geosciences, anthropology, biology, business, information technology, computer science, history and engineering. You can focus on either the development of new gis tools and analytical procedures or the application of established and new tools and procedures to scientific problems.

General Requirements

  • Application - on line
  • GRE Scores*
  • Transcripts
  • Letter of intent
  • Statement of goals
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation

*GRE aptitude scores with 50th percentile or above in two of the three categories, or strengths clearly demonstrated in other components of the application are required.

Thesis Option: If you are interested in research or possibly a Ph.D. you are encouraged to select the Thesis Option. If a Research or Teaching Assistantship is desired, you may be required to select the Thesis Option.

The student's graduate advisory committee (major advisor and co-advisor) will establish specific research goals, thesis topic, and the course electives in The Program of Study.

Non-Thesis Option: The Non-Thesis Option is especially good for working professionals interested in additional higher education. This option emphasizes applied GIS and learning cutting edge technical skills that do not fit within the traditional thesis option.

Both options require 30 credit hours, with a minimum of 15 credit hours (including 6 thesis credits) completed in 6600-level courses.

A "Program of Study" will be submitted to the Program Director your first semester. In the final semester, all Non-Thesis Option students complete a written and oral cap-stone exam. Assistantships are not typically awarded for the Non-Thesis Option.

If you are interested in Teaching or Research Assistantships please submit by January 15th. Applications submitted after January 15, but before published Graduate School deadlines (see below) will be considered.

  • Fall semester enrollment application deadline is April 1st.
  • Spring semester enrollment application deadline is November 1st.
  • Summer session enrollment application deadline is April 1st.

All M.S. in GISci students are required to take a 1 credit hour graduate seminar (in any related discipline) and 11 credit hours of core courses. Generally these will be taken during the first year of study. If you have taken some of or all of the core courses at the undergraduate level you may, with permission from your advisory committee, substitute other graduate-level courses in the program of study.

Program Requirements Thesis Non-Thesis
Graduate Seminar (in related discipline) 1 cr 1 cr
GEOL 5504 Advanced GIS 3 cr 3 cr
GEOL 5508 GPS Applications in Research 3 cr 3 cr
GEOL 5509 Geotechnology Seminar 2 cr 2 cr
GEOL 5509 Remote Sensing 3 cr 3 cr
GEOL 6650 Thesis 6 cr 6 cr


Electives Class Credits
ANTH 6641 Research Project 1-6
BIOL 6651 Landscape Ecology 3
CS 5542 GUI Development 3
CS 5551 Database Theory and Implementation 3
GEMT 5530 Principles and Applications 3
GEMT 5532 Principles of Photogrammetry 3
GEOL 5502 Geomorphology 3
GEOL 5555 Geologic Data Methods 3
GEOL 5527 Information Technology for GIS 3
GEOL 5528 Programming for GIS 3
GEOL 5571 Historical Geography of Idaho 3
GEOL 5581 Geotechnology Internship 1 - 3
GEOL 6604 Watershed Modeling 3
GEOL 6608 Geostatistical Spatial Data Analysis and Modeling 3
GEOL 6607 Spatial Analysis 3
GEOL 6609 Advanced Image Processing 1
GEOL 6628 Advanced GIS Programming 3
GEOL 6648 Research Problems 1 - 6
HIST 5589 GIS for Social Sciences 3
HIST 5590 Cartography: History and Design, and Lab 4
HIST 6610 History in the Digital Age 3

Graduate Program Inquiry

If you are interested and would like more information about the program please fill out this form.