GIS map overhead view

Master of
Geographic Information Systems

Program Summary

Gain the expertise to design and leverage geographic information systems and spatial analysis tools to tackle real-world problems that impact people and our planet. This online GIS master's degree program allows for flexibility and customization.
How To Apply
Apply by January 15 to start May 10

How To Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

36 Credits $1,007 per credit

Costs and Financial Aid 

Work at the Forefront of the Industry with an Online Master of GIS

The online Master of Geographic Information Systems (MGIS), led by Penn State's nationally recognized Department of Geography, is a 36-credit program that allows experienced professionals to customize their GIS education to reflect their career interests.

We continually update our curriculum by integrating contemporary geospatial technologies and emerging topics, such as open web mapping, spatial data science, location intelligence for business, GIS for conservation or environmental studies, remote sensing, advanced Python programming, and more.

By advancing your education online while you work, you’ll be well on your way to designing, specifying, and managing complex geographic information infrastructures as a leader in such fields as:

  • environmental resource management
  • urban, regional, and transportation planning
  • government services
  • surveying and cartography
  • emergency preparedness and response
  • GIS software development
  • climate science
  • data visualization and web mapping
  • geospatial intelligence

You can complete this respected graduate program part-time and online in as little as two and a half years.

Why an Online GIS Degree at Penn State?

Proven Leader — Penn State's GIS program has been a trusted leader in online education since 1998. Our students and alumni work in more than 150 geospatial organizations around the world in every major sector of the mapping, GIS, and GEOINT industries. You can take pride in knowing you are part of a recognized, award-winning program.

Customizable Curriculum — With more than 30 courses available online, you have the freedom to customize a program with course work that targets your career aspirations.

Maximum Flexibility — Our program is also uniquely structured across five 10-week terms, with two sessions that overlap in the fall and spring term. This schedule allows you to seek financial aid and provides greater flexibility for completing your degree at your preferred pace.

Accelerated Admission to the MGIS Program

Applying to the award-winning Penn State MGIS program has never been easier. Students who begin in one of our GIS, GEOINT, geospatial programming, or remote sensing certificate programs and who earn a 3.67 GPA or higher after completing the first three courses may be eligible for accelerated admission. Advantages of the accelerated admissions option include:

  • No GRE test is required
  • No professional experience is required
  • No letters of recommendation are required

Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis, so you can learn about your admission decision even earlier. Learn more about how you may qualify for the accelerated admission option.

Specialized Tracks Available

Take your customized program to the next level with an option in geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) or geodesign (GEODZ). These options allow you to develop focused expertise without extending the length of your GIS degree program:

GEOINT Option — Produce 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.

GEODZ Option — Combine science and evidence-based approaches with the design process, enabling you to become more adept at assessing the impact of designs on people and nature.

Professional Development Opportunities

Geospatial professionals can take our courses as a nondegree student to fulfill continuing professional development requirements. These instructor-led courses are 100% online, allowing you to study and complete weekly assignments at times that are convenient for you. For a calendar and a list of course offerings, visit our courses page.

Information for Military and Veterans

Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, or application instructions.

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