spatial data science
Master of Science in
Spatial Data Science

How to Apply

Deadlines and Important Dates

Regular Admission Option:

Your degree application, including receipt of all materials, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete. Please check with the program office at [email protected] to make sure we have all of your materials.

May 15 to begin in the fall term
September 15 to begin in the spring term
January 15 to begin in the summer term

The admissions committee reviews applications during the months of February, June, and October. Admissions decisions are typically announced March 1, July 1, and November 1.

Admissions Help

Questions about applying? Contact the program office at [email protected]. We have experts available to guide you through the process.

Admission Requirements

For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

Accelerated Admission Option

You can qualify for accelerated admission to the M.S. in Spatial Data Science program by earning a 3.67 GPA or above after completing your first three classes as a student in any of our online geospatial certificate programs. After completing your third certificate course, you must submit your résumé and a professional statement of purpose explaining your goals for obtaining the spatial data science degree to the admissions chairperson.

The admissions committee will review your personal statement and your academic record in the program to date, and then make a decision regarding your admission to the master's program. Admission is not based solely on GPA.

Admissions decisions will be made in this manner on a rolling basis year-round, but you must have your application complete and submitted for consideration at least 4 weeks before the term in which you intend to start the degree program. Please contact the academic home directly at [email protected] with any questions.

Regular admission is still available for those who do not wish to begin with a certificate program.

What You Need

Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.

GRE scores are NOT required.

English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

References (2) — You will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering names, email addresses, and mailing addresses of two references. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to each reference requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your readiness for graduate study.

Program-Specific Questions/Materials

Personal Statement — Write a statement (2–3 pages in length) that describes how your experience and goals align with the objectives of the M.S. in Spatial Data Science program.

Résumé — a one- to five-page listing of your professional experience and education.

Start Your Application

You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.

Begin the graduate school application

  1. Choose Enrollment Type: "Degree Admission"
  2. Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
  3. Choose "Spatial Data Science" as the degree

Checking Your Status

You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.

Technical Requirements

Review the technical requirements for this program.

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