Online Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Degree Programs

Find schools

*sponsored

List of Online Geographic Info Systems Degree Programs

Filter by state :
DEGREE :
School City State Website Undergrad Graduate Grads
University of Denver

Denver

CO www.du.edu 107
University of Southern California

Los Angeles

CA www.usc.edu 71
Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton

FL www.fau.edu 64
Oregon State University

Corvallis

OR oregonstate.edu 60
Northwest Missouri State University

Maryville

MO www.nwmissouri.edu 32
Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore

MD www.jhu.edu 29
University of Arizona

Tucson

AZ www.arizona.edu 25
Itasca Community College

Grand Rapids

MN www.itascacc.edu 23
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison

WI www.wisc.edu 21
University of Central Arkansas

Conway

AR www.uca.edu 20
Eastern Washington University

Cheney

WA www.ewu.edu 19
Southeast Community College Area

Lincoln

NE www.southeast.edu 19
Radford University

Radford

VA www.radford.edu 18
University of Kentucky

Lexington

KY www.uky.edu 16
Columbus State Community College

Columbus

OH www.cscc.edu 16
Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff

AZ nau.edu 14
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

West Chester

PA www.wcupa.edu 12
Collin County Community College District

McKinney

TX www.collin.edu 12
American Sentinel University

Aurora

CO www.americansentinel.edu 12
Roane State Community College

Harriman

TN www.roanestate.edu 12
University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus

Denver

CO www.ucdenver.edu 11
Michigan Technological University

Houghton

MI www.mtu.edu 10
Clark State Community College

Springfield

OH www.clarkstate.edu 6
Auburn University at Montgomery

Montgomery

AL www.aum.edu 5
University of Connecticut

Storrs

CT uconn.edu 4
Wilmington University

New Castle

DE www.wilmu.edu 3
University of Arkansas

Fayetteville

AR www.uark.edu 3
Central Georgia Technical College

Warner Robins

GA www.centralgatech.edu 3
Tennessee State University

Nashville

TN www.tnstate.edu 2
Community College of Philadelphia

Philadelphia

PA www.ccp.edu 2
Harrisburg Area Community College

Harrisburg

PA www.hacc.edu 2
Ferris State University

Big Rapids

MI www.ferris.edu 1
Park University

Parkville

MO www.park.edu 1

Is an Online GIS Program Right for Me?

Before anyone decides to go for an online geographic information systems program, it is important to consider several factors to determine whether or not it is the best option.

While many may find that they excel in a traditional classroom environment, others may discover that they are best suited for online learning. In making this decision, prospective students should carefully consider several different factors.

To begin, those who enroll in an online geographic information systems degree program should understand that they may never need to set foot on the physical campus. For those who are employed full-time, in the military, have children, or who don’t live near a campus, this can be highly beneficial, as these students can obtain a degree from a reputable school without having to relocate or commute.

For others, however, online learning may prove to be difficult; in particular, those who thrive with frequent face-to-face interactions with peers and professors (both inside and outside the classroom) may find that online degree programs lack the level of interactivity, structure, and support necessary for them to succeed.

Also, while students in online programs are given a school calendar and a schedule to which they must adhere, they will often have more freedom and flexibility regarding the completion of course sections, and related assignments. Again, while some may find this appealing, others may not perform as well without having to adhere to a more rigid schedule. Prospective students should evaluate their study habits and support requirements before making a final decision.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees in GIS

Arizona State University - School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

Arizona State University offers an online bachelor of science (BS) in geographic information science. The 100 percent online program provides students with a good understanding of geographic information systems software, computer programming, and statistical analysis.

Admission requirements for the program include a high school diploma, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, ACT or SAT scores, official transcripts from each educational institution attended, and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores for international students.

Made up of 120 credit-hours, the program prepares students for careers in geographic information. Some of the courses included in the program are statistics for geography and planning, programming principles in GIS, geographic information science, and advanced statistics for geography and planning.

Through the program, students learn how to solve geographical problems, apply computational principles in geographic information science, and programming languages. They are also introduced to commercial and open-source geographic information science (GIS) and related software.

At the end of the program, graduates can pursue opportunities in both the private and public sectors. They can occupy positions as cartographers, computer programmers, geographic information system technicians, geospatial information technologists, information technology managers, and computer scientists.

  • Location: Tempe, Arizona
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: 48 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $628 per credit

University of Arizona

The University of Arizona’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers an online bachelor of science in geographic information systems technology. Focusing on applied GIS and professional GIS, this program is a series of learner-centered, project-based, and modular courses training students in computational and mathematical thinking, written and oral communication, and problem-solving.

Comprising 120 credit-hours, the program includes courses such as introduction to map science, cartographic design and production, introduction to remote sensing, geographic information systems, introduction to spatial analysis and modeling, and advanced GIS.

The major admission requirements include a high school diploma, official transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities, and an official high school or GED transcript will be required for transfer applicants.

Earning this bachelor’s degree in geographic information systems technology will help students build core skills in geoprocessing, data science, data visualization, GIS analysis, web mapping, remote sensing, and python programming, to name a few. Graduates of this STEM degree will prepare students for high-tech careers in business, non-profit organizations, and government.

  • Location: Tucson, Arizona
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Expected Time to Completion: 48 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $525 per credit

Online Master's Degrees in GIS

University of Southern California - Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute

The USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute offers an online master of science in geographic information science and technology. The program provides students with an understanding of how spatial information affects the real world. The faculty for the program has a background in geography, geographic information science, and environmental science.

Admission requirements for the program include a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, GRE scores, and transcripts from all universities attended.

The program consists of 28 credits. It provides students with an understanding of spatial databases, data acquisition, and the characteristics of spatial information. Some of the courses included in the curriculum are spatial data acquisition, spatial thinking concepts, spatial data acquisition, GIS programming and customization, spatial analysis, geospatial technology project management, and spatial databases. Students gain skills such as designing database models, executing a series of advanced GIS-based projects, implementing strategies for sourcing geospatial data, and evaluating the impact of data on spatial analysis.

In addition to its 20-month MS in GIST, USC Dornsife offers an MS in human security and geospatial intelligence, as well as four related certificate programs with credits that are transferable into the master’s degree programs. There are seven-month online certificate programs in GIST, geospatial intelligence, geospatial leadership, and remote sensing and observation.

The programs can open up various opportunities for graduates. They can take up roles such as cartographer, geographer, geographic information systems technician, lead geographic information systems analyst, and geospatial analyst in a variety of industries. Notably, USC has ranked among the top universities in the world for veterans.

  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: 20 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,995 per credit

Johns Hopkins University - Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Johns Hopkins University's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences has an online master of science (MS) in geographic information systems. The program helps students build a strong foundation in geospatial data science, big data technology, project management, geographic information systems administration, and programming. It is ideal for students and working professionals who wish to get a headstart in geographic information science.

Applicants to the program must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in the latter half of their undergraduate studies and a quantitative background. They must also submit a completed online application form, a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae, official transcripts, and TOEFL or IELTS examination scores for international students.

Comprising ten courses, the program includes topics such as web GIS, geographic information systems, geospatial statistics, spatial analytics, programming in GIS, development and management of GIS projects, and spatial databases and data interoperability.

The program teaches students how to create and design web maps and apps, and learn the capabilities of geographic information systems software and applications of geographic information systems. Students also gain knowledge of spatial statistics and geostatistics.

Graduates of the program can pursue opportunities in sectors such as state and local government, business and marketing, utilities, transportation, public health, intelligence and national security, and environmental planning.

  • Location: Washington, D.C., United States
  • Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $4,129 per course

University of Wisconsin–Madison

UW Madison offers an online master of science (MS) in cartography/geographic information systems. To ensure that the curriculum remains current per the latest advancements in the GIS field, it is regularly revised. Students gain skills such as GIS programming, web mapping, and mobile application development.

Admission requirements for the program include a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution (or a comparable degree from an international institution), a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0, three letters of recommendation, and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores.

The program consists of 32 credits and provides students with a foundation in mapping and geographic information sciences. The curriculum includes courses such as an introduction to geo-computing, an introduction to geographic information systems, an introduction to cartography, graphic design in cartography, spatial databases, and GIS and spatial analysis.

Through the program, students learn how to evaluate information related to geographic information science, utilize best practices and methods, and showcase an understanding of cartography.

  • Location: Madison, Wisconsin
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $800 per credit

University of Central Arkansas

The University of Central Arkansas offers an online master of geographic information systems, with a thesis and non-thesis option.

To apply for the program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, a combined verbal and quantitative score of at least 290 on the GRE, and one college-level GIS course (or be employed in a business where GIS is used).

The program comprises 30 credit-hours. It includes courses such as geographic information systems, mapping fundamentals for GIS, digital image processing for GIS, technical issues in GIS, spatial analysis and modeling, and GIS research methodology. The program helps students gain a wide range of skills such as handling geographic data using computers, analyzing new applications of geographic information systems, and graphic communication skills.

At the end of the program, graduates can take different roles in the field of geographic information science.

  • Location: Conway, Arkansas
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $327.71 per credit

North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University offers an online master of geospatial information science and technology program. The program trains students to become geospatial professionals.

Applicants to the program must have an undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and submit official transcripts from colleges and universities attended, along with a current resume, personal statement, and three letters of recommendation.

The program comprises 33 credit-hours and the curriculum explores topics such as geospatial professionalism, the fundamentals of geospatial information science and technology, spatial data foundations, geospatial programming fundamentals, geospatial data structures and web services, and geospatial modeling.

The program trains students to become successful in the field of geospatial information science. Students learn how to use geographic information systems for communication and analysis, develop skills in geospatial programming, use data models, and solve basic geographic problems.

  • Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: North Carolina residents ($462 per credit); non-residents ($1,311 per credit)

Pennsylvania State University

Penn State's world campus offers an online master of geographic information systems (MGIS) program which is ideal for experienced professionals allowing them to customize their geographic information systems education for reflecting their career interests. The program also allows students to customize their program with two available tracks: geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) or geo design (GEODZ).

Applicants to the program must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution (or a comparable degree), official transcripts from each institution attended, GPA (waiver available) and test scores, two letters of reference, a current resume, a personal statement, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students.

Made up of 36 credits, the program includes required courses such as problem-solving with GIS, GIS database development, geospatial system analysis and design, and geographical information analysis. Courses in the geospatial intelligence option include geographic foundations of geospatial intelligence, remote sensing image analysis and applications, and advanced analytic methods in geospatial intelligence. The geo design option includes courses such as cloud and server GIS, environmental applications of GIS, and geo design history, theory, principles.

Graduates of the program will be able to design, specify, and manage complex geographic information infrastructures as a leader in such fields as urban and regional planning, environmental resource management, local government, facilities management, surveying and cartography, and transportation planning.

  • Location: University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Expected Time to Completion: 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $924 per credit

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida offers an online master of science in geographic information science administration helping students develop professional skills in business management and geospatial science. The faculty of the program includes experienced educators who help students explore the latest technologies in GIS.

The program provides students with the knowledge they need for a career in areas such as urban and regional planning, environmental resource management, emergency response management, consulting, and local government.

For admission to this program, students need an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0, a completed application, official transcripts, a letter of intent, two professional references, and a current resume.

The program required the completion of 36 credit-hours involving courses such as GIS programming, special topics in geographic science, spatial data management, advanced topics in geographic information science, geographic information systems management, and MBA foundations: principles of human resources management, to name a few.

Students through the program will be able to produce and utilize current and useful information from spatial data, effectively communicate ideas, demonstrate advanced skills in geospatial scripting, cartography, web-based mapping, and spatial databases, and work in collaboration with faculty or local partners for developing, executing and implementing a real-world GIS application.

Graduates can take up roles such as application developers, geographic information systems managers, and environmental scientists.

  • Location: Pensacola, Florida
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $400 per credit

Salisbury University

Salisbury University’s master of science in geographic information systems management program provides students with a hands-on, practical educational experience preparing students for a career in the administration of GIS. This degree is designed for enhancing the GIS management proficiency of professionals working in business, non-profit organizations, and government.

Admission requirements include an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited US university or international equivalent, a completed application, two professional recommendations, a personal statement, undergraduate coursework in both algebra and statistics, a professional resume, and TOEFL scores for international applicants.

Consisting of 34 credit-hours, the program includes courses such as advanced geographic information science, public administration, GIS Leadership, database processing and management, managing GISystems, GISystems and public administration, and GISystems co-operative experience.

  • Location: Salisbury, Maryland
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Expected Time to Completion: 14 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $665 per credit

Professors to Know in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Degree Programs

Steven Douglas Fleming, PhD - University of Southern California

Dr. Steven Douglas Fleming is a professor of the practice of spatial sciences in the Spatial Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California. Professor Fleming, a retired U.S. Army Colonel, teaches geospatial intelligence tradecraft, remote sensing for GIS, and human security and disaster management. His areas of expertise include the applications of cutting-edge geospatial technologies for national defense, dynamic mapping of coastal regions, and current/emerging educational methodologies.

Dr. Fleming’s research has appeared in coveted journals including the ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and the Journal of Applied Remote Sensing. Also, he has received numerous civilian and military awards including the Legion of Merit, a Meritorious Service Medal, a Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and as part of a collective team, numerous Army Superior Unit Awards.

Professor Fleming earned his PhD and MA degrees in geography from the University of Georgia, an MA in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College, and a BS in computer science from the United States Military Academy.

Stuart Hamilton, PhD - Salisbury University

Dr. Stuart Hamilton is the graduate program director of the geographic information systems management program and an associate professor of geography at Salisbury University. He currently teaches courses such as cartographic visualization and geographic information systems and public administration. His areas of expertise include mangrove forests, drone mapping, and GIS. His research interests include human-environment interaction and global environmental change.

Dr. Hamilton has published in journals such as Geomorphology, Nature Ecology and Evolution, and the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. He completed his PhD at the University of Southern Mississippi, MS at the SUNY at Buffalo, and a BS at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Qunying Huang, PhD - University of Wisconsin–Madison

Dr. Qunying Huang is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she teaches courses on GIS technology and web spatial database development and programming.

Dr. Huang’s fields of expertise include spatial computing, spatial data science, and geographic information science. Presently, her research focuses on cyberinfrastructure, social media, and big data mining. Professor Huang has been published in top journals such as the International Journal of Geo-Information, the International Journal of Digital Earth, and the International Journal of Geographic Information Science.

Dr. Huang holds her PhD from George Mason University, her MS from Peking University, and her BS from Central South University.

Eric Money, PhD - North Carolina State University

Dr. Eric Money is an assistant teaching professor of geospatial analytics and associate director of professional education at North Carolina State University teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses such as spatial thinking with GIS, geospatial professionalism, and geospatial forum. His research specialties include geospatial analytics, geostatistical techniques, spatial environmental epidemiology, bayesian networks, and public health risk assessment, among others.

Dr. Money’s research has been published in journals such as Environmental Science and Technology, Science of the Total Environment, and Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. He completed his PhD and MS at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BS at Wake Forest University.

Anthony C. Robinson, PhD - Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Anthony Robinson is an associate professor of geography and director of online geospatial education programs at Penn State. Dr. Robinson is also an assistant director for the GeoVISTA Center in the department of geography. He teaches or has taught courses such as maps and the geospatial revolution, mapping our changing world, applied cartographic design, maps and map construction, and geo visual analytics, among others. His research efforts are focused on designing and evaluating geo-visualization tools for improving geographic information utility and usability.

He has published his research in journals such as Cartographica, Cartography and Geographic Information Science, and the International Journal of Digital Earth. He has received many awards such as the National Geographic Society Cartography Award, and Outstanding Research Assistant Award. He has his PhD and MS from Pennsylvania State University and a BS from East Carolina University.

More on Geographic Info Systems

Universities with an Exceptional GIS Department & Faculty

Geographic information systems (GIS) professionals work for universities, the government, environmental agencies, and as private surveyors. They rely heavily on cutting-edge technology, networks, and advancements in data software and management to study and map the physical characteristics of the natural world, including our human impact on it.