The 5 Best Master’s Geographic Information Systems Online

Imagine yourself traveling the world, not physically, but through the lens of data and technology. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) empowers you to do just that by revealing the hidden patterns and relationships woven into the very fabric of our planet.

If this is something you are interested in, then an online master’s in Geographic Information Systems program. We understand that college education can be stressful and that juggling work and education can be equally exhausting. Thanks to online education, you do not have to choose between getting an advanced certification and maintaining your current job.

Best geographic information system

What is master GIS?

Students who complete a master’s program in GIS get a strong foundation in the science and technologies of geospatial data. The development of programming, project management, prediction, and analytic skills is supported by this foundation.

Industries That Employs GIS Graduates

Graduates of GIS can work in different sectors, fields, and niches, including:

  • Urban Planning
  • Scientific Research
  • Environmental and Natural Resources
  • Digital Information Technology
  • Nonprofits
  • Education
  • Commercial Sector (Business Applications)
  • Energy Utilities
  • Health and Human Services
  • Defense and Intelligence
  • Land Surveying

Is a Masters in Information Systems Worth It?

Even without extensive IT experience, an M.S. in Information Systems equips you with the dual expertise in IT and business management needed to thrive in leadership roles across any industry’s IT department, offering a rewarding return on your investment.

What Are The Components Of Makeup up a GIS?

Five essential elements are integrated into a functional GIS: people, data, software, hardware, and techniques. The computer that powers a GIS is called hardware. These days, desktop computers utilized in standalone or networked configurations as well as centralized computer servers are among the many hardware types on which GIS software is operating.

GIS Occupations For Graduates

Enrolling in a master’s program might assist you in gaining the knowledge required to progress in your current field or venture into a new one. Possibilities for employment with a master’s degree in GIS include:

  • GIS Analyst
  • Software Engineer
  • Cartographer
  • Hydrologist
  • Data Scientist
  • Business Analyst
  • Geospatial Logistics Analyst
  • Epidemiologist
  • Geographer
  • Data Management and Curation Professional
  • Environmental Researcher

How Long Does It Take To Complete The Master’s In Information Systems?

Recognizing that most students juggle full-time jobs while pursuing their online Master’s in Information Systems, Northwestern tailors the program for flexible completion within 2-5 years, allowing you to take one or two courses per quarter at a pace that fits your life.

The 5 Best Master’s Geographic Information Systems Online

1. Northern Arizona University

Online Master of Geographic Information Science Administration

Northern Arizona University offers MS programs in geographic information systems online that students can customize to suit their career goals. This program features focus areas such as Planning, & Recreation, and Geospatial Technologies.

Students can also streamline their classes using elective courses that are instrumental to their career goals. The core course topics discussed in this program include Programming for GIS, Geographic Thought and Method, and Enterprise Geodatabases.

Students are required to complete a practicum experience as part of the graduation requirement. Career prospects for Northern Arizona University’s online Master of Geographic Information Systems program graduates include advanced positions in environmental systems, regional and urban planning, community development, and land management. The average cost of tuition for in-state students is $8,956.

2. Salisbury University

Online Master of Geographic Information Science Administration

Salisbury University offers a master’s of Geographic Information Science administration that features 34 credits. This program can be completed in as little as one year and 3 months if taken full-time; students can also opt for the part-time option.

The course features a curriculum that covers Database Processing and Management, GIS & Public Administration, GIS Leadership, and Managerial Finance. The program curriculum also allows students to train using the latest GIS software and equipment; this program prepares students for professional certification.

Students who graduate from this program are well-equipped for careers in GIS-related fields including social service, site selection and logistics, and transportation and logistics. The average cost of tuition for in-state students is $7,088.

3. University of Central Arkansas

Online Master of Geographic Information Systems

The University of Central Arkansas offers an online master’s in geographic information systems that allows students to choose between thesis and non-thesis options. This program features a 30-credit curriculum with core course topics including Technical Issues in GIS, Digital Image Processing for GIS, Mapping Fundamentals for GIS, and Spatial Analysis and Modeling.

Students can also choose electives such as Environmental Applications of GIS, GIS for Planning and Public Administration, and Fundamentals of Database Design and Development. The average cost of tuition for in-state students is $4,594.

4. Northwest Missouri State University

Online Master of Science in Geographic Information Science

Northwest Missouri State University offers both thesis and non-thesis options for their online master’s degrees in geographic systems. The coursework offered in this program is delivered 100% online with no campus requirements at all.

Popular course topics explored in this program include  Raster-Based GIS & Modeling, Applications of Remotely Sensed Data, Trends in Geographic Information Systems, and Geoprocessing with Python.

Students can either choose the full-time or part-time option of learning. The course is, however, offered synchronously but students are required to log on a minimal amount of time.  The average cost of tuition for in-state students is $4,551.

5. University of Colorado- Denver

Online Master of Engineering: Geographic Information Systems

On our list is one of the top masters in geographic information systems program online is the University of Colorado-Denver’s Master of Engineering with a focus in GIS.

This online master’s of Geographic Information Systems offered at this institution is offered through the College of Engineering. This program features 30 credits and the core course topics explored include Unmanned Aerial Systems, GIS Spatial Database Development, Interactive Web Mapping GIS, and Introduction to Geomatics.

Students are required to complete an advanced application project as part of the graduation requirements. The average cost of tuition for in-state students is $6,714.

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