Rapid growth has occurred in the field of geographic information during the last two decades. Stimulated by advances in the collection, storage and analysis of data, a new discipline has emerged - Geographic Information Science.  Geographic Information Science involves research both “on” and “with” spatial technologies including geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and the global positioning system (GPS). At the core of Geographic Information Science is the integration of these technologies and their application to problems of spatial analysis. The foundational theory and principles of Geographic Information Science are based in the discipline of Geography. However, virtually all fields (from engineering, to medicine, science, business, social sciences and humanities) are now embracing Geographic Information Science in both theoretical and applied research.

Program Objectives

The Masters of Science in Geographic Information Science (MS GIS) integrates a suite of core courses with internship and independent research experiences to provide advanced training in the field of Geographic Information Science and its applications. Students completing the MS GIS will:

  • develop, manage and analyze spatial data using field and laboratory techniques
  • engage the rapidly expanding body of literature devoted to spatial data analysis and the application of geographic technologies
  • apply geographic technologies creatively in real-world settings to answer questions about spatial patterns and processes

Admissions Requirements

The Department of Geography at IUPUI welcomes applications to the MS GIS program from qualified students. 

Criteria for admission include:

  • baccalaureate degree in Geography or closely related discipline from an accredited four-year institution
  • undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a scale of 4.0)
  • satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
    • either the verbal or quantitative score should be above 160, with the other score above 150
  • statement of interest written by the student outlining reasons for wishing to pursue the MS GIS degree
  • three letters of recommendation from academic or professional references
  • english language proficiency
    • International students from non-English speaking countries must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination and score above 79 on the iBT version of the test in order to qualify for graduate study at IUPUI. The Office for International Affairs offers further information on TOEFL requirements on its website.

Application Process

  • Fall Admission: Applications for the fall semester are due August 1 for domestic students and May 15 for international students (June 15 for international students already in the U.S.) of the same year.
  • Spring Admission: Applications for the spring semester are due December 31 for domestic students and October 1 for international students (November 1 for international students already in the U.S.) of the preceding year.
  • Summer Admission: Applications for any summer session are due May 1 for domestic students and February 15 for international students (March 15 for international students already in the U.S.) of the same year.

Applicants to the MS GIS program must submit applications online through the Indiana University Graduate School at IUPUI.

A complete application includes:

  • completed application form
  • three letters of recommendation - letters should be requested from individuals familiar with academic abilities and potential
  • official transcripts documenting all college and university work including courses, grades, and degrees awarded
  • official report of scores for the Graduate Record Exam
  • a written essay describing interests and reasons for wishing to pursue the MS GIS at IUPUI (2-4 pages suggested length)
  • payment of Graduate School application fee

The on-line application can be started, put on hold, and completed as time permits.  This will allow you to gather needed information and to compose your application in installments if necessary.


Minimum of 30 credit hours, including:

Core requirements (9 cr) (three of the following four courses)

  • G535 Introduction to Remote Sensing (3 cr)
  • G537 Computer Cartography and Graphics (3 cr)
  • G538 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (3 cr)
  • G588 Applied Spatial Statistics (3 cr)

Advance Requirements (7 cr)

  • G639 Seminar in Geographic Information Science (3 cr)
  • G560 Internship in Geographic Analysis (4 cr)

A variety of internship opportunities in academic, government, and private sectors will be available to MS GIS students. Interns are required to work a minimum of 120 hours (for 4 credit hours) in a setting where they gain insight and experience in applications of spatial information technologies. The Department Graduate Committee will be responsible for approving internship placement and requirements.  Students already employed as GIS professionals can petition the Graduate Committee to allow new work experience with their existing employer to fulfill this requirement.

Research Requirement (6 cr)

  • GEOG-G845 Research Papers in Geography (6 cr) or GEOG-G850 Thesis (6 cr)

Electives (8-11 cr)

The following list is not intended to be exhaustive, but to illustrate a variety of courses that would be appropriate for different research interests.  Students must have electives approved by their primary advisor and the Graduate Director.

Geography Courses

GEOG G536 Advanced Remote Sensing (3 cr)

GEOG G537 Computer Cartography and Graphics (3 cr)

GEOG G588 Applied Spatial Statistics (3 cr)

GEOG G539 Advanced Geographic Information Systems (3 cr)

GEOG G502 Introduction to Transportation Analysis (3 cr)

GEOG G602 Seminar in Physical Geography (Cultural Biogeography, Climate Change) (3 cr)

Geology Courses

GEOL G551 Advanced Hydrology (3 cr)

GEOL G690 Geological Remote Sensing (3 cr)

GEOL G690 Planetary Remote Sensing (3 cr)

GEOL G595 Data analysis Techniques in the Geosciences (3 cr)

Informatics Courses

INFO I590 Topics in Informatics/Health Applications of GIS (3 cr)

INFO I590 Topics in Informatics/Programming in GIS (3 cr)

School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) Courses

SPEA P520 Analytical Methods for Planning and Policy (2 cr)

SPEA P527 Planning Applications of Geographic Information Systems  (2 cr)

SPEA E549 Environmental Planning (3 cr)

Other Courses

CSCI C541 Database Systems (3 cr)

N510 Web-Database Concepts (3 cr)