This website is best viewed in a browser that supports web standards.

Skip to content or, if you would rather, Skip to navigation.

Forever Green

Northwest Navigation

Northwest Online

M.S. Geographic Information Science


NEW!  Effective with the fall 2019 semester, Northwest has revised its online graduate tuition rate structure. Online graduate tuition rates are now based on the program in which you enroll, regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.  The new rate for the MS in GIS is $433.20 per credit hour.  Additional Course Fees will be applicable to discipline-specific courses.  More information about online graduate tuition can be found at and discipline specific course fees at

Northwest Missouri State University is offering an online Master of Science degree in Geographic Information Science. The focus of this program is applied Geographic Information Science (GIScience) as used in industry and the public sector. GIScience studies the science and issues of using geographic information systems (GIS) technology. The online Masters program includes courses on such GIScience topics as modeling with GIS, geostatistics, cartographic design, GIS database design, and project management. The target population for the online Masters program consists of people working in business or government who wish to use GIS technology to solve real-world problems and who need in-depth knowledge that goes beyond the mechanics of using GIS software. Those in academia who want to use GIS as a tool to conduct research in their discipline may also be interested in the courses.


In order to earn the Master of GIScience Online, students must complete 30-33 credit hours for the thesis option, 31-34 credit hours for the non-thesis option, including 15 hours of core GIScience courses and 12-15 hours of advisor-approved elective courses.

Students who test out of 32-545 need only 30 hours for the thesis option and 31 hours for the non-thesis option.

To see the full list of Master of GIScience courses online, view courses.


To be considered for admission to graduate studies at Northwest, an applicant should submit an application well in advance of enrollment date. The application along with official transcripts from institutions of all previous Bachelor's degree(s) and graduate credits, and GREGMAT scores or alternative requirements, if applicable, must be submitted to the Graduate Office. 

To learn more about the Master in GIScience online admission requirements, view admissions.

Tuition and Fees

To learn more about our Master in GIScience online tuition and fees, view tuition.


With two start dates each year, the Master in GIScience online degree program is convenient and accessible. Students should consider application date deadlines, turn in all required documentation, and register for classes to begin on their desired start date.

To see the full calendar of upcoming start dates for the Master in GIScience online, view calendar.




Prerequisite (Take or test-out)

  • GEOG 32-545  Principles of GIS

Core Courses

  • GEOG 32-601  GIS Research Seminar
  • GEOG 32-543  Applications of Remotely Sensed Data
  • GEOG 32-580  Spatial Analysis and Geostatistics
  • GEOG 32-582  Cartographic Design and Visualization
  • GEOG 32-650  GIS Database Design


  • GEOG 32-611  Special Topics in GIScience
  • GEOG 32-620  GIS Theory and Research
  • GEOG 32-630  Raster-based GIS and Modeling
  • GEOG 32-641  Geoprocessing with Python
  • GEOG 32-642  Internet GIS
  • GEOG 32-655  GIS Project Management
  • GEOG 32-660  Trends in GIS
  • GEOG 32-663  Digital Image Processing

Research Component

  • GEOG 32-698  GIS Research Paper
  • GEOG 32-699  GIS Thesis


To apply for admission to the Master’s program:

  1. Submit an application for Graduate Admission
  2. Forward to the Graduate Office official transcripts showing the baccalaureate degree and any previous graduate work.
  3. Take the GRE and have your scores forwarded to the Graduate Office. If you have already taken the GRE, you may submit a copy of your official score report. The GRE requirement will be waived for applicants with a graduate degree (Master's or higher) from an accredited institution, for applicants who have earned the graduate GIScience certificate at Northwest, and for those with one year of documented full-time GIS professional work experience or three years of documented full-time professional work experience in any field. To document professional work experience for the GRE waiver, please email or mail a resume to the Graduate Office as part of your application materials.

Students applying to the MS or Certificate in GIS must complete all admission requirements by set deadlines for the fall and spring trimesters. Please contact the Graduate Office or program coordinator for specific deadlines. The GIS program does not accept new students for the Summer trimester.


Request Online Program Information

* All fields required

By submitting this form, I agree, via my digital signature, that Northwest Missouri State University (Northwest) may email me or contact me regarding educational services by telephone and/or text message utilizing automated technology at the telephone number(s) provided above. I understand this consent is not required to attend Northwest.