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Welcome to Masters in Geographic Information Science

We offer an online Master of Science degree in Geographic Information Science (GIScience). Students taking a selected subset of courses for the online Masters degree may earn a Certificate in Geographic Information Science.

New for Fall 2020:
Lower tuition at a flat rate of $350 per credit hour for both in-state and out-of-state students
7-week courses to fit the busy schedule of working professionals
Students take one course per term with six 7-week terms per year.

A student may earn the Master's degree in less than two years and the graduate certificate in one year.

From Our Students

“Looking back on my Northwest experience, I would highly recommend this program to anyone in a STEM field that wants to pursue a Masters online. My GIS skillset has been integrated throughout what I do at work both with and without maps. From project management to experiment design, my GIS degree has changed the way I think about data and work through problems.”

William J. Graff, Capt, USAF
Meteorology Instructor
U.S. Air Force, Air Education and Training Command 
M.S. GIScience Graduate Spring 2019

“Northwest's Master of Science in Geospatial Information Science allowed me to complete my degree online at a time in my career when a more "traditional" classroom approach was not possible.  I travel frequently and could not commit to attending classes scheduled at a certain time/place each week.  The flexibility of being able to work when I had time to work - including when I was on business travel - made getting my degree possible.  In addition to the flexibility offered in an online degree program, I also enjoyed interacting with my classmates from various professions and locations across the country.  Learning about the work they were doing was a significant side-benefit to the online coursework.  Finally, the content of the courses themselves was very relevant for me.  I wanted to update my knowledge in the field of Geospatial Information Science, including gaining some hands-on experience in working in the most up to date software available, and I was definitely able to accomplish this goal.  Overall, I highly recommend Northwest for this degree program.”

Kari Craun
Director, National Geospatial Technical Operations Center 
U.S. Geological Survey
M.S. GIScience Graduate Fall 2014

“The M.S. in GIScience program at Northwest is a portable, cost-effective and, most of all, enriching experience that has guided me on a path of professional development.  I began the program with no GIS experience but quickly gained knowledge I put to practice by accomplishing my course projects as work projects.”

Kristopher Reinertson
Grants Coordinator & GIS Specialist
Legal Services Corporation 
M.S. GIScience Graduate Spring 2018


“The GIScience graduate degree program at Northwest Missouri State University has been a fantastic experience for me.  In general, the program is very in-depth and sound in the field of GIS and all aspects concerning the topic (e.g., history, spatial analysis, modeling, cartography, web-based applications, programming, database management, and remote sensing).  The required curriculum and its instructors possess and convey a wide array of valuable information, which greatly helps to prepare students for life as a GIS-based career professional.  I learned many concepts in the GIScience program that I did not know before going into it, which I now use on a daily basis, and they have made my job as a GIS manager so much easier and rewarding as a result.  I would not hesitate to recommend the GIScience program at Northwest Missouri State University to anyone who is looking to advance his or her knowledge, skills, and professional development in the world of GIS.”

Charles D. Shoemaker, GISP
GIS Program Manager, North State Resources
Adjunct Faculty Instructor, Shasta College 
M.S. GIScience Graduate Fall 2014

"I very much enjoyed NW Missouri State's online GIS program and it has greatly improved my career, opening up avenues to new job opportunities in the U.S. and abroad, as well as supplementing my career as an urban planner."

Michael Omohundro
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
M.S. GIScience Graduate Summer 2015

“As a GIS professional, I had worked in what I felt was a pretty good breadth of experience and exposure to GIS software throughout my career.  But enrollment in the M.S. in GIScience program at Northwest Missouri State introduced me to various aspects and portions of not just the GIS discipline, but other portions of Esri’s software.  Without this exposure, there were several portions of the Esri Certified Desktop Professional Exam that I wouldn’t have been able to answer, had it not been for the knowledge learned in the program, which enabled me to pass the exam.  Coming out of the program with both a degree and an advanced certification has enabled my career more than I thought possible when I first enrolled in the M.S. in GIScience program.”

Steven Stout
Sr. Geospatial Analyst, Booz Allen Hamilton
Intelligence Officer, U.S. Navy Reserve
M.S. GIScience Graduate Summer 2013

"The M.S. GIScience program at Northwest Missouri State gave me an opportunity to advance my education without having to waste my time traveling.  The online program is user friendly and provides for a great learning experience.  Through my courses I have had the opportunity to interact with professors and fellow students to better increase my knowledge and understanding of GIS.  I would and do recommend Northwest Missouri State's M.S. GIScience program to all who are interested in furthering their knowledge of GIS."

Jeff Fellers
Forestry/Natural Resource Agent
Clemson Extension
M.S. GIScience Graduate Spring 2013

"The M.S. in GIScience program provided a well-rounded experience giving me more confidence in my profession.  The program has been instrumental in giving me the knowledge to integrate GIS into disaster relief and international development programs, which in turn contributes to saving lives and helping victims of disaster, disease, poverty, famine, and war."

Jeff Eisman
GIS Manager
Samaritan's Purse International Relief
M.S. GIScience Graduate Fall 2011

"The experience I gained in the Northwest GIScience program gave me the skills to support a multi-disciplinary team working on remote sensing for nonproliferation and homeland security."

Chris McLean
Technical Staff Member
Physical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy Group
Los Alamos National Laboratory.
M.S. GIScience Graduate Spring 2005


"The MS GIScience Program offered through distance-learning is an outstanding program. The program allows working professionals the ability to earn an advanced GIS degree while maintaining their current lifestyle. The instructors have done an excellent job in designing their classes to facilitate learning. Even though you do not meet your instructors face to face, they are extremely responsive to their students and really care about teaching. I enjoyed all of coursework and learned a tremendous amount. One of the strong points of this program is the coupling of GIS theory and principles with applied GIS. This was done through lab assignments and final course projects. I found the final course projects very fun and it was amazing to see all the different variety of projects that students produced. I would definitely encourage anyone interested in a MS in GIScience to consider the program at Northwest."

Kathryn Bennett
GIS Analyst
Los Alamos National Laboratory
M.S. GIScience Graduate Spring 2006