Master of Geographic Information Systems and Data Analytics

The Master of Geographic Information Systems and Data Analytics is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop in-demand skills for application and problem-solving in a variety of community and organizational settings. The program is a unique interdisciplinary course of study that offers students, who have earned a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree in any field, the advantage of synthesizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Data Analytics. Students will be able to tell visually compelling stories based on data which improve decision making and problem solving. Graduates may pursue emerging career opportunities in private, government, and non-profit sectors.

In addition to the core courses, students will select one of the following concentrations: Marketing Analytics, Emergency Management, and Community and Economic Development.

Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Master of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Data Analytics program is to equip students with in-demand skills, including spatial thinking and actionable intelligence, to empower communities and organizations to make data-driven decisions.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

  • Spatial Thinking & Analysis: Apply spatial thinking in interdisciplinary settings to aid in effective decision making.
  • Data Analytics: Interpret data to draw conclusions about patterns and trends.
  • Spatial Research Methods: Employ appropriate spatial research methods within an interdisciplinary context.
  • Communication: Create effective verbal, written, or visual communication to meet the needs of varied audiences.
  • Project Planning & Leadership: Create effective strategies for managing GIS and data analytics projects, programs, or initiatives.
  • Ethics: Evaluate privacy or ethical issues for data gathering, use, and applications in the context of professional standards.

Requirements for Admission

The prospective graduate student in the Master of Geographic Information Systems and Data Analytics program must demonstrate his or her readiness to succeed in graduate-level academic coursework by satisfactorily fulfilling one of the following admission options. All graduate admissions options listed below require an earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Option One

A 3.0 grade point average (GPA) calculated over the most recent 30 graded semester (45 quarter) credits completed in either a baccalaureate or post baccalaureate program, including credits earned toward a credential. All credits used for GPA calculation must be from a regionally accredited institution.

Option Two

A GPA between 2.5 and 2.99 calculated over the most recent graded 30 semester (45 quarter) credits completed in either a baccalaureate or post baccalaureate program, including credits earned toward a credential. All credits used for GPA calculation must be from a regionally accredited institution. A satisfactory score on an accepted graduate admissions exam is required.

  1. Graduate Record Exam (GRE): achieve the required minimum scores on two out of three of the subsections of the GRE.  (Minimum score for Quantitative: 141, minimum score for Verbal: 150, minimum score for Analytic Writing: 4.5)
  2. Miller Analogies Test (MAT): achieve a minimum scaled score of 400
  3. Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT): fulfill the formula GMAT + (GPA X 200) > 1000.

Option Three

An earned master's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution.

Option Four

Submission of a portfolio of evidence that shows adequate preparation for graduate studies. The portfolio will contain: writing samples that show graduate level communications and analytical skills; a detailed resume showing professional development and achievements; awards; professional recognition; letters of reference from persons who can attest to the applicant’s ability to do graduate level work; and a letter of explanation detailing the reasons the student believes he or she is a good candidate for graduate study in the field of Geographic Information Systems and Data Analytics.

Transfer of Coursework

Maximum of 9 semester credits may be accepted in transfer. (See the Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog.)

Core Course Waiver Policy

Though the Master of Geographic Information Systems and Data Analytics program consists of 36 credits, a student with comparable undergraduate or graduate coursework may have a maximum of 6 credits waived.

The two Master of Geographic Information Systems and Data Analytics courses eligible for waiver include:

Course Waiver Requirements

  • Dean approval within the second eight-week session of study.  Master of Geographic Information Systems and Data Analytics waiver petitions submitted after a student’s second eight week session has ended will not be considered.
  • For graduate courses supporting an eligible Master of Geographic Information Systems and Data Analytics core waiver course: Produce evidence of equivalent graduate course content by attaching relevant course descriptions.
  • For undergraduate courses supporting an eligible Master of Geographic Information Systems and Data Analytics core waiver: Produce transcript evidence of the following courses:
    •   SSCU 477 Geospatial Approaches to Society and SSCU 300 Spatial Social Sciences Introduction: Policy and Action: are required for waiver consideration of GIS 505 GIS Research Methods
    • A computer course and a statistics course are required for waiver consideration of BUSU 610 Data Analysis for Decision Making
  • Only courses with a grade of “B” (3.0) or higher in appropriate courses will be considered.
  • Undergraduate and graduate courses taken within the last seven years may be used toward waivers. A course older than seven years may be authorized via the petition process provided that currency in the field can be verified by matching current student knowledge and experience with the course’s Course Learning Outcomes. Verification of currency in the field requires the submission of a current job description and supervisor’s letter. Currency in the field cannot be self- reported.
  • A course that has been waived may not be used for credit for this degree.
  • No tuition and unit-based fees refund or cancellation will be issued for courses taken and subsequently waived.
  • The Dean has the final decision on all course waivers. This decision may not be appealed.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Geographic Information Systems and Data Analytics program consists of 18-24 credits of core courses depending upon course waiver (see Course Waiver Policy above), 6 credits of concentration courses, and 6 credits of capstone courses.

Core Courses
Select 18-24 credits of the following, depending upon waiver:
GIS 505GIS Research Methods3
GIS 603Spatial Database Design3
BUSU 610Data Analysis for Decision Making3
GIS 621GIS Communication3
GIS 655GIS Project Planning and Leadership3
GIS 663Programming for GIS3
BUSU 670Data Foundations3
BUSU 671Data Visualization and Presentation3
Core Course Subtotal18-24
Concentration Courses
Students will select one concentration from the options below:
Concentration Subtotal6
Capstone Courses
BUSU 672Project Planning and Data Modeling3
BUSU 673Project Implementation and Analysis3
Capstone Subtotal6
Total Credits30-36
Concentration
Marketing Analytics Concentration
The concentration in Marketing Analytics is designed for students to apply marketing strategies in real-world settings
MKTU 605Marketing Management3
And select one of the following courses:
MKTU 624Seminar in Marketing Research3
MKTU 630Seminar in New Product Development3
MKTU 635Seminar in Advertising and Promotion3
MKTU 640Seminar in International Marketing3
Total Credits6
Emergency Management Concentration
The concentration in Emergency Management is designed for students to help organizations and communities prepare, respond and recover from emergencies and disasters.
GIS 633GIS for Emergency Preparedness and Planning3
GIS 634GIS for Emergency Response and Recovery3
Total Credits6
Community and Economic Development Concentration
The community and economic development concentration focuses on the intersection of communities and economic planning using GIS and data analytics.
GIS 637Economic Development3
GIS 638GIS and Community Economic Development3
Total Credits6