Master of Geographic Information Systems

 The MGIS degree program is designed for experienced practitioners who aspire to leadership in the geographic information systems profession, but who are only able to study part-time and at a distance.

Students earn the MGIS degree by completing at least 35 credits worth of course work, including:

  1. The Penn State Certificate Program in GIS (11 credits), or the Geodesign Certificate (14 credits), or one of the GEOINT Certificates (11 or 13 credits), plus
  2. A minimum of six 500-level or above graduate courses, including 583, 584, and 586, and
  3. An individual project that culminates with a formal oral presentation at a professional conference

All courses are intensively instructor-led. Students are expected to devote approximately eight to twelve hours of effort per week. All courses are offered during compressed ten-week terms. Although assignments are due weekly, students are free to study at their convenience. You can earn the MGIS degree in as little as three years by completing one course at a time.

Admission to the Penn State MGIS Program is highly competitive; we routinely have far more qualified applicants than we can accept given the limited number of new students we can add each year. Applicants who have demonstrated their readiness for online graduate study in the GIS or GEOINT certificate programs are preferred.

The MGIS Degree section includes:

You can also head to the World Campus, our delivery unit, for more information.


If you have any questions on how to get started, please email us at