M.P.S. in Geographic Information Systems

The Master in Professional Studies (M.P.S.): Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a 30-credit graduate program that will provide an advanced-level of education to professionals working or interested in the region's geospatial technology industry.

Upon completing the M.P.S. in GIS, students will possess an advanced knowledge of the information systems, computer science, and analytical aspects of the field of GIS. Students will utilize the knowledge, tools and techniques of database management, application development, and analytical assessment to appropriately address geographic information requirements and answer spatial questions.

Drawing on the diverse and outstanding expertise of regional professionals and academics, this program raises the bar for educating geospatial professionals. Our aim is to develop the next generation of GIS professionals.

Click here for more program-specific information.

Program Requirements

The Master in Professional Studies: Geographic Information Systems requires a total of 30-credit hours. Students must complete 6 core courses (totaling 18 credits) and 4 electives (totaling 12 credits). The courses in this program are explicitly designed to ensure students are exposed to the range of knowledge and technologies central to successful implementation of well-integrated Geographic Information Systems. Course content has been developed from the ground-up to conform to the GIS&T Body of Knowledge developed by the AAG and UCGIS, and the Geospatial Technology Competency Models developed by the Geospatial Workforce Development Center.

Archetype Enterprise System

A connecting thread through all of the courses in this program is the development of a model Enterprise GIS. Each course, where appropriate and relevant, contributes elements to the evolution of a demonstration system, providing students with hands-on enterprise system development and a practical experience in building a highly functional GIS.

Core Courses

Each of these courses are required:

Course Title [Credits] - 18 Credit Hours
GES 670: Advanced Seminar in GIS [3]
GES 671: Spatial Database and System Design [3]
GES 673: Geoprocessing and Spatial Analysis [3]
GES 675: GIS Application Development [3]
GES 678: Project Management of the Enterprise GIS [3]
GES 679: Professional Seminar on the Geospatial Technologies [1] - taken 3 times

Elective Courses

Choose 4 of the following 9 courses:

Course Title [Credits] - 12 Credit Hours
GES 770: Special Topics in Enterprise GIS [3]
GES 771: Advanced Spatial Data Management [3]
GES 772: Geospatial Web Services and Interoperability [3]
GES 773: GIS Modeling Techniques [3]
GES 774: Spatial Statistics [3]
GES 775: Advanced GIS Application Development [3]
GES 776: GIS Data Sources, Tasking, and Acquisition [3]
GES 777: Advanced Data Modeling and Editing Techniques [3]
GES 778: Advanced Visualization and Presentation [3]


In general, minimum requirements for the GIS program are set at a 3.0 GPA from an accredited undergraduate program. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for admission to the program. Students will need to adhere to the application procedures set by UMBC's Graduate School. For full degree seeking students, this means: an application, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, resume, and the graduate application fee. Students are encouraged to apply online.

For more information on how to apply online, click here.

Program Contact

Dr. Erwin Villiger

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