geographic information scientist surveying
College of Arts and Sciences

Geographic Information Science


Master Geographic Information Science in Our Online GIS Programs

Build your skills for in-demand roles in this expanding field with the affordable 100% online Kent State GIS programs. Learn the science and technology driving important advances across business and nonprofit sectors.
GISc engineers mapping landscape

Propel Your Career in an Expanding Field with an Online GIS Master’s

If you want to use science and technology to solve different types of problems, geographic information science is a great career path. Whether you are looking to accelerate your career trajectory or are just preparing to launch it, Kent State’s online GIS programs can help you reach your goals.

Geographic Information Science, often abbreviated GISc, is a multi-disciplinary field that uses various technologies for recording, analyzing and communicating about spatial and geographic data. The analytic product can then be applied to a wide range of business, social and environmental issues.

GISc professionals use geographic information system (GIS) tools to capture, analyze and communicate about geospatial data gathered from sources including remote sensing technology, and global positioning systems (GPS).

Unlock Opportunities Across Sectors with an Online GIS Master’s

Burgeoning commercial use of GISc is increasing opportunities for experts in this field.

Kent State’s geographic information science program can also help you make a positive impact on some of today’s most important global challenges, including climate change, public health, social justice, urban planning and resource management.

Explore GISc Career Opportunities

Location intelligence describes the emerging practice of combining geospatial and commercial data to create strategic insights across a number of business sectors. Companies in these industries and others are gaining business advantages through location intelligence:

  • Environmental Conservation
  • Public Sector
  • Public Health
  • Manufacturing
  • Hospitality
  • Financial services
  • Media
  • Real estate
What Does Success Mean to You?

When you think about the markers for a satisfying career, you probably include a good salary, job security, finding meaning in your work, and work-life balance. GISc careers can help you find all these things.

The expected rise in demand for GISc experts through 2031.1
Median salary for salary for geoscientists1
18% more
Graduate credentials will help you earn more. Nationally, professionals with a master’s degree earn on average 18% higher salaries than those with a bachelor’s degree.2

Although conditions vary with different roles and industries, GISc job titles also rank high for professional satisfaction and work-life balance.3, 4

Our two graduate certificates and master’s degree program all deliver industry-spanning and career-boosting skills in a flexible format perfect for working professionals. Learn anytime from anywhere in a multi-disciplinary program taught by award-winning researchers and practitioners.
  • Get your master’s degree in as little as two years
  • Earn a graduate certificate in as little as one year
  • Customize your degree to suit your interests and goals

Kent State’s geographic information science program faculty are award-winning scientists who model the concept of engaged science, helping solve some of today’s greatest challenges. As a student, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from researchers who’ve won federal science grants and who are leading efforts to increase people, culture, and belonging in the field.

Our faculty are thought leaders in such diverse areas as applied climatology, conservation, agriculture, economic geography, public health, urban growth and sustainability, crime, disaster relief and spatial privacy. With your Kent State GIS degree, you’ll get the big picture of geographic information science and the tools to make your mark within it.

Meet Our Faculty
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Our Online Program Service is Top-Ranked

Kent State is proud to be recognized for our category-leading service to members of the extended military community. The Military Friendly gold designation is based on job placement, graduation and retention rates and based on data gathered from public and proprietary sources, along with interviews with veterans.

We extend that same level of support to all our students. Talk to an Admissions Outreach Advisor at or call +1 330-672-8671 to learn how our online GIS programs can help you get where you want to go.

Get a Top-level Education Without the Premium Price

Established in 1910, Kent State University is a public research university with more than 258,000 alumni. A pioneer in online education, we launched our first online course almost 20 years ago. Tuition rates for both in-state and out-of-state students in our online GIS programs are affordable, and the flexible, 100% online program is designed to support working professionals.

In-State Tuition: $695 per credit hour
Out of State Tuition: $705 per credit hour
Technology Fee: $12 per credit hour

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Find Your Success with Our Online GIS Programs

Our online GIS programs can help you advance professionally without setting you back financially. With one of the lowest tuition rates in the nation, you can learn from anywhere while you continue working in your current role.
Start the next leg of your professional journey when the time is right for you. We offer three start dates for our online GIS programs. There is no GRE requirement, so you don’t have to factor that into your schedule or your budget.

View Admissions Requirements
Explore different career options with our dedicated, full-time faculty who are experts in such diverse areas as cartographic design, geospatial analysis, remote sensing and geomorphology. Work with your Admissions Outreach Advisor to chart your own course.
group of GISc engineers in the field

Online GIS Master’s Degree Highlights

Courses in the online GIS program are 7 weeks long, and you can take two courses sequentially each semester, focusing on each subject individually. Classes are small so that you can get to know and work with your classmates and professors.

The curriculum includes:
  • Four core courses that cover essential topics
  • Four electives to shape the program to your interests
  • A practicum where you can apply and demonstrate your skills
  • A total of 30 credits
GISc engineer conducting survey

Online GIS Graduate Certificate Highlights

When you enroll in the graduate certificate program you can choose to earn an Environmental GISc certificate or a General GISc certificate.

The Environmental GISc certificate focuses on the use of GIS to understand environmental resources, changes and hazards. The General GISc focuses on geospatial technology, including data mapping and analysis, and managing big data and large data systems.

Both certificates require a minimum of 15 credits, and if you later decide to pursue a master’s degree you may transfer 12 credits from the certificate.

Online GIS Program Admissions Requirements

The master’s and graduate certificate programs have the same straightforward requirements:

  • Completed online application
  • Complete bachelor’s degree, with a GPA of 2.75 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), from an accredited university
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors and/or employers
  • Application fee: $45
  • Official transcripts
  • Goal statement
  • Resume/CV
  • No GRE required for admission
Important Dates
Application Deadline
Spring 2024 Term
First Day of Classes
Spring 2024 Term
Application Deadline
Summer 2024 Term

The online GIS program application process is simple and we’re here to guide you through it.

Our Admissions Outreach Advisors are available to answer your questions regarding admissions requirements for the program. If you have questions, please email us at or call us at +1 330-672-8671.

Online GIS Program Application FAQs

Create an account in the online application system to save your work and track the progress of materials submitted via the application system.

I am a U.S. citizen. Where should I send my application materials?

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, all required application materials should be sent to the Division of Graduate Studies at or by mail to:

Division of Graduate Studies
Kent State University
Cartwright Hall
P.O. Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242

Please be sure to include your full name and Kent State ID (9-digit number starting with 8) on all submitted documents. For questions, contact Graduate Admissions at +1 330-672-2661 or

I am not a U.S. citizen. Where should I send my application materials?

If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident, all required documents should be submitted to the Office of Global Education at or by mail to:

Office of Global Education
Kent State University
106 Van Campen Hall
625 Loop Rd.
Kent, OH 44242

For questions, contact International Admissions at +1 330-672-7970 or

Build Your Career with a Degree Built Around You
Designed for busy working professionals and students seeking to expand their career options.

Explore the Online Classroom
Study with experts: NASA and NOAA award winners and veterans of diverse fields within GISc.

Meet Our Faculty
Gain expertise in applying GISc methods and functions in varied areas, from real estate and healthcare to disaster relief and finance.

View Career Info

Technology Requirements

Courses are delivered through our course management system, Canvas. Course content consists of text, narrated PowerPoint presentations, video and audio, live chats, discussion groups, and other learning enhancements.

Course requires access to GIS software to complete coursework. Ensure that your computer meets ArcGIS Pro requirements.

To participate in this online program, you will need a computer and broadband Internet connection. Your program may have further requirements that include the ability to record video and audio. If you have questions regarding technology requirements for the program, please contact your Admissions Outreach Advisor at or at +1 330-672-8671.

Related Reading About Geographic Information Science from the Kent State Online Blog

Check out one of our featured blog posts below
In today’s digital age, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have become an indispensable tool across various industries, from urban planning and homeland security to environmental management and beyond.
Careers in GIS are in demand more than ever. Equipped with data visualization and spatial analysis skills, GIS professionals qualify for occupations in countless fields.1


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