Geographic Information Systems

Digital graphics of a globe surrounded by electronics and circuit diagrams

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Program at UMBC offers a Master of Professional Studies in GIS and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in GIS. UMBC’s GIS program is unique in its focus on applying critical GIS to improve the lives of people, society, and the environment. Students will gain the knowledge and technical skills for careers involving geographical analysis and programming, suited for professionals who need to solve complex issues using GIS.

In our program, you will learn the foundational principles underlying GIS, as well as apply methods to build your critical GIS abilities. When you complete the program, you will be able to methodologically address challenging spatial problems by:

  • Developing cartographic products suitable for publication in any venue.
  • Programming software with modern programming languages and tools.
  • Creating dynamic visualizations that adhere to graphic excellence principles.
  • Creating and managing geographic and non-geographic data to create high quality.
  • Analyzing geographic data underpinned by spatial theories and concepts.

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Average Completion Time

  • 3 years (Master’s part-time)
  • 1.5 years (Certificate part-time)

Credit Hours

  • 30 (Master’s)
  • 18 (Certificate)

Tuition & Fees

Start Date

  • Spring/Fall

Why Geographic Information Systems?

  • Geographical Information Science is one of the fastest expanding areas in information technology.
  • With an estimated growth rate of 35-40 percent per year, the GIS job market is in need of qualified and experienced professionals to help design, implement, operate and manage geographic information systems.
  • A background and knowledge base in GIS can work in a variety of fields including energy, public health, urban planning, civil engineering, environmental science, archaeology and landscape architecture. 

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What Is an MPS Degree?

An MPS degree is a non-thesis graduate degree designed to provide you with applied and professional knowledge in your area of study. While traditional Master’s programs tend to focus on theory and research, a Master’s of Professional Studies will equip you with specialized domain knowledge and hands-on learning opportunities that focus on developing one’s career. Our MPS programs are designed with your career goals in mind!