How to Apply: International GIS Students

The following information is provided for international applicants interested in applying to the Masters of Professional Studies in Geographic Information Systems. International applicants should read the information provided carefully prior to applying.


Admission Requirements

All students need to meet the following minimum requirements:

  • B.A. or B.S. in Geography, Computer Science or Information Systems or a bachelor’s degree in a related field with GIS-related work experience
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale, or equivalent, is desired. Applicants with grades on a scale other than 4.0, will be evaluated based on standards for the country of their degree
  • GRE scores are not required for admission.
  • Working knowledge of Geographic Information Systems
  • English proficiency scores:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores: 99 iBT
      • Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) scores breakdown: Writing (23), Listening (23), Reading (25), Speaking (28, 23 acceptable if have 2 years’ work experience in supervisory or management positions in the U.S.)
      • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores: Minimum score 7.0
      • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic scores: 68
      • Scores must be less than 2 years old.
      • Please note: All international students are required to submit TOEFL scores unless you attended a university in an English-speaking country or hold an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution. IELTS are accepted in substitution for TOEFL scores.
  • If you have a three-year degree versus a four-year degree, your transcript will be reviewed to determine whether you have met the necessary pre-requisites for the program. Eligibility for admission can only be determined upon receipt of a complete application.

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Application Process

All international applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible to allow sufficient time to receive all the necessary documents and to process and assess the application.

International applications are accepted for the fall and spring semester. We encourage all international applicants to send in their documents at least six months prior to the start of the semester applying to. To apply, complete a Degree-Seeking UMBC Graduate School Application and use program name: GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (MPS)

  • Apply online
    • Submit your statement of goals as an attachment in the “Academic Goals and Research Interests” section
    • Insert names of two references into “References” section
    • Submit Experience Form as an attachment in “Additional Admissions Documents” section
  • Request official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions to be sent to UMBC Graduate School, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250 or emailed to gradschool@umbc.edu.
  • Request for test scores to be sent by ETS to UMBC (code 5835)

All documents should be mailed to:

UMBC Graduate School, M.P.S. Geographic Information Systems
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250 U.S.A.

Your application packet should include the following documents:

  • Completed graduate degree application (including residency form). Use program code PRST- GIS.
  • Two letters of recommendation (if you choose to forego the online option, please see the printable form).
  • A focused 300-500 word Goal Statement
  • Official transcript(s) from each college & university attended
  • Experience Form
  • TOEFL scores forwarded to UMBC by ETS – UMBC’s institutional code is 5835
  • Application fee ($50 online)

Obtaining Immigration Documents

If you intend to apply for an F-1 visa and require an I-20 from UMBC, please include the following additional documents with your application.

  • Copy of valid passport
  • Certified bank statement or bank verification letter from financial sponsor showing a minimum of $29,000 (USD) in available funds.
  • Letter from financial sponsor stating they will be responsible for all living expenses and school-related expenses for the duration of your stay at UMBC.

Send these documents after receipt admission acceptance. Note: I-20 is processed after formal acceptance into the program.

All immigration related questions should be addressed to International Education Services by phone at (410) 455-2624 or by e-mail, ies@umbc.edu.


Financial Aid/Tuition/Assistantships

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