Master of Geographic Information Science

See, capture, store, and interpret data for terrains and applications that range from the distribution of organic mound-building ants in Yellowstone National Park to assessing the northernmost-known population of emerald ash borers in North America—to banking infrastructure or urban sewer systems. The uses for geospatial technology continue to expand. Companies use data to track assets, teams, and customers. Communities, for routing 911 responders, drilling wells, and designing cell-phone networks.

A professional Master's of Geographic Information Science (MGIS) degree equips you to understand relationships, patterns, and trends using GIS, LiDAR, remote sensing, and other geographic-information system skills.

Program Strengths and Opportunities

  • The 30-credit coursework-only degree builds a strong foundation in core geospatial principles.
  • The program includes interdisciplinary studies in statistics, communications, environmental policy, and business.
  • The US Department of Labor's Geospatial Technology Competency Model, which outlines skills and knowledge needed to perform as an effective GIS professional, was used as a guide to develop Michigan Tech's MGIS degree program.
"The widespread availability and use of advanced GIS technologies offer great job opportunities for people with many different talents and educational backgrounds."US Geological Survey and US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Opportunities

GIS is ranked among the top 100 best careers in the US, with a 10-percent annual growth rate. Some of the biggest users are utilities, transportation, telecommunications, and education. Your career options also include demographics, natural resources, urban and regional planning, public health and epidemiology, law enforcement, and homeland security.

You don't need to be an IT expert. Because GIS has so many applications, and deals intimately with computers and data, the profession is often associated and combined with information technology. IT experience is useful, but you need a wide range of skills besides computer literacy to be a successful geospatial professional.