This is a named option within the Cartography/GIS M.S.

This is an accelerated master's program provides a broad foundation in the theory and application of mapping and geographic information sciences. Graduates of this program will be well prepared for positions as GIS analysts in government agencies, planning organizations, environmental agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and private industry. Completion of this accelerated program requires 32 credits and does not include a thesis. Learn more. 

The Graduate School sets minimum requirements for admissions. Academic program admission requirements are often more rigorous than those set by the Graduate School. Please check the program’s website for details on how to apply.

For first consideration apply by April 1 for fall and August 1 for spring.

Final deadlines for complete applications are June 1 for fall and October 1 for spring.

International student final deadlines for complete applications are April 1 for fall and August 1 for spring.

Graduate School Admissions

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.  

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources

Students in the GIS Development and Accelerated/Non-Thesis named options are not permitted to accept graduate assistantships or other appointments that would result in a tuition waiver and cannot enroll in other graduate programs nor take courses outside the prescribed curriculum.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Named Option Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No Yes

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (16 credits out of 32 total credits) must be completed in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations No formal examination is required.
Language Requirements No language requirement.

REQUIRED COURSES

Core Courses
GEOG 370 Introduction to Cartography (Core course)4
GEOG/​CIV ENGR/​ENVIR ST  377 An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (Core course)4
GEOG 378 Introduction to Geocomputing (Core course)4
GEOG 778 Practicum in GIS Development (Core course)4
Electives
Choose four of the following:16
Advanced Quantitative Methods (Elective)
Graphic Design in Cartography (Elective)
Geospatial Database Design and Development (Elective)
Interactive Cartography & Geovisualization (Elective)
Geospatial Web and Mobile Programming (Elective)
GIS Applications (Elective)
GIS and Spatial Analysis (Elective)
Total Credits32

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Named Option-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 7 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree or earned ten years is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 7 credits of undergraduate graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree or earned ten years is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 15 credits of graduate coursework as defined above taken as a UW–Madison Special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Probation

The Department of Geography expects graduate students to progress through a sequence of benchmarks within prescribed time periods. These benchmarks constitute a reasonable rate of accomplishment for full-time students holding teaching or research appointments. The department recognizes that individual circumstances vary, and not all students progressing toward their academic goals will hit the benchmarks exactly. Thus a student’s progress is considered unsatisfactory only after a period of time elapses following an unmet benchmark. A student not making satisfactory progress is placed on probation. For detailed information about these benchmarks and triggers for probationary status, please see the department's Criteria for Satisfactory Progress.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

All students are required to conduct a progress report each semester with the program director or manager. Failure to do so will result in a hold being place on the student's registration.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

15 credits

Time Constraints

For program-specific time constraints, please see Probation Policy above.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

Associated Faculty: Lisa Naughton (Department Chair), A-Xing Zhu, Robert Roth, Qunying Huang, and Song Gao.

Staff: Ian Muehlenhaus (GIS Professional Programs Director), Brittney Markle (GIS Professional Programs Manager), and Joel Gruely (GIS Professional Programs Administrative Assistant)