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

This online 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 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 October 15 for spring.

Final deadlines for complete applications are July 1 for fall and December 15 for spring.

International student final deadlines for complete applications are June 1 for fall and November 15 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
No No Yes No No

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 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

Students must complete the coursework for breadth requirements at an accredited institution of higher learning prior to entering the program. The Program Director, in consultation with the Program Admissions Committee, may choose to waive these requirements if an applicant provides evidence of sufficient knowledge in these areas gained through work experience. Students must have completed the equivalent of two (2) undergraduate-level courses in GIS and/or Cartography and Visualization, and one (1) course in Quantitative Methods.

GEOG 378 Introduction to Geocomputing4
GEOG 572 Graphic Design in Cartography4
GEOG 574 Geospatial Database Design and Development4
GEOG 575 Interactive Cartography & Geovisualization4
GEOG 576 Geospatial Web and Mobile Programming4
GEOG 579 GIS and Spatial Analysis4
GEOG 777 Capstone in GIS Development4
GEOG 778 Practicum in GIS Development4
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 may count 15 credits taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to the option may not be used 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

12 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)