Fall Deadline May 1 for international applicants; July 15 for domestic applicants
Spring Deadline September 1 for international applicants; November 1 for domestic applicants
Summer Deadline February 1 for international applicants; April 1 for domestic applicants
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 2

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.

This program accepts applications for the FALL, SPRING, and SUMMER semesters. Please visit the program website for more information on deadlines.

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 restrictions 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


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

Mode of Instruction Definitions


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


12 credits


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

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Students should contact the department chair or program director with questions about grievances. They may also contact the L&S Academic Divisional Associate Deans, the L&S Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration, or the L&S Director of Human Resources.



Graduate School Resources

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

Faculty Director: Robert Roth
Graduate Program Manager: Brittney Krauss
Academic Advisor: Joel Gruley
Associated Faculty: A-Xing Zhu, Robert Roth, Qunying Huang, and Song Gao.
Associated Instructors: Justin Cole and Anwar Sounny-Slitine
Department Chair: Jack Williams