Master’s in Geographic Information Science (MS GIS)

The Master’s in GIScience is a one-year fast-track program that provides students with the technical skills in Geospatial data management and analysis to enter the workforce. Students may opt to take the degree over a longer time period.

The GIS and spatial analytics market is projected to be worth $120 billion by 2027, and learning how to collect, integrate, and analyze geospatial data to support such applications as environmental planning, natural resource management, disaster mitigation, and health care will be key to success for FSU students now and into the future.

In FSU’s Geographic Information Science Master’s Program (MSGIS), students acquire technical and analytical skills being built upon geographic information systems, spatial analysis and modeling, remote sensing and digital image processing, and geovisualization, which propel them into careers across different sectors, from environmental protection, urban planning, and emergency management to public health and more).

Degree Requirements

Digital Degree Checklist
The MSGIS degree requires a total of 30 graduate credit hours (5000 level or higher) which can be completed within 12 months (three semesters) for full-time students or a longer period for part-time students.

REQUIRED COURSES – Must be Completed with a B or higher

GIS5101/GIS5101L – Introductory GIS & Lab (3/1) (Fall/Spring)
GIS5034/GIS5034L – Introductory Remote Sensing & Lab (3/1) (Fall)
GIS5106 – Advanced GIScience (3) (Spring)
GIS5950 – GIScience Capstone (6) (Summer)

Substituting a required course(s): Students bringing in undergraduate credit for GIS4043/L Intro to Geographic Information Science and/or GIS4035/L Intro to Remote Sensing may be approved to substitute these courses for graduate elective coursework as an alternative to retaking them. This requires approval from the Academic Program Specialist, Camden Reynolds (, and MSGIS Coordinator, Xiaojun Yang (

FSU Policy states that coursework taken at the 3/4000 level cannot be applied toward a graduate degree. Students who have an exemption approval for GIS4043/L and/or GIS4035/L are required to substitute those hours in the form of GIS electives taken at the 5/6000 level.

ELECTIVE COURSES – Letter-graded courses must be Completed with a B- or higher.

*Elective courses are offered on a rotating basis, not all electives will be offered within a 1-year cycle.

Policy on taking courses outside of the department: Students are expected to take elective courses offered by the department (see approved list below).  If there is an elective course offered by another department that you are interested in taking that contributes to your MS GIS degree and your academic goals OR if there is an extenuating circumstance that requires you to take an outside elective please email the MS GIS coordinator ( and the Academic Program Specialist ( for approval.  Signature approval is required for a course offered outside of the department to be counted in your degree, without approval your graduation may be delayed.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Policy: It is expected that all elective courses are taken for a letter-grade with the exception of students taking approved DIS credit. Any courses taken S/U must receive prior approval from the MS-GIS coordinator or they will not count into the MSGIS degree program.

GEO5165C – Quantitative Geography (3)
GIS5038C – Advanced Remote Sensing (3)
GIS5103 – GIS Programming (3)
GIS5111 – Spatial Modeling in GIScience (3)
GIS5112 – GIS Databases (3)
GIS5122 – Applied Spatial Statistics (3)
GIS5131 – Geographic Visualization (3)
GIS5305 – GIS for Environmental Analysis & Modeling (3)
GIS5306 – Environmental Change Modeling (3)

GEO5378 – Landscape Ecology (3)
GEO5934 – Special Topics: GIS Water Resources (3)
GEO5934 – Special Topics: Urban Climate & GIS (3)
GIS5318 – Climate Change & Ecosystems (3)
GIS5331 – Florida GIS Applications (3)
GIS5400 – GIS Applications in Social Sciences (3)
GIS5605 – GIS Local Government (3)

*Other technical electives offered by other departments (e.g., machine learning, programming, statistics) must be approved by MSGIS Program Coordinator

Electives Approved Pathways Program

Electives Approved to Double-Count for Students in the Undergraduate Pathways Program.

Approved Elective Courses – Must be completed with a B- or higher
(3) GEO5165C – Quantitative Geography
(3) GIS5103 – GIS Programming
(3) GIS5131 – Geographic Visualization
(3) GIS5331 – Florida GIS Applications
(3) GIS5305 – GIS for Environmental Analysis and Modeling
(3) GIS5605 – GIS Local Government