Bachelor’s to Master’s in GIScience Pathway

Undergraduate students interested in a graduate degree in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) may be eligible to apply for the Bachelors/Master’s Pathways Program. The GIScience Pathway will help you build strong skills in geographic information technologies (GIS, spatial analysis and modeling, remote sensing, geovisualization, etc.) which can help expand your professional opportunities. The combined MS GIS pathways program allows you to share or double count, up to 12 graduate credit hours between your undergraduate degree AND the master’s degree in GIScience, both must be earned at FSU.

Please read over the entire Pathways Program guide below. For advising and/or questions on the MS GIS Pathways program, please reach out to Camden Reynolds (csr22@fsu.edu).

Overview of Requirements & Policies

  1. Complete the following requirements:
    • Complete (4) GIS4043/L – Intro to GIS & Lab with a grade of C- or higher.
    • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
    • Junior or Senior status to begin graduate level courses.
  2. Apply to be added to the GIS Pathway program as an Undergraduate student.
  3. Register for Graduate level courses.
  4. Submit a Graduate Application for the term you plan to begin the Graduate program.
    • Fall 2024 Deadline: July 1st
    • Spring 2024 Deadline: October 1st
    • $30 application fee.
    • ALL other requirements are waived for students on the MS GIS Pathway (Statement of Purpose, 3 Letters of Recommendation, Resume/CV, transcripts)

Time to Start Graduate Program
Students in the Bachelor/MSGIS Pathways Program are expected to start the Graduate Program the term (Spring or Fall) after completing their Undergraduate Studies. Applications submitted in the immediate semester after graduating are guaranteed admissions (3.0 GPA or higher is required) and the above application documents will be waived. Otherwise, any students applying more than one semester after completing their undergraduate studies will not be guaranteed admission and their application documents will not be waived. 

Once a MSGIS Pathways student is admitted into the graduate program, they can request one semester off with the approval from the Graduate Director. Leave of absence or 2 or more consecutive semesters off (e.g. due to medical or personal hardship) requires a formal process of approvals. Students who take 2 or more consecutive semesters off without approval will be discontinued from the program and will need to reapply.

Grad level courses approved to double count in Undergraduate and Graduate studies will be transferred to count in both degrees’ regardless of when a student starts the graduate program.

Important policies for taking Graduate level courses as an Undergraduate student at FSU:

  • Graduate level courses must be completed with a B- or higher to count in the Graduate Degree.
  • Students can double count up to 12 credit hours, ONLY 6 hours per semester.
  • Students who choose to pursue a degree at another institution are not guaranteed the ability to transfer graduate coursework earned as part of a combined pathways program at FSU to count in that other institution’s program(s).

Requirements to Join the MS GIS Pathways Program

Step 1: Complete Undergraduate Requirements

  • Complete the following course with a grade of C- or higher:
    • (4) GIS4043/L – Intro to GIS & Lab
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Junior or Senior Status to begin Graduate level courses.

Applying to the GIS Pathway

Step 2: Apply to Join the GIS Pathway as an Undergraduate Student

Once you have satisfied the above requirements, you will contact Academic Program Specialist, Camden Reynolds (csr22@fsu.edu) to be added to the Combined Pathways Program. Once you are added you will be eligible to take graduate level courses and begin your graduate application.

Registering for Graduate-level Courses

Step 3: Registering for Graduate Level courses as an Undergraduate Student

Undergraduate students can take 6 hours of Graduate coursework per semester and up to 12 hours to double count toward their FSU Undergraduate degree AND their FSU Master’s degree in GIScience. 

Submit a Request to take Graduate Classes
A “Request to take Graduate Classes Form” must be submitted to the registrar prior to taking graduate-level courses each semester. Please email Camden Reynolds (csr22@fsu.edu) with the course(s) you plan to take prior to registration closing each term. The registrar will add you to the submitted course(s).

Approved Elective Courses – Must be completed with a B- or higher

(3) GEO5165C – Quantitative Geography
(3) GIS5013 – GIS Programming
(3) GIS5131 – Geographic Visualization
(3) GIS5331 – Florida GIS Applications
(3) GIS5305 – GIS for Environmental Analysis and Modeling
(3) GIS5605 – GIS Local Government

For advising on graduate-level courses, please contact Dr. Yang (xyang@fsu.edu)

Submitting a Graduate Application

Step 4: Submit a Graduate Application

Submit an application for the MS GIS program. The application term you select should be the semester you plan to begin the Graduate program after graduating with your Bachelor’s degree. You can begin the application process here: APPLY!

Deadline to submit a Graduate Application for Fall 2023:  July 1, 2023

Components of a complete application:

  • $30 Application Fee
  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • The following documents will be WAIVED for Pathways Students once your application has been submitted: Statement of Purpose, 3 Letters of Recommendation, Resume/CV, and official transcripts.

Completing the Graduate Program

Graduate Orientation
You are welcome to attend graduate orientation after you graduate with your bachelor’s degree and begin your first semester as a Graduate student.

Internal Transfer Form

To have your graduate-level coursework double counted, you will need to email Camden Reynolds (csr22@fsu.edu) with the list of courses you wish to have transferred to your graduate transcript (double counted).

Degree Requirements (30 hours)
MS GIS Digital Degree Checklist

Required Courses (13 Hours) – Must be completed with a B or Higher
(4) GIS5034/L – Remote Sensing & Lab (4) (Fall)*
(3) GIS5106 – Advanced GIScience (3) (Spring)
(6) GIS5950 – GIScience Capstone (6) (Summer)

*Anyone who has taken GIS4035/L or equivalent and earned a B or higher can waive this requirement, but they would need to take 4 additional hours of elective courses

Electives (17 hours) – Must be completed with a B- or Higher
Please see here for our complete list of electives offered by the department, specific courses offered each semester are sent out by the department prior to registration and can also be found using the course search.

*Completed double-count electives will be applied to these hours.

Joint Graduate Pathway in Planning and GI Science

Undergraduates in the FSU Department of Urban Planning (DURP) also have a pathway to obtaining the MS GIS degree from the Department of Geography. The professions of planning and geographic information science overlap in a number of ways. Many positions in planning depend on competency in spatial understanding and mapping. In fact, an introductory GIS course is currently required for planning students. GIS students can move beyond technical employment options and have more professional pathways from which to choose. Students complete 63 credit hours, with 33 hours in Urban and Regional Planning (MSP degree) and 30 hours in Geography’s GIS coursework (MS GIS degree). For DURP-specific advisement, contact the DURP Academic Program Specialist.

Need Additional Information?

Please contact the MS GIS Director, Dr. Xiaojun Yang (xyang@fsu.edu), and the Academic Program Specialist, Camden Reynolds (csr22@fsu.edu).