The UW Master of GIS for Sustainability Management program is designed for people who want to begin or advance their GIS career.  

Application Dates and Deadlines

A new cohort begins every fall. Applications open in early November, and the priority application deadline is January 31. Those who apply by that date will be notified of an admissions decision by February 16. 

The final application deadline is June 15, and those applicants will be notified of a decision by June 30. Applications submitted after June 15 will be considered on a space-available basis.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or its equivalent from a foreign institution, in a spatially oriented discipline such as, but not limited to, geography, urban planning, geology, environmental science/studies, civil engineering or forest resources.
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 60 graded semester hours or last 90 graded quarter hours.
  • At least one year of professional work experience in GIS, or two years in a part-time internship in GIS or of experience working closely with colleagues who are GIS users or developers
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency for applicants whose native language is not English.

Note: Previous coursework or work experience in GIS is advantageous and will be considered as a way to offset some of the preceding requirements. If you have any questions about your qualifications, please contact us.

Required Application Materials

The following materials are required to apply to the Master of GIS program. The GRE is not required. 

  • UW Graduate School online application and fee
  • Unofficial transcripts from every college or university attended
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Proof of English language proficiency (if English is not your native language)

Application Steps

Step One: Prepare to Apply

Get transcripts from each college or university attended. Download unofficial transcripts or scan printed copies.

Update your resume or curriculum vitae.

Write your personal statement. In a 200-500 word statement, describe your background preparation and your motivation for applying to the UW Master of GIS program.

Write your statement of purpose. In a 200-500-word statement, describe how you’d like to use the GIS and sustainability management education you’d obtain in the UW Master of GIS program, and how your education would apply to your career goals. 

Identify people who are willing to write letters of recommendation for you. Three letters of recommendation are required. Consider current or former employers or supervisors, as well as former teachers. Make sure the people you choose can judge your capacity to undertake graduate studies. You will need their email addresses for the Graduate School online application.

Step Two: Apply Online

Start your online application to the UW Graduate School.

Select "Master of Geographic Information Systems” as the program name. 

Upload all required documents.

Designate the people who have agreed to write letters of recommendation for you. Each of these people will be sent an email directing them to a secure website where they will submit their letters.

Pay the nonrefundable application fee and submit your application.

International Students

Because the Master of GIS program is fully online, there is no visa requirement and international students are welcome to apply. 

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. The UW Graduate School’s Memo 8 describes several different ways you can do this. Test scores must be sent directly to the UW by the Educational Testing Service using institution code 4854. Only scores less than two years old will be accepted. Please note that there is no online course at UW to satisfy the proficiency requirement.

We recommend that international students submit their application as early as possible to allow time for their transcripts and English proficiency scores to be evaluated.