Program Overview

ship yardThe UW Master of GIS online program is designed to help you launch or advance your career in the GIS field with a specialty in sustainability management. You'll build advanced spatial thinking skills using GIS techniques and learn to use GIS to take a systems thinking approach to solving sustainability problems that takes social, economic and environmental factors into account. 

Offered by the UW Department of Geography in collaboration with UW Professional & Continuing Education, the Master of GIS program provides the educational background needed to apply for professional certification from the GIS Certification Institute. While certification is not required to work as a GIS professional, it signifies a level of professional expertise.

Program Format

The UW Master of GIS is a two-year, 45-credit program designed for working professionals. Students begin their studies in late summer and continue to take one course at a time for the next eight quarters. The final course is a capstone project, where you'll work in small teams to use GIS to address a sustainability challenge facing a partner in the community.

The program is delivered completely online for six of its courses and in a hybrid online/on-campus format for the other three courses. The hybrid courses are delivered during the summer months and each course includes an intensive three-day session on the UW Seattle campus.

Who Should Apply

The Master of GIS program is geared to those who want to enter or advance in the GIS field with a specialty in sustainability management. Applicants typically have at least one year of professional work experience, though we also welcome applicants with internship experience in GIS or who have worked closely with colleagues who are GIS users or developers. For details about admissions requirements, see Admissions.