Online Master’s in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Chart Your Career With a Master’s in Geographic Information Systems

Degree Type: Master of Science (M.S.) | Format: Online | Department: Geography and GIS | Time to Degree: 2 Years

The 21st century has brought us more tools than ever for understanding and exploring the world around us. Geospatial technologies affect almost every aspect of life, from navigating an unfamiliar neighborhood to managing environmental issues. With this degree, you’ll apply tools to better understand the people, places and processes of Earth.

In Elmhurst University’s Master of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program, you’ll learn the science and skills behind these tools—and how to apply them in a way that aligns with your interests.

Whatever your ambition is—whether that’s using data to help reduce crime or assisting with archaeological projects using LiDAR—you can map out your future in an easily accessible, flexible GIS master’s program.

An Online GIS Degree Built Around You

Elmhurst University’s master’s in geographic information systems is designed around you at every stage, from admissions to graduation.

Whether it’s the part-time, flexible format or cloud access to the latest GIS technology, you’ll realize the benefits of Elmhurst’s GIS degree online from day one.

Here’s what makes Elmhurst’s online GIS degree stand out among other GIS master’s programs:

  • Flexibility. Apply without having to take the GRE or GMAT, no matter what undergraduate degree you earned. Once enrolled, you can complete your GIS degree online within two years, on a manageable timeline.
  • 100% online. Our part-time, online GIS degree program is offered completely online in eight-week sessions. This allows you to balance school with life while earning your master’s in just two years.
  • Access to GIS software. Get 24/7 access to a powerful suite of the latest GIS software via the cloud. Use ESRI™ ArcGIS® online and ArcGIS® Pro software on your own computer—a key difference from many master’s in GIS programs.
  • Top-tier faculty. Sharpen your skills with faculty dedicated to providing you with hands-on learning and networking opportunities.
  • Job preparation. Our GIS degree online is built on a pyramid of skills that employers tell us they need, including spatial analysis, critical thinking and programming. You’ll also create an e-Portfolio, thesis or capstone project to demonstrate your GIS knowledge and skills.

Why Get Your Master’s in Geographic Information Systems?

“A lot of students enjoy programming … other students enjoy the cartographic aspect and making maps … some might be interested in remote sensing. There really are a lot of possibilities [with an online GIS degree].” Hear Judy Bock, program director, talk about what you can do with an online master’s in GIS degree.

What Can You Do With a Master’s in GIS Degree?

As geographic technologies continue to evolve, so does the job market for those with specialized spatial skills. If you’re wondering whether a master’s in GIS is worth it, consider your career goals and the growing possibilities for GIS degree holders.

Graduates of master’s in GIS programs work in numerous fields, including the sciences and law enforcement.

Master’s in GIS Careers

GIS master’s programs prepare you for the following careers (and others):

  • Cartographer
  • Data scientist
  • Geospatial data engineer
  • GIS analyst
  • GIS project manager
  • Natural resource GIS analyst
  • Remote sensing specialist
  • Urban planner

What Master’s in GIS Program Graduates are Saying

The GIS master’s program at Elmhurst has given me the foundation to pivot and change my career field; this has led me to successfully secure employment within two months of graduating at a 35% increase in salary.”

Autumn Kaiser, GIS ’20

Explore Online GIS Degree Courses

Our GIS master’s program curriculum is based upon the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM), centering specifically on spatial skills. These job skills are critical to success in both the private and public sectors. Some of the core online GIS master’s program courses you’ll take include:

  • Spatial Analysis and Web Mapping. Learn topology, data interpretation and landform analysis skills.
  • Geospatial Programming. Use Python and ArcGIS® software to map and manipulate objects.
  • GIS E-Portfolio and Research Seminar. Showcase your geospatial skills and professional experiences to potential employers.

Programs Related to the GIS Master’s Program at Elmhurst University

Interested in degrees similar to the master’s in geographic information systems? Check out the programs below or browse all graduate programs.


Judith Bock

Instructor, Geography and GIS; Program Director, M.S. in Geography and Environmental Studies; Certificate in GIS
Department of Geography and GIS

$92,914 Average base salary for GIS Data Analysts, according to Glassdoor.

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