Goals and Learning Outcomes


The primary goal of the Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems is to educate students in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), providing opportunities to analyze data, explore issues, problem solve, and evaluate situations in a geographic and spatial context.

Because technology is constantly changing, the curriculum is modified and realigned, as necessary, to include changing software, new features and applications, and emerging technologies.

Another goal of Elmhurst’s Online Geospatial Programs is to prepare students for the geospatial workforce. The learning outcomes for the programs and courses are rooted in the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM). The GTCM is the product of the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration’s Competency Modeling Initiative (2010). The GTCM is supported by the GeoTech Center and URISA, a professional organization for GIS practitioners.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will acquire the basics of GIS and will use GIS to:

  • Explore mapped data
  • Relate GIS with remote sensing technologies
  • Analyze spatial data, using GIS analysis tools
  • Develop and manage geodatabases
  • Apply Python as a GIS computer language
  • Create maps, images and apps to communicate spatial data in a meaningful way to others

Students practice competencies from the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM) throughout each program.

  • Personal effectiveness and workplace competencies are practiced through engagement in discussion boards, following course guidelines, and interactions with the instructor and other students in the class
  • Workplace competencies are strengthened as students apply the analytical and evaluative tools to GIS mapping and apps
  • The industry-wide and industry-sector technical competencies are a focal point in the lab activities provided by instructors in the courses

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