Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis M.S.

Next Start Date August 17, 2022


Courses Required


cost per credit hour
($1,559 for non-residents)


Total Credit Hours

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Curriculum developed and taught by faculty from

Degree Awarded: Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis

Become a Professional in a High-Growth Industry

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Spatial Analysis M.S. degree, offered by WVU’s Eberly College of Arts, with support from other programs across campus, is the first of its kind in West Virginia. There is an increasing demand for professionals trained in geospatial technologies, and WVU is answering the call with a program that incorporates predictive modeling, technical issues, programming, spatial hydrology, remote sensing, data science and analytics, machine learning, and applications in the environmental and health sciences. It is ideal for graduate students, recent college graduates, and working professionals who desire advanced training in this high-growth industry and who would like to explore a wide variety of topics and skills.

Learning Formats
  • Online Courses
Start Date
  • August 17, 2022

Meet Gary Phillips

Your personal admissions and enrollment coach

“Being a WVU graduate and a first-generation college student, I’m happy to be back to help you navigate the WVU System. Something WVU Online wants to do is assist you in creating your sense of community and continuity, making sure you have the answers to any and all questions.”
Gary Phillips profile.

This program is a fully online Master of Science (MS) in Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis led by the Department of Geology and Geography in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University, with support from other programs across campus. The program is designed for individuals who would like to enter the geospatial workforce or advance within it. It is appropriate for recent college graduates, individuals interested in a career transition, or those hoping to advance within the field. The time for completion of the degree is two years or four semesters.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 15% growth rate for cartographer and photogrammetrist careers over the next ten years, which is much faster than average. Geospatial professionals are in high demand within local government, state and federal agencies, consulting companies, technology companies, and institutions of higher education.

Coursework and the required professional project explore a wide variety of topics and skills of value in the growing GIS and geospatial disciplines including: geo-visualization; web GIS; spatial analysis, data science, and analytics; geo-computation; remote sensing; machine learning and deep learning; and applications in the environmental and health sciences. A bachelor’s degree is required to apply to the program, but no prior experience or training in GIS or geospatial data science is necessary. This program makes use of a variety of commercial and open-source software tools, including ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, QGIS, Python, and R. It has a strong focus in spatial problem solving. The program objectives are as follows:

  1. Design, execute, and defend a professional project that effectively addresses a need, problem, or research question with a spatial component.
  2. Collect, create, use, and manage data to address a spatial problem.
  3. Apply a variety of spatial analysis, quantitative analysis, remote sensing, computational, and spatial programming techniques to investigate a problem that has a spatial component.
  4. Critique and compare a variety of spatial analysis and quantitative analysis techniques to solve a problem.
  5. Make recommendations as to the best data and methods for investigating a question with a spatial component.
  6. Construct multi-part and complex analyses to address a question or problem.
  7. Produce written reports that effectively communicate the methods and results of an analysis.
  8. Design and create maps and graphics that effectively communicate findings and data.


The program features 8-week courses. Student complete 16 hours of core courses and 15 hours of electives for a total of 31 credit hours of coursework, including a minimum of 3 credits in Resource Management.

Students must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75, and a GPA of 3.00 in all courses applied to the graduate program.

In addition to completing the required coursework, students will be required to complete a professional project. This may include a written report or deliverables or products, such as software, maps, web maps, code, and/or web apps. Students will learn to collect, create, use, and manage geospatial data, as these are central skills necessary for all geospatial professionals.

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