The Geographic Information Systems Technology (GIST) master’s degree and certificate provides training for those seeking employment in the high growing geospatial industry. We offer two GIST options.
Both options integrate GIScience, cutting-edge GISystems, and geospatial technology with management skills for use in government, corporate, nonprofit, and academic settings. The comprehensive curriculum is designed to meet the educational needs of working professionals seeking to improve their careers and for recent graduates seeking employment.
The University of Arizona is one of the premier public research universities in the world, ranked as one of the top research public universities in the United States and is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The 380-acre main campus is located in central Tucson, an affordable and culturally vibrant city surrounded by the beautiful and dramatic Sonoran desert.
Graduate students in the School of Geography, Development, and Environment (SGDE) benefit from the broad range of faculty expertise and strong links to interdisciplinary research centers across campus. Our work spans the discipline, from physical geography (climate science, dendrochronology, remote sensing, spatial science), to human-environment (political ecology, water policy, climate change) to human geography (development, state theory). Our shared commitment to collaboration and community makes for a lively and engaged department.
SGDE offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, two professional master’s degrees, and participates in several graduate certificate programs
College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
Arizona Global Direct - Online
University of Arizona - Main - Tucson
Arizona Online - Online
Academic Year Begins: January (In-Person); August or January (fully-online)
GRE Required: No
Minimum GPA: 3.0 on 4.0 Scale
Official Transcripts: Yes, from all previous institutions
Statement of Purpose: Yes. Your statement of purpose should describe your interest in the geospatial industry, your previous experience in GIS (if any) and what skills you would like to develop in the program. The statement of purpose should be 300 words or less.
Letter of Recommendation: Yes. You should include a single letter of recommendation that is signed and dated. It should indicate the connection between you and the person writing the recommendation.
Application acceptance end date: Ongoing, or October 1 for international students seeking admission to in-person MS-GIST.
Admission restrictions: Your place in the program is not guaranteed until you have enrolled
Minimum TOEFL (Internet-based) Score
Minimum TOEFL (Paper-based) Score
Minimum IELTS (overall band score)
The first source for financial aid is through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. For U.S. residents, make sure that you file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Apply as early as possible for Financial Aid and make sure your funding is spread across the entire program (Spring, Summer, and Fall Semesters).
October 1 for international applicants seeking admission to in-person MS-GIST.
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
GIST601A: Geographic Information Science
GIST601B: Remote Sensing Science
GIST602A: Raster Spatial Analysis
GIST602B: Vector Spatial Analysis
GIST603A: Geographic Information Systems Programming and Automation
GIST604A: Applied GIS
GIST604B: Open Source GIS
GIST909: Master's Project in Geographic Information Systems Technology
Course descriptions can be found here https://gis.arizona.edu/msgist-courses
The Master’s Project includes a formal report and presentation submitted in lieu of a Master’s Thesis and reflects what a student has learned from the MS-GIST program. This course focuses on addressing normative and/or scientific geographic problems, data capture, compilation and manipulation, and formulating methods and analysis to address the problem in a given timeline.
MS students take 6 units of GIST 909
PGIST students take 2 units of GIST 909
Please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for students who are pursuing this program of study.
|Application Acceptance Rate||96.04%|
|Med. Time-to-degree (years)||1.00|
|Enrollment Percent Male||62.5%|
|Enrollment Percent Female||37.5%|
|Enrollment Percent International||4.17%|
|Enrollment Percent URM||29.17%|