About the Online GIS Master’s Program
In today’s technology-driven world, geospatial information is widely used and relied upon —as consumers and corporations alike demand real-time, location-based capabilities. Industries around the globe—from energy to telecom, from health care to business—are seeking innovative ways to use spatial data to make critical strategic decisions. As a result, a wide range of industries need skilled professionals with the ability to gather, synthesize and apply geospatial concepts and insights.
Our GIS master’s program is ideal for working professionals who want to incorporate geospatial strategies and practices into their working environment. The Master of Geospatial Information Systems (MGIS) helps individuals obtain the required geospatial competencies and knowledge to achieve these goals. The program also helps professionals seeking continuing education to enhance their credentials and skills.
Why Choose American Sentinel for Master’s in GIS?
American Sentinel University’s online GIS program is a 36-credit hour program that teaches professionals to apply geospatial technologies and visualization strategies to real-world systems for modern-day problem solving. Our online GIS master’s degree offers students two program tracks to choose from. Both tracks include five core courses, several elective courses, and a GIS project.
Choose a track that best suits you!
Project track – students will work with a faculty mentor and define, research and implement a geospatial project that solves an organizational challenge of their choosing. This track allows students to complete a more comprehensive geospatial project designed to be applied to a tangible workplace issue. Projects must encompass the six phases of the Esri Professional Services Framework:
- Strategy and planning
- Requirements analysis
- Design Development Deployment Operations and maintenance.
Course track – students will follow a more traditional degree program that requires five core courses and a smaller project element. Students will also choose six electives that provide experience across the major geospatial industry categories as defined by Esri.
- Application across industries – The MGIS program explores GIS applications across five different industry segments: health care, business, government, defense and public safety, and environment and natural resources. Through core courses such as Developing an Enterprise-Level Geospatial Strategy and GIS Accuracy, Ethics and the Law, we encourage students to apply GIS strategies to meet their organization’s unique needs, keeping ethics and quality top of mind.
- ArcGIS – Students will learn and regularly use the industry-leading software, ArcGIS. American Sentinel holds an Esri Educational Site License, which means students have access to the software at no cost.
- Geospatial Learning Lab – Throughout their program, MGIS students have access to the geospatial learning lab, which provides access to a geospatial community, Esri educational materials, tutorials, online GIS resources and more. Students completing activities with the Geospatial Learning Lab can receive competency-based badges to add to their ePortfolio.
Learn more about the MGIS admission requirements and transfer credit policy.
Our rigorous curriculum covers a breadth of issues in GIS. Here are a few of the Master of Geospatial Information Systems program’s key courses:
- GIS Principles and Practice (GIS500): This course provides students with the background necessary to understand how geospatial visualization and information systems are used across multiple disciplines. Case studies and examples from health care, government, business, emergency management and social services provide students experience using geospatial tools to visualize and analyze geospatial data. This course introduces students to the use of commercial and open source GIS tools, including ArcGIS and Google Earth, that are used throughout the MGIS program.
- Geospatial Practicum Using ArcGIS (GIS510): Introduces a broad array of uses of ArcGIS software, an industry-standard GIS suite of visualization and analysis tools. Expanding on topics covered in GIS500, students explore the functionality and modules available within ArcGIS that allow users to create, display and analyze geographic data in ways that effectively communicate complex information to a variety of users. Students gain hands-on experience using ArcGIS tools through a variety of examples, projects, and case studies.
- Geospatial Data (GIS515): Provides an overview of strategies and techniques to deal effectively with the various geospatial data formats. Includes a review of geospatial data and formats as well as spatial ETL tools and advanced processes to manage, manipulate, and transform data into information needed to answer spatially-oriented questions.
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Master of Geospatial Information Systems will be able to:
- Develop an understanding of geospatial principles and practices.
- Develop a working knowledge of ArcGIS and other GIS-related tools used in developing and implementing geospatial strategies.
- Collect, store, access and use geospatial data across multiple disciplines.
- Develop an enterprise-level geospatial strategy.
- Understand the ethical and legal issues associated with the use and accuracy of geospatial data.
- Design, develop and complete a GIS project. Depending on the program track chosen (course or project), this project may be in-depth or more limited in scope, based on the student’s project design and objectives.
- Present geospatial information in a clear and professional manner.
- Complete an ePortfolio as evidence of academic achievement. The ePortfolio allows students to demonstrate their progress toward MGIS program learning outcomes by sharing their course work, reflections and more.
TAKE THE NEXT STEP TOWARD SUCCESS
Students graduating with a Master of Geospatial Information Systems degree complete 36 credit hours. Students may be eligible to transfer up to 18 credit hours from previous graduate study (including certain courses from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency).
Students in the project track identify a challenge or objective, and research and build a GIS solution over the duration of the program. While all MGIS students will learn to develop geospatial projects in their organizations, students who choose the project track work with faculty members to design and complete an in-depth project (throughout three courses: GIS600, GIS601 and GIS 602) and present their project and final paper to the GIS faculty committee via webinar. Students in the course track will have the flexibility to choose two more electives in lieu of additional project courses. The benefit of the course track is that students are given an in-depth cross disciplinary look at GIS across disparate industries.
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According to the U.S. Department of Labor, geospatial technology is a high-growth industry, with the market growing at an annual rate of nearly 35 percent* (and the commercial subsection growing 100 percent annually according to the Geospatial Information and Technology Association*). The use of mobile devices is proliferating exponentially, with high consumer usage and a growing mobile workforce that relies on mobile communication technologies. More and more, businesses worldwide are using location-based data for better business intelligence—and geospatial fluency is becoming an in-demand skill that helps organizations identify problems and provide solutions.
Several industries project growth for geospatial information technicians and analysts, including governmental, scientific and technical services industries, while other industries are increasingly seeking professionals with geospatial capabilities, including the agricultural, health care, travel and tourism, urban planning and environmental fields.
The geospatial industry is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. Consumer markets and enterprise segments alike demand geospatial solutions to everyday issues, resulting in a surge of demand for professionals from various career fields with geospatial skill sets and GIS degrees. American Sentinel's GIS graduate certificate prepares students with the geospatial competencies needed to work in a variety of occupations, including geospatial technologist, geospatial technician, remote sensing technologist and roles in which geospatial knowledge is an integral component, such as business intelligence analyst, operations research analyst and other positions.
Learn more about the job responsibilities, wages and occupational outlook of geospatial information scientists and technologists, remote sensing technologists, GIS technicians and agriculture technicians.