The MSGA program will provide you with the ability to master geospatial technology and critically assess data and results to ask and answer spatial questions. Intended for recent graduates with a major, minor, certificate, or multiple courses in geospatial technology, and for professionals already working in geospatial fields, the program integrates theory and technical training with critical thinking, project management, and communication skills – giving you the competitive advantage you need to advance your career in the high-growth geospatial technology industry.
“BAE Systems has over 30 years of experience providing full-spectrum analytic and production support to the Department of Defense, much of which is GIS and geospatially focused. The cadre of [UMW] MSGA graduates would immensely strengthen our GIS candidate pipeline for future proposal efforts and aid in filling current senior positions locally and across the nation.”
–Chris Bellios, VP/GM of National Analysis
The MSGA is a 30-credit hour non-thesis degree that emphasizes instruction in theory and practical applications, and prepares students for professional careers. It is a cohesive, highly structured program designed to ensure the mastery of specific knowledge and skills; there are no electives or concentrations. Entering students will have either undergraduate course work in GIS or professional experience with GIS. Students may enroll full- or part-time; part-time students may take one or two courses per semester. The program comprises:
• six 4-credit required courses (24 credit hours)
• one 6-credit capstone project or two 3-credit capstone courses
Classes will be held in the evenings so as to meet the needs of part-time students. All master’s degree students will have access to the GIS laboratory 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students will be able to communicate with professors by telephone and email, as well as in person. In addition, the Geography Department office manager will answer questions and process paperwork during regular office hours.
The following courses for the MSGA program are required.
• MSGA 510 – Spatial Thinking (4 credits)
• MSGA 520 – GeoDesign and GeoVisualization (4 credits)
• MSGA 540 – Modeling and Spatial Statistics (4 credits)
• MSGA 550 – Remote Sensing and Digital Imagery (4 credits)
• MSGA 570 – Geospatial Intelligence (4 credits)
• MSGA 580 – Geospatial Data and Services on the Web (4 credits)
• MSGA 595 – Capstone Project (6 Credits)
Substitutions related to work experience: We anticipate that some students will have expertise in either remote sensing (MSGA 550) or geospatial data management (MSGA 580). A student with the appropriate background, training and experience may petition the program director to substitute one of these courses with an independent study:
• MSGA 591 – Independent Study (4 credits)
Length of Program
Earn a degree at your own pace – either as a full- or part-time student. By attending full time, you can complete the program in one year. If you enroll part time and take at least one course per semester, you can complete the degree requirements in three years.