4+1 MSGA Program

Undergraduate students at Mary Washington can apply to enter the Master of Science in Geospatial Analysis (MSGA) Accelerated Program in their Senior year. Two graduate-level courses may be taken, one in each semester. These count toward the undergraduate degree AND the graduate degree. The cost of these credits is the same as that for undergraduate credits. Students may then enter the graduate program and complete in the following year.

Requirements for Admission to 4+1 MSGA Program

  • Junior status (completion of 70 credits)
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, based on at least 12 UMW credits
  • Either:
    • Completed 3 GISC courses with a grade of B or higher, or
    • Completed 2 GISC courses with a grade of of B or higher and submit a GIS portfolio
  • Earned credits in at least one college-level statistics course
  • Complete the application, available here
  • Provide a goal statement, or statement of purpose
  • Provide two letters of recommendation, at least one from a UMW GIS faculty member, both able to assess graduate potential of the applicant
  • After graduation with the bachelor’s degree, as long as students provide documentation to be fully admitted to the MSGA program within five years, the courses taken as an undergraduate count toward both degrees.

Benefits of this Program

For students who know that they want a geospatial career, the accelerated degree program allows students to take GIS courses throughout their undergraduate program, and to earn 8 credits toward the MSGA before completion of the bachelor’s degree. Students can earn 2 degrees in five years – or less!

Completing a master’s degree can jump-start a career, putting the student into a strong position for higher-level jobs.

Students in any major can take this program. Most students are in the GIS Certificate program while they are undergraduates, but earn majors in Geography, Biology, Environmental Science, Computer Science – or anything else!

Class sizes are limited to 18 students, all but one are in-person, offered through evening sessions so that students can work full-time. Faculty are available and able to work closely with students.

Application Deadline

Application materials are due through the Graduate Admissions portal on the Monday of the sixth week of classes. This gives the Graduate Admissions Committee time to make decisions before seniors register for courses.

What else to know?

  • The GRE is NOT required for this graduate program.
  • The MSGA requires 30 credits of coursework, in six 4-credit courses and a 6-credit capstone project.
  • Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their graduate work. They should earn a grade of B or higher in each course.
  • In fall, undergraduate students take MSGA 510, Spatial Thinking. In spring, undergraduate students take MSGA 540, Spatial Statistics.
  • MSGA courses are taught in the evening, from 6:00-9:30 pm, once a week, on the Fredericksburg campus.
  • We encourage all our students to develop a GIS Portfolio, and can help you do that!

Need more information? Please contact the Chair!