For Prospective Students

The University of Mary Washington has three different programs in Geographic Information Science (GIS). If you are interested in a career using geospatial technologies in some way, look at your options here:

First, starting in Fall, 2022, we have a brand new Major in Geospatial Analysis. The Geospatial Analysis Major is for students interested in careers in Geographic Information Sciences (GIS), who want to take a deep dive into geotechnical skills while ensuring a broad foundation in thematic geography. Looking to become a geospatial analyst, solution engineer, imagery analyst, cartographer, or GIS technician? This major is for you!

Second, we offer an undergraduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science (GISC). This is for UMW students in any major (including those pursuing the Geospatial Analysis major). It is exactly like a minor, requiring 19 credits: 4 4-credit courses and a 3-credit capstone, which is usually an internship. Majors in Biology, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Historic Preservation, History, and Political Science commonly earn the GIS Certificate, as it provides “hard skills” with which they can successfully pursue employment. Majors in Business Administration and Economics are less common, but it is a really good fit! Highly sought after in graduate school, knowledge of GIS will set you apart from the competition. Our program is very well regarded, and we have a wide network of alumni in the greater Washington, DC region, which is helpful in placing interns and acquiring entry-level jobs.

The Certificate in Geographic Information Science is also available as a stand-alone program, to non-degree-seeking students. The application procedure is slightly different; students may enter with no GIS coursework, or having taken some courses.

Third, we have a 4+1 program for undergraduate students who wish to earn a Master of Science in Geospatial Analysis (MSGA). This program allows qualified juniors to apply to take two graduate-level courses in their senior year, and then to complete the master’s degree in a fifth year at UMW. This accelerated program gives students who KNOW they want to pursue a career in geospatial analysis additional coursework, exposure to different software and technologies, and more opportunities to develop projects and gain higher-level skills. The greater Washington, DC region is home to the highest number of jobs in geospatial analysis.

Applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree, in any major, from Mary Washington or elsewhere, are encouraged to apply to the Master of Science in Geospatial Analysis. The program can be completed in 12 months if started in the fall.

Other questions? Contact the Chair of the Department of Geography.