Geographic Information Science, Professional Science Master's

The program integrates the geospatial technologies of geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and global positioning systems (GPS) with the professional skills of technical communications, project management, human resource management, and budgeting and economics in the workplace. These combine to create tools to implement real-world solutions to critical problems. Students will be prepared with scientific and technical training while also developing business and professional workplace skills necessary to advance. The program is recognized by the Commission on Affiliation of Professional Science Master's Programs (PSM Commission). 

Be prepared to move into a dynamic and competitive field, or advance within your current organization, with a Professional Science Master’s in Geographic Information Science. Public agencies, private corporations and large retail operations all have a need for leaders who have can pair management skills with geospatial technologies.

Our Professional Science Master’s Degree program takes an applied approach to graduate education. Our courses bridge geographic information sciences with leadership, project management, professional communication, and management skills.

The Geographic Information Sciences program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals.

  • Classes available both in Mankato and the Twin Cities.
  • Courses taught by subject matter experts and professionals in their fields.
  • Applied focus that integrates courses in information technology, business, urban and regional studies, and GIS.

Program Requirements

Common Core

Technical communication course designed specifically for STEM industry professionals or students in PSM programs; emphasis on development of technical communication skills and expertise needed for business- and industry-specific documents and presentations for internal or external audiences.

Prerequisites: none

This course will cover basic strategies for conducting field surveys and gathering from the real world data appropriate to mapping the earth's surface. Emphasis will be upon simple but reliable techniques, ranging from compass-and-pacing to global positioning systems (GPS).

Prerequisites: none

Comprehensive examination of GIS for manipulation and analysis of spatially-referenced data, including data structure and organization, input and output problems, data management, and strategies for analytical work.

Prerequisites: none

This is an introductory course on theories and techniques of remote sensing. Focus will be placed on providing students with a general overview of the application of remote sensing to practical problems, and hands-on experiencee for image processing and analysis.

Prerequisites: none

The MBA MIS course integrates contemporary technology concepts with an emphasis on the managerial aspects of information systems. A review of contemporary technology examines data management, analysis, modeling, and design, and data communications, and networking in the most recent generation of technology. Project and change management, and information systems policy and strategy emphasize the managerial aspects of information systems. Project and change management examines how systems and technologies are implemented. It includes consideration of project planning, scheduling, and budgeting, as well as consideration of the change management required to implement projects, MIS policy, and strategy examines the IS project portfolio from the view of the senior IS executive and from the view of the business executive. It shows students how policy and strategy considerations affect every aspects of IS and, conversely, how IT transforms organizations, and indeed, the very nature of business.

Prerequisites: none

Restricted Electives

3 Credits required from the list below. NOTE: GEOG 580 is seminar course where topics vary: If the student selects this course as an elective, choose one on a GISc topic in consultation with an advisor.

Four major sets of ideas will be covered: (1) Introduction to Spatial Organization, (2) Network Analysis, (3) Allocation Methods, and (4) Urban Transportation. The emphasis is on these approaches to understanding the geography of transport by description, explanation, and normative or optimal methods.

Prerequisites: none

This course provides students the opportunity to develop further knowledge of remote sensing. Emphasis will be placed on introducing advanced theories and techniques for digital image processing and helping students obtain independent research skills using remote sensing data.

Prerequisites: none

Descriptive statistics, probability, hypothesis testing, introduction to non-parametric statistics, correlation, introduction to regression analysis, spatial statistics and principles of data representation in graphs, tables and statistical results.

Prerequisites: none

Survey of theoretical frameworks for spatial analysis and geographic quantitative methods. Includes basic and advanced spatial analysis principles and methods for studying and examining spatial patterns. Designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for carrying our research projects that demand spatial point pattern analysis and analysis of areal units.

Prerequisites: none

This offering will include supervised project work in raster-based and/or vector-based GIS, using problems and data drawn from local or regional agencies or other professional-level organizations with whom the Geography Department maintains a relationship. Students must have completed one of the prerequisite courses, or professional-level experience.

Prerequisites: none

Topics vary in physical, cultural, economic, political, and historical geography, as well as environmental conservation and geographic techniques.

Prerequisites: none

Unrestricted Electives

Choose 6 Credit(s).

This course provides an understanding of the role of statistics related to the gathering and creation of information used in business decision making. Data analysis concepts covered include hypotheses testing, ANOVA, multiple regression, time series analysis, and chi-square tests.

Prerequisites: none

The course develops and integrates principles and ideas from economic and business and applies them to managerial decision making and policy formulation within a firm.

Prerequisites: none

The course will cover a range of topics, including the strategic management of human resources, job analysis, hiring, performance appraisal, training and development, compensation, as well as labor relations.

Prerequisites: none

This course addresses the concepts, techniques, and technology necessary to manage and control operations in services and manufacturing. The emphasis is on operations strategy, project management, quality management, and supply chain management.

Prerequisites: none

This course is designed to provide students with the theory and practical applications to diagnose organizational problems and to develop appropriate interventions and solutions to those problems. Students also use theory to guide practice in designing and implementing successful organizational change. These activities require students to use research and data analysis skills to gather data to learn about organizations.

Prerequisites: none

The purpose of this course is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the policies, strategies and operations of companies doing business internationally.

Prerequisites: none

Provides a comprehensive framework for the application of marketing concepts to the development and implementation of marketing strategy. The course emphasizes the activities and processes needed to design a marketing plan.

Prerequisites: none

Provides an overview of urban administrative services with an emphasis on urban finance systems and human resource management. Examines the economic and human resource environment for local government managers' decision-making.

Prerequisites: none

Course examines financial management utilizing accurate forecasting, fund accounting and fiscal reporting. Covers budget cycle including legal limitations on local taxation, expenditures, and debt financing.

Prerequisites: none

An examination of modern principles and techniques of leadership and management. Emphasis is placed on the interactive style of leadership and behavioral concepts of management.

Prerequisites: none

Changing nature of management of urban and human behavior in the municipal organization. Emphasis on the development of decision-making and communication skills.

Prerequisites: none

An in depth study of public budgeting and fiscal management, with emphasis on the approaches to budgeting and background on public revenues and revenue management.

Prerequisites: none

Capstone Course

Choose 4 Credit(s).

Discussion and analysis of contemporary issues in the field of Geographic Techniques. Designed to allow in-depth focus on current problems/issues that geographers will encounter in their professional practice. Topics vary according to instructor.

Prerequisites: none