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Master of Science in Geographic Information Science

The MS GIS program is an intensive two-year, course-based Master's degree program where you can learn leading edge technology and develop expertise in GIS and Remote Sensing.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems - analyze agricultural data with UAS. Environment - quantify land use change with image classification. Visualization - build maps and interactive apps online. Exploration - explore for valuable mineral and geothermal resources.

The MS GIS program is part of the Western Regional Graduate Program, which allows reduced out-of-state tuition across specific partner states.

Please contact Geotechnology Program Coordinator Carrie Bottenberg for more information
Department of Geosciences Graduate Student Handbook
Geosciences Graduate Catalog 
Apply to ISU Graduate School 





A "Bachelor of Science" or "Bachelor of Arts" degree in any discipline that allows research focus on geotechnologies including, but not limited to: geosciences, anthropology, biology, business, information technology, computer science, history and engineering. You can focus on either the development of new gis tools and analytical procedures or the application of established and new tools and procedures to scientific problems.

To be considered for scholarships, please submit your application, transcript and test scores by February 15th (Fall Entry) or November 1st (Spring Entry).


Application Requirements

  • Online Application Form (you will be required to create an account)

  • Fee to apply ($60 non-refundable)

  • Your Transcripts

  • A Letter of intent

  • Statement of goals (Motivation for graduate school and your long term career goals)

  • Three (3) letters of recommendation

GRE scores are not required 


Thesis or Professional MSGIS Option

Thesis Option: If you are interested in research or possibly a Ph.D. you are encouraged to select the Thesis Option. If a Research or Teaching Assistantship is desired, you may be required to select the Thesis Option.

The student's graduate advisory committee (major advisor and co-advisor) will establish specific research goals, thesis topic, and the course electives in The Program of Study.

Professional MSGIS Option: The Professional MSGIS Option is especially good for working professionals interested in additional higher education. This option emphasizes applied GIS and learning cutting edge technical skills that do not fit within the traditional thesis option.

Both options require 30 credit hours, with a minimum of 15 credit hours (including 6 thesis credits) completed in 6600-level courses.

In the final semester, all Professional MSGIS Option students complete a written and oral cap-stone exam. Assistantships are not typically awarded for the Professional MSGIS Option.


Funding Opportunities


Teaching Assistantships

The Geotechnologies program at ISU typically funds one or two teaching assistantships each year.  They will support classes at the Pocatello campus and work with faculty and other TA's to ensure a consistent delivery of laboratory and educational material at all locations. If you would like to be considered for one of these positions, please notify the Department of Geosciences no later than January 15.

Research Assistantships

Most thesis students in the MSGIS program are funded through research assistantships that cover tuition and/or a monthly stipend. Research assistantships are tightly linked with individual research grants and projects lead by various faculty members in the program. Please take the time to learn about the research projects and activities of the faculty and approach faculty members individually regarding potential research assistantship opportunities.

If you are interested in Teaching or Research Assistantships please submit by January 15th. Applications submitted after January 15, but before published Graduate School deadlines (see below) will be considered.

  • Fall semester enrollment application deadline is April 1st
  • Spring semester enrollment application deadline is November 1st
  • Summer session enrollment application deadline is April 1st 

Graduate School Funding and Support


Courses Required

All MSGIS students are required to take a 1 credit hour graduate seminar (in any related discipline) and 11 credit hours of core courses. Generally these will be taken during the first year of study. If you have taken some of or all of the core courses at the undergraduate level you may, with permission from your advisory committee, substitute other graduate-level courses in the program of study. 

For more information on this programs course requirements, go to Geosciences Graduate Catalog and scroll down to M.S. in Geographic Information Science