The Master of Science in Geospatial Information Sciences (MS GIS) program is dedicated to providing the most up-to-date education on geospatial technology, theory and applications. The courses cover spatial analysis, statistics, programming, databases, modeling, remote sensing, Web GIS, Mobile GIS, big data analytics, drones for data collection, and Open Source GIS. Both MS degree (31 Credits) and Graduate Certificate (12 Credits) in GIS are offered.


Quick Facts

  • All courses are scheduled in the evenings (5:30 to 7:30pm) to accommodate working professionals.
  • All courses are offered in traditional classrooms or GIS labs and simultaneously broadcast online.
  • The online teaching is interactive and dynamic through WebEx, very much like sitting in a real classroom.
  • Entire lectures (lecture slides, presentations, and Q&A interactions) are video-archived for reviewing.
  • Our program is one of the ESRI Development Centers (EDCs).
  • For more details, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Additionally, you can inquire through email: geog-gis [at]
Master of Science in Geospatial Information Sciences

This program offers both a Master's degree and Graduate Certificate in GIS. The Master's degree requires 31 credits (11 courses) to complete while the Graduate Certificate requires 12 credits (4 courses). The following courses are offered in the MSGIS program:

Course #
Course Title
Prereq (P)
Core (C)
Elective (E)
Introduction to GIS
Introduction to Remote Sensing
Spatial Statistics
Digital Image Processing and Analysis
Spatial Analysis
Programming and Scripting for GIS
Web Programming
Internet GIS
GIS and Spatial Modeling
Spatial Database System
Mobile GIS
Advanced Remote Sensing using Lidar
Open Source GIS
Professional Practices Seminars
Project Management
Professional Project (Capstone)
Fundamentals of Geospatial Intelligence
Big Data Analytics

Prerequisite Courses


GEOG579 and GEOG579B: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing
An introduction to geographic information systems and remote sensing. Topics include methods of obtaining quantitative information from remotely-sensed images, interpretation of remotely-sensed images for spatial and environmental relationships, characteristics and organization of geographic data including spatial data models for thematic mapping and map analysis and use of geographic information systems in society, government, and business. Practical experience with remote sensing software and geographic information systems.

  • Prerequisites: Admission to the MS GIS program. Credits received for this course will not count toward degree.
  • 2 credits each [Back To Course List]


 Standard Courses

GEOG651: Spatial Statistics
This course is about quantitative analysis of spatial data. It is intended to provide a broad survey of various spatial statistic methods. The course is geared towards helping students: (1) develop an understanding of the important theoretical concepts in spatial data analysis; and (2) gain practical experience in application of spatial statistics to a variety of social and environmental problems using advanced statistical software. This course covers five broad topical areas: (1) point pattern analysis; (2) area data analysis; (3) continuous data analysis; (4) spatial sampling; and (5) multivariate spatial and temporal analysis.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in elementary statistics (GEOG506) and introductory GIS (GEOG579)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG652: Digital Image Processing and Analysis
Digital image processing and analysis applied to satellite and aircraft land remote sensing data. Consideration is given to preprocessing steps including calibration and georegistration. Analysis methods include digital image exploration, feature extraction thematic classification, change detection, and biophysical characterization. Example applications will be reviewed.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in basic remote sensing concepts (GEOG579B)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG653: Spatial Analysis
This course is designed to help students develop a comprehensive and systematic understanding of spatial analysis methods and learn practical skills in using GIS and spatial analysis to discover features of spatial distribution. The class covers the methods of spatial analysis including measuring aspects of geometric features and identifying spatial patterns of geospatial objects that are represented as point, line, network, areal data, and 3-D surfaces. Spatial statistics, geospatial processing, and modeling will be used for analyzing the data. In terms of the software used in this class, besides the ArcGIS Desktop suite, we will be migrating to ArcGIS Pro, which is a new platform that represents the current trend in GIS field.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in basic GIS (GEOG579)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG656: Programming and Scripting for GIS
This course teaches programming and scripting for GIS users. The concepts of scripting and object-oriented programming using the Python programming language are reviewed. This course teaches students to design clearly structured programs and introduces ArcPy, a library providing access to ArcGIS geoprocessing tools. ArcPy includes a series of modules such as data access, mapping, spatial analysis, and network analysis. Students will develop geoprocessing programs to edit, query, manipulate, and analyze spatial data (both vector and raster data) with Python, ArcPy, and other modules like NumPy.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in basic computer programming or logical thinking (GEOG579C)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG657: Web Programming
Component-based web server design and efficient session and secure access management have become challenges to provide fast, robust, and flexible GIS services on the Internet.  This course is designed to teach fundamental techniques required in developing both client-side and server-side web application for not only GIS but also non-GIS applications. This course covers web design and static web generation using HTML5 and CSS, client-side programming with JavaScript, and dynamic web development using PHP and MySQL. Basic web design using HTML, XHTML, CSS, etc. is helpful, but not required.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in basic computer programming (GEOG579C or GEOG656)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG677: Internet GIS
This course is designed to: (1) introduce the concepts and theories that are related to an increasingly important technology – Internet/Web GIS; (2) introduce various technologies or techniques for creating, analyzing, and disseminating GIS data and services via the Internet. The topics covered include the hardware/software structure of the Internet (e.g. server-client model, TCP/IP protocol), the evolution of Web GIS, and most importantly, different technology options. Students will be required to practice almost all of the Web GIS tools including Google Map API, ArcGIS Server, JavaScript API, GeoJSON, Mapbox, and Leaflet. Students will also be exposed to the experience of working with the cloud environment such as AWS EC2 and ArcGIS Online

  • Prerequisites: It is recommended students have some background in basic web design (GEOG657), but not required
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG654: GIS and Spatial Modeling
This course introduces advanced techniques in GIS data manipulation, geostatistics, and geospatial modeling. The fundamental theories behind analytical and modeling techniques are covered in detail, including model design, construction, evaluation, and application. The theoretical knowledge will be enforced by a series of intensive computer exercises using real data sets. The course covers descriptive and predictive GIS modeling techniques, including regression modeling, suitability modeling, hydrological modeling, and agent-based modeling.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in GIS and spatial analysis (GEOG653)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG655: Spatial Database System
This course is designed to help students understand, analyze, design, and implement spatial databases. Topics covered include: spatial data models, spatial query languages, database architecture, data storage and indexing, SQL, data mining, etc. Oracle and ArcSDE are used to design database in GIS context.

GEOG650: Mobile GIS
The emergence of highly-capable mobile devices and applications has opened a new opportunity for location-based services. Mobile apps enable us to collect, view, and analyze location-based data wherever and whenever we are. Mobile apps are generally classified into web apps, hybrid apps, and native apps. Nowadays, hybrid mobile app development makes developers easier to develop mobile apps running on different mobile platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows Phone, etc. as they write once and build mobile apps with no extra effort. Hybrid mobile apps are like native apps and run on the mobile device. However, hybrid apps are written with web standards and wrap into native apps using PhoneGap, Cordova, or other hybrid app development frameworks. Also, the application running on Android and iOS can be reused for progressive web applications and even desktop applications. In this course, advanced HTMP5, JavaScript, TypeScript and AngularJS web programming are covered, which can be used to develop both web applications and hybrid mobile applications. In addition, this course teaches how to develop, test, and publish mobile applications using PhoneGap/Cordova and Ionic frameworks. The capabilities of mobile devices such as Camera, Geolocation, Notification, etc. are added to the apps through Apache Cordova and Ionic APIs and map functionality is added to the mobile apps using Google Maps.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in web development and programming (GEOG657)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG660: Advanced Remote Sensing using Lidar
This course will expand on remote sensing concepts with a focus on light detection and ranging (lidar) technology. Lidar, also known as laser scanning, is an active remote sensing tool that can produce high resolution point clouds. This course will cover the fundamentals of lidar, explore current developments in lidar technology, and discuss different applications where it is being used. Students will get hands-on learning about lidar data management, processing, and analysis. It is recommended that students have a some background in spatial modeling and computer programming.

  • Prerequisites: Students should have background in passive remote sensing analysis (GEOG652)
  • There is a $40.00 lab fee for this course
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG670: Open Source GIS
Students will learn to use Free and Open Source Software for GIS (FOSS4g) to conduct GIS analysis and articulate the strengths and weaknesses of FOSS4g compared to commercial offerings. Students will be introduced to advanced concepts and techniques including enterprise GIS, spatial SQL, parallel processing, and displaying the results of GIS analysis over the Internet - something very few professional know how to do. Students will learn how to use the FOSS4g products QGIS, PostGRES/PostGIS, and Geoserver into their technology stack and will become familiar with using spatial SQL for solving GIS and database related tasks.

GEOG795: Professional Practices Seminars
This course will provide a preparation for students who are embarking upon professional careers with government agencies, companies, and other institutions who utilize geographic information science and technologies. The topics covered in this class include but not limited to: expectations and requirements of GIS professionals in government agencies from a manager perspective, understanding about Enterprise GIS, GIS data and services in DC, Maryland and Virginia, how to develop Resume and portfolio as a GIS professional, review of latest developments in the GIS field, research seminars in GIS and remote sensing, etc. Alumni from the MS GIS program are also invited to talk about their GIS career in real world. The content of the class may vary in different years.

GEOG796: GIS Project Management
This course covers project management methodology emphasizing implementing geographic information systems and integrating geospatial information sciences into broader projects. Topics include project initiation, planning, scope, scheduling, budgeting and risk management.

GEOG797: Capstone - Professional Project
Each student must undertake a project as a demonstration of his/her competence in geospatial science and technologies. The data and materials for this project can originate from an internship, or from relevant work experience at the student's current employer. The Department of Geographical Sciences will work with each student individually to determine the best mechanism for obtaining the necessary data and experience. Under the direction of a faculty advisor, the student will prepare a project report which shall contain an explanation of the requirements for the work, a technical account of the activities undertaken, including a literature review, a description of the methods and approaches taken, a critical discussion of the results obtained, along with conclusions and recommendations developed from the project. The final project will consist of a full-fledged GIS application that is up and running and can be tested. This will enable the student to present potential employers with a portfolio containing an example of their ability to manage and develop a GIS application project and will show that they understand how to apply the technology to real world situations.

  • Prerequisites: None, but it should be your final course in MS GIS
  • 3 credits [Back To Course List]

GEOG661: Fundamentals of Geospatial Intelligence
Cross-listed with MS GEOINT. See their website for course listing and details:

GEOG663: Big Data Analytics
Cross-listed with MS GEOINT. See their website for course listing and details:

GEOG650 Mobile GIS
GEOG650: Mobile GIS

Most students in the same cohort will move through the curriculum together. This will allow students to get to know each other and ensure students graduate in a timely manner. The tables below provide a guidance on which courses to take each term depending on your situation. For the old plan of study click here.

Graduate Certificate Track (12 Credits Total)

  • Core Courses (9 Credits)
    • All of the following: 653, 651, 656
  • Elective Courses (3 Credits)
    • One of the following: 655, 657, 654, 650, 660, 677, 670, 688E, 661, 663

Graduate Certificate Track (Fall Enrollment)

Year Fall Winter Spring Summer
1 653 656 [655 or 657 or 661] 651

Graduate Certificate Track (Spring Enrollment)

Year Fall Winter Spring Summer
1     653 656
2 [654 or 650 or 661] 651    

Master Degree Track (31 Credits Total)

  • Core Courses (22 Credits)
    • All of the following: 653, 651, 656, 652, 655, 657, 795, 797
  • Elective Courses (9 Credits)
    • Three of the following: 654, 650, 660, 677, 670, 688E, 661, 663
  • There are three track options (for both Fall and Spring Enrollment):
    • Full Time (Complete in 5 terms; For students who have federal loans or visa requirements)
    • Standard Time (Complete in 7 terms)
    • Part Time (Complete in 11 terms; For students who only want to take one course a term)

Master Degree Track (Fall Enrollment, Full Time)

Year Fall Winter Spring Summer
1 653 + 652 656 + [677 or 660] 657 + 655 651 + 795 + [688E or 670 or 663]
2 [654 or 650 or 661] + 797      

Master Degree Track (Fall Enrollment, Standard Time)

Year Fall Winter Spring Summer
1 653 + 652 656 + 651 657 + 655 795 + [688E or 670 or 663]
2 [654 or 650 or 661] [677 or 660] 797  

Master Degree Track (Fall Enrollment, Part Time)

Year Fall Winter Spring Summer
1 653 656 657 [688E or 670 or 663]
2 652 651 655 795
3 [654 or 650 or 661] [677 or 660] 797  

Master Degree Track (Spring Enrollment, Full Time)

Year Fall Winter Spring Summer
1     653 + 657 656 + 795 + [688E or 670 or 663]
2 652 + [654 or 650 or 661] 651 + [677 or 660] 655 + 797  

Master Degree Track (Spring Enrollment, Standard Time)

Year Fall Winter Spring Summer
1     653 + 657 656 + 651
2 652 + [654 or 650 or 661] [677 or 660] 655 795 + [688E or 670 or 663]
3 797      

Master Degree Track (Spring Enrollment, Part Time)

Year Fall Winter Spring Summer
1     653 656
2 652 651 657 [688E or 670 or 663]
3 [654 or 650 or 661] [677 or 660] 655 795
4 797      

*If interested in enrolling in a shared course with the MS GEOINT program please confirm course offerings by checking the program website and/or contact the GEOINT program director 

GEOG654 Spatial Modeling
GEOG654: Spatial Modeling

Courses are offered in four 12-week terms per year. We use the term system instead of the semester system because most students in the program work full-time and can concentrate and learn much better if taking only 1 or 2 classes at a time.

The MS schedule for the current academic year (2019 to 2020) is as follows:

Calendar 2019-2020 Dates
Fall 2019 August 26, 2019 (Monday) – November 15, 2019 (12 weeks)
Labor Day Holiday September 2, 2019 (Monday)
Winter 2020 Registration October 23, 2019
Winter 2020 November 25, 2019 (Monday) – December 20, 2019 (4 weeks)
Thanksgiving Break November 27, 2019-December 1, 2019
Winter Break December 23, 2019 – January 1, 2020 (1 week)
Winter 2020 (continued) January 2, 2020 (Thursday) – February 14, 2020 (7 weeks)
Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday January 20, 2020 (Monday)
Spring 2020 Registration November 1, 2019
Spring 2020 February 27, 2020 (Thursday) – March 13, 2020 (3 weeks)
Spring Break March 15, 2020 – March 22, 2020 (1 week)
Spring 2020 (continued) March 23, 2020- (Monday) – May 20, 2020 (8 weeks)
Commencement May 21, 2020 – May 23, 2020
Summer 2020 Registration February 27, 2020
Summer 2020 June 1, 2020 (Monday) – August 20, 2020 (12 weeks)
Independence Day Holiday July 3, 2020 (Friday)
Fall 2020 Registration March 27, 2020

Note: Students have until the first day of classes to register without penalty, after which students will be subject to the office of registrar non-standard course refund policy found on the resources page.

The following courses adhere to the 12-week calendar. All courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted. Courses generally remain the same each term but minor changes may occur. Always check with your adviser about your study plan.

Fall 2019

  1. Geog653 (Spatial Analysis): Mondays (Lecture), Tuesdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 08/26/19-11/15/19
  2. Geog652 (Digital Image Processing and Analysis): Wednesdays (Lecture), Thursdays (Lab), 6:30-9:00pm,  08/26/19-11/15/19
  3. Geog650 (Mobile GIS): Wednesday (Lecture), Thursday (Lab), 5:30-8:00pm,  08/26/19-11/15/19
  4. Geog654 (GIS and Spatial Modeling): Wednesdays (Lecture), Thursdays (Lab), 5:30-8:00pm,  08/26/19-11/15/19
  5. Geog797 (Capstone-Professional Project): Mondays (Lecture), 5:30-8pm,  08/26/19-11/15/19

Summer 2019

  1. GEOG579C (Introduction to Computer Programming): Mondays (Lecture), Tuesdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm (2 Credits), 05/28/19-08/16/19
  2. GEOG651 (Spatial Statistics): Mondays (Lecture), Tuesdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 05/28/19-08/16/19
  3. GEOG656 (Programming and Scripting for GIS): Wednesdays (Lecture), Thursdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 05/28/19-08/16/19
  4. GEOG795 (Professional Seminars): Friday (Lecture ONLINE), 5:30-7:30pm (1 Credit), Dates: 05/28/19-08/16/19
  5. GEOG688E (Drones for Commercial Data): Monday (Lecture), Tuesday (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 05/28/19-08/16/19
  6. GEOG670 (Open Source GIS): Wednesdays (Lecture), 5:30pm-8:30pm (Lab) Thursday, Web Online, 05/28/19-08/16/19

Spring 2019

  1. Geog653 (Spatial Analysis): Wednesdays (Lecture) LEF 1158, Thursdays (Lab) LEF 1136, 5:30-8pm, 02/25/19-05/17/19
  2. Geog655 (Spatial Database Systems): Wednesdays (Lecture) LEF 1171, Thursdays (Lab) LEF 1138, 6:30-9pm, 02/25/19-05/17/19
  3. Geog657 (Web Programming): Mondays (Lecture) LEF 1166, Tuesdays (Lab) LEF 1166, 5:30-8pm, 02/25/19-05/17/19
  4. Geog797 (Capstone-Professional Project): Mondays (Lecture) LEF 1171, 5:30-8pm, 02/25/19-05/17/19

Winter 2018-2019

  1. Geog651 (Spatial Statistics): Wednesdays (Lecture), Thursdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 11/26/18-02/15/19 
  2. Geog656 (Programming and Scripting for GIS): Mondays (Lecture), Tuesdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 11/26/18-02/15/19
  3. Geog660 (Advanced Remote Sensing Using Lidar: Wednesdays (Lecture), Thursdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 11/26/18-02/15/19
  4. Geog677 (Internet GIS): Monday (Lecture), Tuesdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 11/26/18-02/15/19
  5. Geog688E (Drones for Commercial Data): Friday (Lecture), 5:00pm-8:00pm, 11/26/18-02/15/19 (1 credit)

Fall 2018

  1. Geog653 (Spatial Analysis): Mondays (Lecture), Tuesdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 08/27/18-11/16/18
  2. Geog652 (Digital Image Processing and Analysis): Wednesdays (Lecture), Thursdays (Lab), 6:30-8:30pm, 08/27/17-11/16/18
  3. Geog650 (Mobile GIS): Mondays (Lecture), Tuesdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 08/27/18-11/16/18
  4. Geog654 (GIS and Spatial Modeling): Wednesdays (Lecture), Thursdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 08/27/18-11/16/18
  5. Geog797 (Capstone-Professional Project): Mondays (Lecture), 5:30-7:30pm, 08/27/18-11/16/18

    Summer 2018

    1. GEOG579C (Introduction to Computer Programming): Mondays (Lecture), Tuesdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm (2 Credits), 06/04/18-07/14/18
    2. GEOG651 (Spatial Statistics): Mondays (Lecture), Tuesdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 05/29/18-08/17/18
    3. GEOG656 (Programming and Scripting for GIS): Wednesdays (Lecture), Thursdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 05/29/18-08/17/18
    4. GEOG795 (Professional Seminars): Friday (Lecture ONLINE), 5:30-7:30pm (1 Credit), Dates: 05/29/18-8/17/18
    5. GEOG796 (GIS Project Management): Wednesdays (Lecture), Thursdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 05/29/18-08/17/18
    6. GEOG670 (Open Source GIS): Wednesdays (Lecture), 5:30pm-8:30pm (Lab) Thursday, Web Online, 05/29/18-08/17/18

    Spring 2018

    1. Geog653 (Spatial Analysis): Wednesdays (Lecture), Thursdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 02/26/18-05/18/18
    2. Geog655 (Spatial Database Systems): Wednesdays (Lecture), Thursdays (Lab), 6:30-8:30pm, 02/26/18-05/18/18
    3. Geog657 (Web Programming): Mondays (Lecture), Tuesdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 02/26/18-05/18/18
    4. Geog797 (Capstone-Professional Project): Mondays (Lecture), 5:30-7:30pm, 02/26/18-05/18/18

    Winter 2017-2018

    1. Geog651 (Spatial Statistics): Wednesdays (Lecture), Thursdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 11/27/17-02/16/18
    2. Geog656 (Programming and Scripting for GIS): Mondays (Lecture), Tuesdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 11/27/17-02/16/18
    3. Geog660 (Advanced Remote Sensing Using Lidar: Wednesdays (Lecture), Thursdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 11/27/17-02/16/18
    4. Geog677 (Internet GIS): Monday (Lecture), Tuesdays (Lab), 5:30-7:30pm, 11/27/17-02/16/18






              GEOG660 Lidar Remote Sensing
              GEOG660: Lidar Remote Sensing

              Important Dates, Courses, and Registration 

              1. Where can I find an updated list of courses, schedule and contact information?

              • The best place to locate all pertinent information regarding the MS and GC GIS programs is to visit the program website 

              2.  How do I register for MS courses?

              • Prior to registering each term, you will have an online advising block that will prohibit you from registering.  Complete the Online Advising form. After it is reviewed by the MS program, your block will be lifted (estimate time: 24 hours).
              • With the UMD email account, you can go to TESTUDO at to register for the courses online by yourself. Register for ALL courses by:
              1. Clicking on Registration (Drop/Add)
              2. Logging into your account
              3. Adding your desired courses
              4. Click Submit and Sign-off
              • Once you get your UMD account and register the classes, you will be automatically added to ELMS ( The instructors will send you the syllabus and other information before the class starts. Please note that you can attend the lectures and lab sessions either in real classroom or online. 

              3.  What are the course dates, schedule adjustment periods, and withdrawal deadlines?

              • MS courses do not meet for the standard semester or term dates. Courses with non-standard dates have different Schedule Adjustment periods and Drop with 'W' dates.
              • Non-standard course date listings and schedule adjustment periods can be found HERE
              • 12 week course Academic deadlines can be found HERE.; 
              • Schedule Adjustment information can be found HERE

              4.  Where can I find an Incomplete Contract?

              • If for any reason you are unable to complete all of the material for a course by the end of the course's term, you need to discuss this with the course instructor and fill out an Incomplete Contract 
              • Send a copy of the signed contract to Kristen Bergery at kbergery [at]

              5. What is the MS academic schedule?

              • The schedule for each term changes slightly each year but is approximated as follows. You can find the schedule for the current year here: ms gis schedule

              6.  What are the registration dates for each term for MS GIS courses?

              • The following are registration dates for each term:
                Winter 2020 - October 23, 2019
                Spring 2020 - November 1, 2019
                Summer 2020 - February 27, 2020
                Fall 2020- March 27, 2020
              • Students have until the first day of classes to register without penalty after which students will be subject to the office of registrar non-standard course refund policy found on the resources page:

              7. What if I need to take a term off?

              • The Graduate School requires continuous registration.  If you need to miss a term, you must fill out a Waiver of Continuous Registration and email it to Kristen Bergery at kbergery [at] before the start of the term.

              8. What are the Graduate School policies and how can I request a modification?

              • All Graduate Schhol students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA to retain admission status
              • Some students are admitted provisionally. These students must receive a B or higher in all classes the first term or year.
              • For a request of modify policy, a Waiver of Regulation must be filled out and emailed to Kristen Bergery at kbergery [at]
              • A complete list of the Graduation School policies can be found HERE

              ELMS, Email, and Software 

              1. Where do I go to receive my photo identification card?

              • Where to get your ID? What happens if you lose your ID? What programs and services are accessible with your ID? etc. You can find important information about students IDs here:
              • For Lefrak Hall 24/7 access please contact Liz Smith at lizsmith [at]

              2. Where can I access free software such as office tools, downloads, design and productions and more?

              3. My ArcGIS license code has expired, where can I get a new one?

              4. How do I log into the VMware?

              • You can find all the steps to logging into the VMware by clicking here: 

              VMware Instructions for Windows
              VMware Instructions for Mac

              5. Who do I contact about issues relating to the GEOG servers or VMware?

              • Please contact our tech staff at geoghelp [at]

              6. Who do I contact about issues relating to ELMS, such as log-in problems?

              7. How do I create and log in to my University email account?

              Departmental and Campus Services

              1. Where can I find information about the department's Computer Lab hours and policy?
              2. Where can I find information regarding on campus parking, shuttle information, maps and visitor directions?
              3. Where can I find information about recreational services?
                • You can find out about University gym memberships. Personal training and intramural sports and other facilities here:
              4. Where can I find online resources to supplement the knowledge and skills that we learn in class?
              • All UMD students have free access to, an online library with thousands of videos and tutorials on a wide range of skills such as Python Programming, R Programming, and Web Programming. You can find the UMD login page for Lynda here:

              MS & GC Graduation Process

              I am ready to graduate! What do I need to do?

              If you are graduating with either a Master's Degree or a Graduate Certificate, follow these steps:

              • Complete an Application for Graduation within the first TEN DAYS of the term in which you will graduate.
                1. MS application (online)
                2. GC application-Complete and return directly to diploma [at]
              Please remember that you must be registered for at least 1 credit during the term in which you are graduating. It is VERY important that you turn in ALL forms when they are due. If you miss the deadline for submission, the Graduate School requires a Waiver of Regulation Petition that can take up to two weeks to process and may delay your graduation.

              Graduate Forms and Financial Aid 

              1. Where can I find Health Forms such as Immunization, Medical history etc.?
                • The University Health Center requires each student to complete and submit an immunization form in order to remove registration blocks. You can find the forms here:
              2. Where can I find graduate school forms?
              3. Where can I access and pay my student bill or view my student account balance?
                • The Office of Student Financial Services and Cashiering (formerly Bursar's office):
                • It includes everything students need to know about billing, payments, and refunds.  The website also has the resources faculty and staff need to initiate charges – including CCP and SAR forms. 
                • Billing is run on the 25th of each month. Payment is due on the 20th of each month.
                • Students and families with questions about their accounts will continue to call us at (301) 314-9000 or visit us in the Financial Service Center, Suite 1135 in the Lee Building. 
              4. Does MS GIS program provide financial aids (scholarships, assistantships, etc.)?
                • Unfortunately, MS GIS program does not provide financial support. Students are encouraged to seek support from their employers or external opportunities.
                  • Students are eligible for Graduate Assistant positions offered by the University of Maryland that can help cover some of their tuitions.
                  • Internships are available to students from different agencies and organizations.
                  • Students are eligible to participate in federal scholarship programs.
              5. What are the requirements for a loan?
                • If you need any information on loan requirements or financial aid you can go to the Office of Student Financial Aid website at
                • If you have any specific questions about loan requirements you can contact: Malina Heng at mheng [at] ">mheng [at] or 301-314-9859
              6. Currently serving or served in the army? Know your education benefits?


              Full-time Lecturers

              Jack (Jianguo) Ma, Ph.D.  
              Faculty Website: internal:/facultyprofile/
              Ma/Jack (Jianguo)

              E-mail: jma3 [at]
              Office Location: 2181 LeFrak Hall
              Courses: 653, 677, 795, 797
              Eunjung (Elle) Lim, Ph.D.  
              Faculty Website: internal:/facultyprofile/
              Lim/Eunjung Elle

              E-mail: elim [at]
              Office Location: 1167 LeFrak Hall
              Courses: 651, 657, 650, 797
              Jonathan Resop, Ph.D.  
              Faculty Website: internal:/facultyprofile/

              E-mail: resop [at]
              Office Location: 1137 LeFrak Hall
              Courses: 656, 654, 660, 797

              Part-time Lecturers

              Naijun Zhou, Ph.D.  
              Faculty Website: internal:/facultyprofile/

              E-mail: njzhou [at]
              Office Location: 1125 LeFrak Hall
              Courses: 652, 655

              Adjunct Lecturers

              Robert Pitts, PMP, GISP  
              Faculty Website: N/A
              E-mail: N/A
              Office Location: N/A
              Courses: 796
              Baboyma Kagniniwa, GISP  
              Faculty Website: N/A
              E-mail: N/A
              Office Location: N/A
              Courses: 677, 788A


              GEOG656 Programming and Scripting for GIS
              GEOG656: Programming and Scripting for GIS


              STEP 1: Qualifications

              The Graduate School requires all admitted graduate students to have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree in another country. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is normally required for admission into this program while rare exceptions can be made.

              The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required.

              Students can be admitted into the program with various backgrounds. However, to be able to officially start the program in the fall, students are required to meet the prerequisite requirements:

              • An introductory course in GIS and/or Remote Sensing (or proof of practical/field experience)

              To get admission, the applicants are not required to have any GIS or Remote Sensing background. However, before they can start the program, they have to meet the prerequisites.

              For students applying for the Graduate Certificate track, only GIS  is required as a prerequisite.

              For students applying for the Master's degree track,you must have GIS and Remote Sensing as a prerequisite. These prerequisite courses (GEOG579, and GEOG579B) are offered online by the MS GIS program during the summer proceeding the fall term when the program starts. You can either take these prerequisite courses here at the University of Maryland or the equivalent courses in other institutions. The prerequisite courses do not count toward the degree.

              If you are an international student who is interested in an online only version of the MS program that would not require you to submit a visa, please send an email to geog-gis [at] to express your interest.

              STEP 2: Application Deadlines

              Students are admitted to the program during either the Fall and Spring terms. Currently international applicants may only be admitted for the Fall term MS track.

              Domestic and Permanent Resident Deadlines:

              • Spring Priority - December 14
              • Spring Firm - February 18
              • Fall Priority - May 16
              • Fall  19 Firm - July 26
              • Fall  20 Firm - July 28

              International Applicant Deadline:

              Fall - March 13

              International Applicants may submit TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores. Applicants must me the requirements for full admission. For more information visit: You are encouraged to contact us (geog-gis [at] with any questions about the application deadline. The actual deadlines may vary depending on the applicant's background. For questions regarding international admissions, please visit the International Student & Scholar Services Website

              STEP 3: Application Instructions

              Useful links for applying to the University of Maryland Graduate School:

              NOTE: Besides the standard Graduate School Application Form, applicants are required to submit official transcripts from previous colleges or universities, a cover letter or statement of purposeresume, and at least two recommendation letters.

              STEP 4: University of Maryland's Graduate Application Process

              The University of Maryland’s Graduate School accepts applications through its ApplyYourself/Hobsons application system. Before completing the application, applicants are asked to check the Admissions Requirements site for specific instructions.

              As required by the Graduate School, all application materials are to be submitted electronically:

              • Graduate Application
              • College or University Transcripts
              • Statement of Purpose
              • Letters of Recommendation
              • Program/Department Supporting Documents
              • Non-refundable application fee ($75) for each program to which an applicant applies

              The electronic submission of application materials helps expedite the review of an application. Completed applications are reviewed by an admissions committee in each graduate degree program. The recommendations of the committees are submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School, who will make the final admission decision. Students seeking to complete graduate work at the University of Maryland for degree purposes must be formally admitted to the Graduate School by the Dean. To ensure the integrity of the application process, the University of Maryland authenticates submitted materials through iThenticate for Admissions.

              Information for International Graduate Students

              The University of Maryland is dedicated to maintaining a vibrant international graduate student community. The office of International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS) is a valuable resource of information and assistance for prospective and current international students. International applicants are encouraged to explore the services they offer, and contact them with related questions.

              The University of Maryland Graduate School offers admission to international students based on academic information; it is not a guarantee of attendance. Admitted international students will then receive instructions about obtaining the appropriate visa to study at the University of Maryland which will require submission of additional documents. Please see the Graduate Admissions Process for International applicants for more information.

              Graduate School Contact

              Applicants are encouraged to contact the Hobsons online application’s helpdesk for any technical issues.  For questions related to the admissions process, prospective students may contact the Graduate School.

              Tuition/Fees (as of Fall 2019)
              Tuition: $779.00 per credit (same for in-state and out-of-state)
              Mandatory Campus Fee: Fall / Spring:
              $451.00 part-time flat rate per term (1 to 8 credits)
              $817.50 full time flat rate per term (9 or more credits)
              Winter / Summer:
              $100.00 flat rate per term
              Lab Fees: Some courses have a $40.00 lab fee
              International Student Fee: For all international students (who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents)
              $62.50 per semester part-time
              $125.00 per semester full-time
              Fee revenue will be used to support international students: improved academic support, expanded assistance for students transitioning to the U.S., and international student-focused cultural events to foster an engaged, supportive community.

              Note: Tuition will potentially increase annually at the same rate as the university graduate school tuition.

              We are conveniently located just outside Washington, DC, minutes from federal and state government facilities, national associations, corporate headquarters, the Capital Beltway, Interstate 95, and the Maryland I-270 Tech Corridor.

              Getting to Campus

              Contact Information

              • Office: 2181 Samuel J. LeFrak Hall
              • Email: geog-gis [at]
              • Phone: 301-314-1883
              Last modified
              09/05/2019 - 11:10 am