Master of Professional Studies in Geographic Information Technology

Campus Locations Online
Also available 100% Online Yes
Other Format(s)
Credits Required for Graduation 45
Entry Terms Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, Summer Quarter
Meets International Visa Requirements No


Northeastern’s Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) program is nationally recognized as an online NGA Center of Academic Center of Geospatial Excellence and USGIF accredited. The two awards are complementary and help to provide quality assurance for employers seeking students who meet 21st-century analytical workforce requirements. In a digital age where the vast majority of data has a location and time, geospatial systems provide the means to work and visualize it to reveal complex dynamics, patterns, and relationships.

Available 100 percent online in a manner consistent with the high academic standards established by Northeastern University, the delivery mode emphasizes the powerful relationship between learning and work. Students enrolled in this program can explore the world of geospatial intelligence and innovation and prepare for tomorrow’s challenges:

  • Geospatial intelligence and GIS
  • Speed and flexibile data acquisition and analysis
  • ​Information extraction and methods for tackling problems for large-scale automation
  • Web apps, emergency response, and disaster management
  • Emerging technologies with sensing as a service
  • RADAR, LiDAR, hyperspectral, and electro-opitcal imaging capabilities


Trend data suggest that geographic information technology (GIT) is related to the overall increase in interest in big data analytics. Geographic information technology and related systems are able to capture and model all types of spatial and geographic data, often useful for business or government intelligence, location-enabled services, and the planning and management of logistics, among many other purposes. Analysts who are trained in GIT are well-informed in how to produce, aggregate, and manipulate geographic/spatial data in order to drive decisions or services in any number of fields or industries. With the advent of mobile technology, the utility of GIT and employment of analysts with this expertise is expected to grow.


Northeastern University's Master of Professional Studies in Geographic Information Technology program is USGIF accredited. The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) is the only organization dedicated to bringing together industry, academia, government, professional organizations, and stakeholders to exchange ideas, share best practices, and promote the education and importance of a national geospatial intelligence agenda. To view the courses that are USGIF accredited and learn how students can receive USGIF’s Geospatial Intelligence Certificate, view the checklist.

NGA logo


Northeastern has been named a Center of Academic Excellence in Geospatial Sciences Program by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the U.S. Geological Survey with focus areas in geospatial analysis, remote sensing, and image analysis. The NGA is a world-leading intelligence and combat support agency that delivers geospatial intelligence used for policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals, and first responders. The information provided by NGA allows the Department of Defense to use its strategic intelligence and make key decisions on national security. To learn more about this partnership, visit the NGA webpage

Cordula Receives NGA Designation



Dr. Cordula Robinson receiving the NGA Center of Academic Excellence designation from Robert Cordillo, sixth Director of the NGA.




Interested in learning more? Watch one of our webinars:

MPS in Geographic Information Technology Overview
Exploring the Intersections of Geospatial Intelligence and Homeland Security


Please note: Students who started this program prior to Fall 2015 should follow the curriculum reflected on their DegreeWorks audits via the self-service tab of their myNEU portal.  Please consult your advisor with any questions.

Required Courses (21-22 q.h.)

GIS 5101 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 5102 Fundamentals of GIS Analysis (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
RMS 5105 Fundamentals of Remote Sensing 3 q.h.
GIS 5201 Advanced Spatial Analysis (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6980 Capstone (USGIF certified)
Should be taken as the final course in the program.
3 q.h. 

Choose two of the following courses:

ITC 6020 Information System Design and Analysis 3 q.h. 
LDR 6100 Developing Your Leadership Capability 3 q.h.
LDR 6125 Managing Organizational Culture 3 q.h.
PJM 5900 Foundations of Project Management
This course is required for students who do not have at least two years of professional experience working on projects. This course is only intended for those who are not familiar with professional project work. Students with two years or more of professional project experience may substitute PJM 6000 for PJM 5900. 
4 q.h.

If students prefer to focus their studies on a particular concentration, they may select 18 q.h. from one of the concentrations below and complement their studies with 6 q.h. of open elective courses, to meet the minimum 45 q.h. degree requirement.

Students are not required to complete a concentration. Any combination of 24 q.h. from concentration and elective courses will satisfy degree requirements.

Concentration in Geographic Information Systems (18 q.h.)

Choose six of the following courses:

GIS 6320 Use and Applications of Free and Open-Source GIS Desktop Software   3 q.h. 
GIS 6340 GIS Customization (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6350 GIS Management and Implementation 3 q.h.
GIS 6360 Spatial Databases (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6370 Internet-Based GIS (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6385 GIS/Cartography (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6390 Business Applications of Geographic Information Systems 3 q.h.
GIS 6391 Health-Care Applications of Geographic Information Systems 3 q.h.
GIS 6394 Crisis Mapping for Humanitarian Action (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6395 Geospatial Analysis of Crime (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6396 GIS for Defense, Homeland Security, and Emergency Response (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.


Concentration in Remote Sensing (18 q.h.)

RMS 6110 Digital Image Processing (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.

Choose five of the following courses:

RMS 6210 C4ISR Technology, Operations, and Requirements for Drones, Helicopters, and Airplanes  3 q.h. 
RMS 6220 Geographic Information Systems for Remote Sensing Applications 3 q.h.
RMS 6230 Remote Sensing and Global Change 3 q.h.
RMS 6240 Introduction to Radar and LiDAR Remote Sensing 3 q.h.
RMS 6250 Remote Sensing of Vegetation 3 q.h.
RMS 6260 Remote Sensing for Archeology 3 q.h.
RMS 6270 Remote Sensing for Disaster Management (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
RMS 6280 Automated Feature Extraction for the Geospatial Professional (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
RMS 6290 Spectroscopic Image Analysis (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
RMS 6292 Photogrammetry and GPS (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.

Open elective courses (6 q.h.)

Open electives can be fulfilled by choosing either 6 q.h. from the courses listed above or COP 6940 and 3 q.h. from the courses listed above.

COP 6940 Personal and Career Development
Enrollment into this course requires participation in the cooperative education program.
3 q.h.
INT 6943 Integrative Experiential Learning 3 q.h.


Total Quarter Hours: 45-46

Admissions Requirements

Below are the official Admissions Requirements for this program.

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifying your educational goals and expectations from the program; please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose
  • Professional resume: Current resume that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
  • Two letters of recommendation: from individual(s) with either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, such as a faculty member, current employer, mentor, or colleague
  • Official undergraduate degree documentation
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines

For general admissions information and recommended admissions deadlines, Graduate Admissions.

All requirements must be received prior to review.


Estimated total tuition for this program is $27,675.00.

Tuition for individual courses is based on the number of quarter hours. Most courses are 3-6 quarter hours. See Graduate Tuition Rates for details.

Use our Tuition Calculator below to see if transfer credit or tuition reimbursement from your employer could reduce your total tuition.

Tuition Calculator

Degree Type


Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2015-16 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time.

*A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit to the Doctor of Education program.

Our Students

Our Students

What are our graduates doing? Explore our alumni map, created in-house, which shows positions held by our recent GIT alumni around the globe.

Fulbright Scholars:

The GIT program hosted two Fulbright scholars ( from Lebanon in 2014 and 2015: Dr. Nadine Nassif and Dr. Mhamad El-Hage. Both scholars applied innovative geospatial technologies in their research with respect to 1.) marine pollution and legal protection in the Mediterranean and 2) the DNA in remote sensing and GIS and Geospatial innovation to create a groundwater potentiality map for Lebanon.

Student Activity Examples, Summer 2015:
  1. Elise White traveled to Colorado in August 2015 to attend the ENVI Analytics Symposium Her poster presentation is titled "Automated Feature Extraction Techniques to Identify Flood Extent in Minot, North Dakota."
  2. What our students think: Colin Johnson’s Interview with GISCafe
  3. Stan Bosarge became the recipient of the USGIF 2015 Academic Research Award for Underwater Remote Sensing and the Fisheries Independent Ecosystem Survey: Examining Spatial Relationships of Red Snapper and Reef Habitat off Coastal Alabama:
Stan Bosarge's testimonial

Stan BosargeI recently graduated from Northeastern University’s Geographic Information Technology program with a master's in geographic information technology and a remote sensing concentration in the fall of 2014. I decided to return to the program to receive my United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation certificate in the spring of 2015.

One of the main reasons I returned to school to get my master's was to learn the required skills necessary to manage a large scale mapping program of the Alabama Offshore Reef Permit Zone designed to identify optimal habitats for sampling reef fish, particularly red snapper. I was able to directly apply concepts and skills learned within my courses to my day-to-day work, and by returning for my USGIF certificate, I was able to use the required capstone course to develop a project that would outline the way our organization examines spatial relationships of reef fish to habitat, how to organize and maintain large scale spatial databases, and how to facilitate data sharing between our organization and other stakeholders at the state and federal level.

On completion of my capstone project, Professor Robinson nominated me for the USGIF Academic Research Award, for which I am 2015’s recipient. This program annually recognizes exceptional work in the realm of geospatial intelligence, and to have my work recognized in this capacity was truly humbling. My experiences within the program have been invaluable, and the connections I have made within and outside the program are truly significant.

Alumni Map

What are our graduates doing? Explore alumni map, created in house, which shows positions held by our recent GIT alumni around the globe.

Our Faculty

Our Faculty

The faculty at the College of Professional Studies is comprised of National Science Foundation-awarded scholars (international humanitarian relief), federal and state employees and professional industry experts.

The faculty is made up of working GIS municipality project managers; USGIF-certified data production engineers for NGA Geospatial Intelligence software companies; GISP and CMS certified scientists in addition to lead image scientists for the army with top security clearance.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  1. Civic Learning
    Display mastery of Geographic Information Technology principles, practices, and a solid knowledge of functions and essential skills required for human and organizational issues.

  2. Critical and Creative Thinking
    Demonstrate a fluency in the use of Geographic Information Technology through lab assignments and projects, with respect to data preparation and analysis, feature extraction and pattern recognition for use in planning, project management, strategy, and decision making with high-end interactive maps.

  3. Applied Learning and Experiential Knowledge
    Successfully apply knowledge and skills learned throughout the program in internships/directed studies, in order to become familiar with professional job responsibilities and have a better standing regarding job placement and promotion in the geospatial industry.

  4. Broad Integrated Knowledge
    Effectively exhibit graduate-level quality and hands-on experience working across multiple software environments, including commercial and open-source products, such as ESRI, ENVI, PCI Geomatica, GeoIntelligence, and project management software.

  5. Specialized Knowledge
    Demonstrate foundational skills in project management, remote sensing, system implementation and database development, and specialized knowledge in one of the following areas: GeoSpatial Intelligence and crime mapping; ESRI customization and mapping; global change; and management and business.

Talk to an Enrollment Coach

We can walk you through your program options and the application process.


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Next Term Starts
  • Winter Term
    Jan 11, 2016 (6- and 12-week classes)
    Feb 22, 2016 (6-week classes)

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