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


Increased interest in geographic information and its applications is fueling demand for surveyors, cartographers, photogrammetrists, and mapping technicians. In response to this increased demand, Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies has developed the Master of Professional Studies in Geographic Information Technology (GIT).  

Designed to advance your technical expertise, this online degree in Geographic Information Technology explores a range of topics that are essential to the geographic information systems (GIS) field from project management and system implementation to database design and execution. In addition, advanced concepts and techniques in areas such as raster-based GIS, geospatial information, and GIS modeling are also addressed within this online master’s degree. Combining technical knowledge with hands-on GIS training, this results-oriented program will enhance your skills and broaden your knowledge base—equipping you to competently apply GIS in your chosen field.

Please note: High-speed internet service is required for coursework in this program.

Program Objectives

  • Gain hands-on experience with ESRI software
  • Improve your understanding of Internet GIS 
  • Explore the fundamentals of remote sensing 
  • Establish foundational skills in project management, system implementation, database development, and implementation 
  • Evaluate theoretical, mathematical, and computational foundations of GIS 
  • Learn to effectively interpret and apply geographic information 
  • Analyze cartographic principles 
  • Study the legal, economic, and ethical issues associated with GIS 
  • Examine practical applications of GIS to support geographic inquiry and decision making

USGIF LogoNortheastern University is USGIF accredited by the Master of Professional Studies in Geographic Information Technology program. 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.

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an increasing demand for fast, accurate, and complete geographic information is generating more jobs for surveyors, cartographers, photogrammetrists, and surveying and mapping technicians. With more businesses expected to utilize GIS, the field is projected to continue growing at a faster-than-average pace.

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.

Student Profile

Who Will Your Classmates Be?

This program draws students from diverse fields: government, natural resource management, public health, transportation, environmental engineering, conservation, urban planning, and real estate development.

Typical job titles include: surveying and mapping technician, cartographer, photogrammetrist, GIS Analyst, GIS specialist, GIS manager, senior GIS developer, IT director, GIS technician, GIS coordinator, mapping analyst, and GIS data steward.

Applicants must exhibit computer competency and hold an undergraduate degree. While a degree in a science discipline with a GPA of 3.0 or above is preferred, candidates with relevant GIS or IT experience will also be considered.

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.


Call Toll Free:
Contact Us
Next Term Starts
  • Fall Term
    Sep 21, 2015 (12- and 6-week classes)
    Nov 2, 2015 (6-week classes)

Academic Calendar