Learn more about the Professional Science Master's in Geographic Information Systems.

About the Program

The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) combines advanced training in GIS core skills with professional development and business ethics to prepare students to enter the GIS workforce. Our courses introduce students to a variety of cutting-edge spatial analysis technology and mapping software. The Department of Geography and Urban Studies faculty have expertise in a range of GIS applications, including business, environment, geovisualization, health, location analysis, remote sensing and urban. The program curriculum is informed by an advisory board of industry professionals and incorporates real-world experiences through project-based learning and an internship capstone requirement. Graduates are well prepared to pursue certification as a GIS professional (GISP).

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: Students complete the degree program through classes offered after 4:30 p.m. The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Full-time students can complete the program in one calendar year. Part-time students are expected to complete the program in 3 years.

Affiliation(s): The program is an affiliated Professional Science Master’s program.

Areas of Specialization: The program specializes in Geographic Information Systems and offers coursework in cartography, geospatial programming, geovisualization, spatial database design, spatial statistics, web mapping, and several applied areas. The Department offers students the opportunity to learn in research laboratory settings equipped with the latest technologies.

Job Prospects: The program trains a workforce that is highly competent to meet the challenges faced by public, regulated and private sector industries and also adaptable to the future needs of the industries. It provides access to a professional career, requiring both technical skills and professional development training in areas related to business, ethics and policy. The program enables students to match their specialized training in GIS with substantive fields that utilize such training, including criminology, epidemiology, national security, natural and environmental sciences, and urban and regional planning.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students may take up to 9 credits prior to matriculation. If accepted into the program, these credits may be applied toward the degree.

Funding Opportunities: Typically, the Department does not provide financial assistance to students at the master's level. Teaching and Research Assistantships are reserved for PhD students.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:


  • March 1 – Application Deadline
  • July 1 – Late Application Deadline


  • November 1 – Application Deadline
  • December 7 – Late Application Deadline


  • April 15 – Application Deadline

Applications are processed as they are received. Late applications may be considered for admission.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members or professional references familiar with the applicant's academic competence. The recommendations may be submitted on the "Reference Report for Graduate Study" or as a traditional letter of recommendation. Letters must be signed and forwarded as a PDF on official letterhead.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: No specific coursework is required as applicants are drawn from a variety of disciplines.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A baccalaureate degree in any field is appropriate. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 with 2 to 4 years of relevant professional experience is preferred.

Statement of Goals: In approximately 500 to 1,000 words, share why you are interested in this program, your research and academic goals, future career goals, academic and research achievements, and any other information that you believe will be helpful in evaluating your application.

Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 88
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 60

Resume: Current resume required.

Transfer Credit: Applicable graduate coursework may be transferred from outside the University, provided that the credits were obtained no more than five years prior to the student's matriculation at Temple and the grades are "B" or better. The credits must be equivalent to coursework offered at Temple. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

Core Courses
GUS 5031GIS Programming3
GUS 5162Advanced Statistics for Urban Applications3
GUS 8065Cartographic Design3
GUS 8067Spatial Database Design3
GUS 8069GIS Ethics and Professional Practice3
Electives 112
Capstone Course
GUS 9187GIS Capstone3
Total Credit Hours30

In consultation with the faculty advisor, students select four electives from a wide array of courses in cartography, GIS, remote sensing, and spatial analysis. It is recommended that students who are interested in advanced programming take GUS 8066 Application Development for Geographic Information Systems as one of their four electives.

Culminating Event:
GIS Capstone:
The GIS Capstone course (GUS 9187) provides an experiential and industry-relevant learning experience for students matriculated in the GIS Professional Science Master’s program at Temple. Students engage in a structured internship experience (140 hours during the term) identified with the guidance of PSM faculty at Temple and a prospective employer. The student completes a GIS-oriented project during the internship that draws on the GIS science and professional skills developed through the PSM curriculum.


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Dept. of Geography and Urban Studies

308 Gladfelter Hall

1115 W. Polett Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6089


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:

Senior Manager, Administration:

Jessica Brennan


Program Coordinator:

Liz Janczewski


Assistant Director:

Lee Hachadoorian, PhD


Graduate Chairperson:

Kimberley Thomas, PhD



Kevin Henry