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Open Doors With A Master’s Degree In Applied Geospatial Sciences

Earn you master’s degree in Applied Geospatial Sciences entirely online through Northern Arizona University and prepare for a career in what the U.S. Department of Labor identifies as one of the most important, high-growth industries in the nation. Examples of geospatial technologies include Internet mapping, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), satellite imagery, community and land management, and spatial analysis—all of which are rapidly growing fields. This online master’s degree program does not require any previous geospatial experience or coursework. 

Earn Your Master’s Degree Online & Enter This Fast-Growing Field

The Applied Geospatial Sciences online master’s program connects you with true experts in the fields of geospatial sciences and GIS technologies. Through online learning, skilled faculty pass on lessons and observations from years working in the field. Gain the knowledge and skills to turn geographic data into useful applications, maps and services for a variety of uses including business, government and education.

Among the many fast-growing and well-paid job positions using geospatial sciences and technologies are:

  • Cartographer
  • Emergency Management Director
  • GIS Specialist
  • Natural Resource Management Lead
  • Urban Planner

Catalog Information

Learn more about the program options by viewing the catalog information below. Catalog information is displayed for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Applied Geospatial Sciences

Emphasis Select from 4 Emphasis:

Campus Locations

globe This program is available Online
Degree Information
36 units
Maximum Transfer Units
Additional Admission Requirements - Additional Application

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 36
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate

Emphasis, minor, and/or certificate are required.

Thesis Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Oral Defense Oral Defense may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • GRE® revised General Test
    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement or essay
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 36 units:

    Applied Geospatial Sciences Core (7 units)

    • GSP 681, GSP 687 (4 units)
    • At least 3 units of GSP or PRM graduate level courses selected with your faculty advisor's consent (3 units)

  • Emphasis Area, Select One (with your faculty advisor's approval):
    • Geospatial Technologies Emphasis (29 units)
      Select coursework from the following:
      Geospatial Technologies, Professional Science Masters Emphasis (29 units)
      Selection coursework from the following:
      Planning and Recreation Emphasis (29 units)
      Select coursework from the following:
      Custom Geography, Planning and Recreation Emphasis (29 units)
      Select coursework from the following:
      • With your faculty advisor's approval, select at least 13 units from any combination of Graduate-level Geographic Sciences and Community Planning (GSP) courses and Parks and Recreation Management (PRM) courses.
      • A professional practicum GSP 689 or thesis GSP 699 is required (6 units)
      • Other Northern Arizona University graduate-level courses, with your advisor's approval (up to 10 units)
  • Thesis and Professional Practicum (6 units)
    • GSP 699 -Thesis is for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved thesis. Please be aware that you can only count 6 units of thesis credit toward your degree. However, you may end up taking more units because you must enroll for it each term while you are working on your thesis. 
    • GSP 689 - Professional Practicum is for a project-based internship experience in a professional work environment, including the writing and oral presentation of an approved practicum project. Please be aware that you can only count 6 units of professional practicum credit toward your degree. The final practicum units will not be passed until the oral presentation and project report have been accepted by your faculty advisor.
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your faculty advisor.

  • Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Plan Option

    This program is available as an Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan.  Accelerated Programs provide the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates working on their bachelor’s degree to simultaneously begin work on a master’s degree, which may allow them to complete both degrees in an accelerated manner by applying 6 units toward both degrees.  Students must apply to the accelerated program and the master’s program by the application deadline, and meet all requirements as listed on the Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Programs to be considered for admission.  Admission to programs is competitive and qualified applicants may be denied because of limits on the number of students admitted each year.  Be sure to speak with your advisor regarding your interest in Accelerated Programs.
Department Information
Learn more about this program and the Department of Geography, Planning & Recreation.