What is the MSGISci Program?
The Master of Science in Geographic Information Science (MSGISci) is a one-year, 30-unit program designed to develop core competencies required of the geospatial workforce which include technical, analytical, business, and interpersonal competencies. This degree responds to a national, regional, and local need for a well-trained geospatial workforce.
What is a Professional Science Masters (PSM)?
The MSGISci degree was designed in the spirit of the national movement toward the development of PSM degrees. These degrees differ from the typical MA/MS degree in that they provide students with advanced training while also developing workplace skills that are highly valued by employers.
What is the difference between this MS degree and the CSULB GIS Certificate?
The CSULB GIS Certificate is an undergraduate level certificate usually earned as part of a BA degree. It can be completed upon graduation, and post-baccalaureate students can earn this Certificate. The MSGISci is a degree program specifically designed for masters-level students.
Is the MSGISci program offered online?
The program is designed as an in-residence program. The "MBA-style" course is offered in a hybrid fashion.
I work during the day. When are classes offered?
Program courses are scheduled on Monday and/or Wednesday evenings and selected Saturdays, throughout a 12-month period. During the 3-week January intersession, courses will be offered in the evenings and Saturdays.
I work full time. Can I still enroll in this degree?
The class schedule is designed to accommodate working professionals. The full-time course load requires a significant time commitment.
What is a cohort program?
In the MSGISci, a small cohort of 25 students undertakes the intensive curriculum, taking all the same courses together. The format generally leads to strong professional and personal ties among the students that last well beyond the duration of the program.
Can I take a few classes at a time and complete the degree on a longer time scale?
No. The MSGISci degree is designed to be completed in 1-year and is dependent on the cohort-based format. The purpose of this format is for students to work together as a group and experience team-based project development and completion. Skills needed to complete the project are developed throughout the year.
What are the degree requirements?
- Bachelor's Degree in Geography, with a minimum of one upper division course in Geospatial Techniques (Geographic Information Science, Cartography, and/or Remote Sensing), OR
- Bachelor's Degree in a related discipline, with a minimum of one upper division course in Geospatial Techniques (Geographic Information Science, Cartography, and/or Remote Sensing), OR
- Bachelor's Degree in a related discipline with a minimum of one year of demonstrated work experience in a field with direct application of Geospatial Technologies.
- Minimum Undergraduate GPA of 3.0
I have completed graduate level coursework in GIS. Can these units be transferred to this degree?
No. You must complete the 30-units of coursework specifically designed for this degree program. We value the contributions your experiences will provide to the classroom dynamic.
I have not taken any geography classes; will I have to do make up work for that?
To be eligible for this degree you do not need a bachelor’s degree in geography (although a BA or BS degree is required). We do require previous upper-division coursework in GIS. Professional experience in GIS is highly desired.
Does this program require a letter of recommendation?
Yes. The application process requires two letters of reference. We recommend one reference to be provided by an academic and one from a professional contact. Select someone who can accurately discuss your character, qualifications, academic and/or professional history, ability to undertake graduate-level work and academic and/or career goals.
As this is a technical degree, will most of the courses be “hands on” oriented and less theoretical?
The understanding of theory is a foundation of responsible practice and analysis. The focus of the MSGISci training is on technical and analytical skill development.
What variety of capstone projects will be assigned? Will students be able to propose their own project?
While we facilitate opportunities for project work, the culminating project is often student-initiated. Students are encouraged to work in a team environment.
How much will this program cost?
Program tuition is $650 per unit; $19,500 for the 30-unit degree. Parking passes will cost approximately $450 for the year. The Student Housing office estimates living expenses in the Long Beach area to amount to $12,000 per year, or $10,500 per year to live on-campus.
What if I am not a California resident? Is there a separate out-of-state tuition rate?
Tuition and fees are the same for CA state residents and out-of-state students.
Do I pay the entire fee to enroll?
The entire fee does not need to be paid in advance. Students may register for one semester at a time.
Is Financial Aid available?
Yes, please contact the Financial Aid Office at CSULB by clicking here
or calling (562) 985-8403. The FAFSA deadline for schools in California is usually March 2.
Are scholarships available?
Yes, please contact the Scholarship Office at CSULB by clicking here
or calling (562) 985- 2549.
Does this program qualify for Veterans Benefits?
Yes. Please contact the Veteran’s Affairs office for additional information at (562) 985-5115.
Do I need to take the GRE?
No, the GRE is currently not required to apply for the MSGISci.
What is the TOEFL and do I need to take it?
The TOEFL test measures a students’ ability to use and understand English at the university level. Non-native English speakers may be required to take this test to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Admission to CSULB graduate programs requires a TOEFL score of 213 on the computerized test, 80 on the internet based test (or 550 on the pencil and paper test).