May 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
    
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Geographic Information Systems [M.S.]

Location(s): In-person/hybrid


The M.S. in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) prepares students to work as GIS analysts, applied researchers, and consultants providing expertise in this ever-evolving computer mapping analysis and application development area. GIS technologies are widely utilized in the U.S. and abroad, and there is a high demand for these skills.

This is a STEM-designated program (see OPT Extension).

Program Website

Program Admission


Admit Terms and Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; students may start the program in the Fall or Winter. See Application Deadlines.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

For full admission, applicants must have 1) Earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution, 2) a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program. Conditional admission may be available to applicants not meeting minimum admission requirements.

Program Requirements

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements. Requirements may be more stringent than the minimum graduate school requirements.

  • Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA below 2.75 must have a combined GRE verbal and quantitative reasoning score of at least 300 for admission. Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.76 or above are not required to take the GREApplicants must also satisfy the minimum graduate school requirements, including the 2.7 minimum GPA for full admission.
  • A minimum of two letters of recommendation, preferably one from a professor in the student’s major/minor field of study and one from an employer. If the student does not have related work experience, two letters from faculty members in the student’s major or minor field of study will be required.

Application

Your application will be submitted using GradCAS, a Centralized Application Service (CAS) hosted by Liaison. After reviewing the admission requirements, please review the application instructions  and select the appropriate application.

Domestic Applicants Within the application, follow the instructions to submit an official transcript from all previously attended institutions.

International Applicants Before applying, applicants must review the international application/process deadlines at emich.edu/international as they may differ from general program requirements.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Graduate assistantships (GA) are available to GIS graduate students on a competitive basis. GIS GA supports faculty members in instructional, research, service, and administrative project. If you are a new applicant and would like to be considered for a GA position starting in the upcoming Fall semester, kindly respond to the supplementary questions and submit the required documents within the graduate application before March 31st. GA applications received after March 31 will only be considered if unassigned assistantship positions remain.

Department Information


Geography & Geology 140D Strong Hall, 734.487.0218

Christine Clark, PhD, Department Head

Advisor Information


Yichun Xie, PhD, 140G Strong Hall, 734.487.7588

William Welsh, PhD, 140N Strong Hall, 734.487.7586

Hugh Semple, PhD, 140O Strong Hall, 734.487.8169

Xining Yang, PhD, 140C Strong Hall, 734.487.8486

Degree Requirements: 36 hours


The M.S. in Geographic Information Systems requires 36 credit hours of coursework distributed among required courses, elective courses and thesis or internship courses as follows:

Internship and Restricted Electives: 10 hours


Students will complete an additional ten credit hours, as follows:

Critical Graduation Information


Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

Master’s degree requirements must be completed within six (6) years of first enrollment in the master’s degree program.

In the event a student does not complete the master’s degree requirements within six years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all master’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.

  • A master’s degree must require a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  • No more than six credits of independent study courses and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined may be applied to a graduate degree.  
  • Residency Requirement:
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 36 or fewer required hours, at least 24 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere). 
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 37 or more required hours, at least 30 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. Minimum degree hours must still be met for graduation. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
    • Residency and enrollment in multiple programs: Students enrolled in multiple master’s/specialist degree programs must have 24 unique credit hours in each degree program.
  • Only credits from one completed graduate certificate may be applied to a master’s or specialist degree in a relevant field of study, as determined by the Graduate School and with the approval of the degree-granting academic department, and be included in the residency hours above.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.
  • The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
  • Some master’s programs require a thesis; others require a special project or internship; others require students to pass a final exam. See the Graduate School website for Thesis and Dissertation Manuals, all forms, and information about research and human subject approval. Every completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to Digital Commons. Any form of graduate student work submitted to Digital Commons must first be approved by a faculty advisor and the Graduate School.