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Academics Overview

Pursue Your Master’s in GIST at USC

The U.S. Department of Labor has named geotechnology as one of the three most important fields of study for the coming decades. To take advantage of this growing industry, you’ll need to develop a strong technical background and the practical skills to deliver hands-on solutions to tomorrow’s geotechnical challenges.

USC’s GIS degree curriculum focuses on learning the various ways in which location or geography are used to acquire, represent, organize, analyze, model and visualize information. We’ve designed the coursework to be completed in as few as 20 months, with an opportunity to choose one of these four specialization tracks:

Spatial Data Acquisition and Integration | Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization | Spatial Application Development | Spatial Thinking

GIST Graduate Certificate Programs

USC also offers 16-unit graduate certificates which can be completed in two semesters. These programs support a multitude of backgrounds, occupations and applications that rely on geospatial technologies. Within a matter of months, you can gain specialized skills that can increase your value in the marketplace.

The goal is for you to examine the cyclical relationship between fundamental geographic information science, GIS technology and scientific discovery, while attaining the educational foundation needed to meet today’s most prolific global challenges. GIS certificate opportunities include:

Geographic Information Science & Technology

Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT)

Geospatial Leadership

A Week at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center

“The Catalina Island field trip is one of the most memorable experiences in the GIST program. Since I took this course at the beginning of the program, I was able to develop relationships even further with the other students. Having the hands-on component of using field equipment gave me the skill set needed to successfully acquire spatial data.”

— Trevor Denson, M.S. in GIST, Class of 2017

Why Choose the USC Online GIST Program?

Online GIS degree and certificate programs at USC are subject to the same educational requirements, and offer the same coursework and opportunities for collaboration as our onsite degree programs. Our extensive resources place these programs well beyond theory into a world of fully immersive learning using the most current technology in the field:

  • ArcGIS Online (including Business Analyst, Community Analyst and GeoPlanner)
  • Python
  • TerrSet Geographical Monitoring and Modeling System
  • eCognition
  • GeoDA, R and SAS
  • Pathfinder Office and TerraSync
  • SQL Server
  • Visual Studio
  • LiDAR
  • Google SketchUp

The online graduate programs in GIST offer a high level of flexibility to help you maintain your personal and professional responsibilities, while also providing you with the high caliber of education you expect from USC. In our online environment, you can work intensively with faculty and fellow students to examine how spatial science is used to acquire, represent, organize, analyze and visualize information in the public and private sector.

Earning your GIS degree online with USC allows you to combine a world-class scientific education with soft skills such as project management, budgeting and team assembly, helping you become the kind of well-rounded professional who is highly valued in today’s job market.