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Connecting You to the World

Get an education that has no expiration date, and the professional agility to apply it virtually anywhere. Geographic Information Science & Technology (GIST) touches all of our lives, from GPS and online maps to global applications you may have never considered. GIS data is being deployed across countless industries, from health care to homeland security.

Geospatial services accounts for 500,000 U.S. jobs and nearly $75 billion in annual revenue, according to Boston Consulting Group research (2012). A 2016 report from Research and Markets projects the global GIS analytics market to grow by more than 10% between 2016 and 2020.

Professionals with the vision and insight to address major global challenges and make innovative breakthroughs via geospatial technologies are in demand around the world. An online GIS degree from USC can prepare you for a fascinating and exciting future ahead.

“The best part about my experience at USC is that through the help of GIST professors, I have a great job as a significant contributor to critical humanitarian mapping projects, while also having a paleontological and geological-based thesis project that is completely different.”
– Kacey Johnson Pham, M.S. GIST, Class of 2015

Why Choose USC for Your Geographic Information Science & Technology Graduate Program?

Flexible and robust online curriculum designed with working professionals in mind

Accelerated 20-month master’s in GIST and three 9‑month GIS online graduate certificates

Field excursion to the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island (M.S. GIST and GIST Certificate students)

Top technologies including ArcGIS, LiDAR and Google SketchUp

Ranked #23 among National Universities (U.S. News & World Report, 2017)

Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Member of the UNIGIS International Association

Specialize in Spatial Thinking

Our online graduate programs in geographic information science and technology are shaping innovative thinkers via a cutting-edge curriculum. As a USC GIST student, you’ll get to examine the ways spatial science is used to acquire, represent, organize, analyze and visualize information, and learn to apply advanced GIS techniques to real-world challenges.

“The Web GIS course really helped me professionally. The exposure to Web GIS, and specifically the developer APIs and SDKs, shortened the learning curve when I transitioned from GIS analyst to solutions engineer.”
— Colin Mattison, M.S. GIST, Class of 2017

GIS Careers

GIST has proven extraordinarily valuable in scientific fields. However, its professional reach also extends into other disciplines. With this expanded application comes a broad range of emerging GIS careers.

GIS in the Sciences

Opportunities for GIS professionals abound in:

  • Environmental safety and protection
  • Weather and climate forecasting
  • Maritime studies
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • The social sciences
  • Public health
  • Epidemiology
  • And more
Explore: GIS Careers in the Environment/Sciences

“While still completing my thesis I landed my dream job working at Orca Maritime Inc. in Imperial Beach, California. Today I help find shipwrecks, lost airplanes and explore the deep ocean trenches that have never been explored.”
– Nate Novak, M.S. GIST, Class of 2016

GIS Beyond the Sciences

The study of GIS technology is integral to:

  • The work of urban, regional and transportation planners
  • Cartographers
  • Programmers
  • Civil engineers
  • Architects
  • Data managers
  • And many other public and private
    sector roles
Explore: GIS Careers Beyond the Sciences

“A month before defending my thesis for the USC GIST program, I was offered the position of geographic analyst with Nokia’s HERE Maps in Los Angeles. A large part of my job is field data collection: finding sources for new and updated map content and ensuring their accurate, real-world representation within the database.”
– Emily Frazier, M.S. GIST, Class of 2014

Hands-On Learning Adventure on Catalina Island

Students in the M.S. in GIST and the Graduate Certificate in GIST programs conduct a weeklong research project at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. We bring together a diverse group of students and faculty for exciting networking opportunities and hands-on learning experiences that support the study of various GIS disciplines.

The goal is to provide you with a high-caliber opportunity to explore the depth and breadth of geography, spatial analysis and programming as it applies to GIS in the real world. While on the island, you can expect to:

Learn how to use GIS technology and examine the science behind GIS/GPS hardware and software

Design and conduct your own geospatial data collection project, and discover how to apply GIS research methodologies

Gain hands-on experience, seeing how the tools work and training in technologies used on the job

Internationally Recognized GIST Faculty

As one of the world’s most respected universities, USC offers highly innovative degree programs led by industry-experienced educators. Our GIST faculty is a diverse team of experts renowned for their contributions to the rapidly evolving body of geospatial knowledge in geographic information science, geology, geography and computer science. We are here to guide you through your online GIST graduate studies as you explore your interests, plan your studies and move forward with your goals.

COL [R] Steven D. Fleming, Ph.D.
Professor of the Practice of Spatial Sciences

“More and more, we see the power of place and space impacting how decisions are shaped and made in a diverse cross-section of professional fields. As the world gets smaller and the connectivity between people and things becomes more robust and transparent, ‘where’ has become critical to understand. I don’t see this trend changing.”