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USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute

Programs

The USC Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute offers a comprehensive selection of graduate GIS programs, giving students the flexibility to advance their knowledge and skills in the way that’s best suited for their careers and previous experience. USC faculty review all programs regularly and update the curriculum to align with the needs of the research community and industry.

The extensive selection of electives and close professional relationships students can develop with faculty and peers ensure that they have the support and knowledge they need to reach their goals, whether they’re just entering a GIS career or are an experienced GIS professional.

The following GIS graduate programs are currently available:


Master’s Degrees

Master’s in Geographic Information Science and Technology
(Available online and residential)

The M.S. in GIST is designed for professionals interested in using spatial data to solve complex challenges in fields ranging from public safety to supply chain logistics and more. The core courses provide foundational, broadly applicable knowledge in spatial sciences as well as hands-on experience with GIS software and data. Electives allow students to acquire other advanced skills, such as GIS application development, geospatial technology project management and spatial modeling.

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Master’s in Human Security and Geospatial Intelligence
(Available online and residential)

The M.S. in Human Security and Geospatial Intelligence is designed for professionals with an interest in leveraging spatial and temporal data to prepare for and respond to incidents such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other threats that impact human security. Graduates will acquire the leadership skills and technical acumen they need to spearhead new geospatial intelligence initiatives in government, military and non-government organizations.

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Master’s in Spatial Data Science
(Available online and residential)

Focus on the acquisition, management, analysis and visualization of spatial data using data science techniques. Prepare to extract insights from complex geographic information systems for informed decision-making. This degree is a good fit for those who want to work with spatial data in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

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Master’s in Spatial Economics and Data Analysis
(Available online and residential*)

Combine economic theory with spatial analysis and data science to understand the spatial dimensions of economic activities.Using advanced statistical methods and GIS technologies, gain the tools to analyze economic phenomena in relation to geographic space. This degree is good for individuals who want to use a combination of economics and data analysis in regional planning, real estate, economic development, policy analysis and more.

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Master’s in Global Security Studies
(Available residential)

Gain an understanding of the complex issues surrounding global security. Study a wide range of topics including international relations, national security, terrorism, cybersecurity, intelligence, conflict resolution and the impact of globalization on security dynamics. The program typically involves studying the political, social, economic and cultural factors influencing global security. This degree is good for a wide variety of professionals, including those in the military, law enforcement, international relations, security and defense, journalism and policymaking fields.

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Graduate Certificates

Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology
(Available online and residential*)

The Graduate Certificate in GIST is ideal for professionals who want to enhance their skill set with specific knowledge or for individuals who are just starting to consider GIS careers. The coursework provides foundational knowledge, including an understanding of geospatial databases and spatial data acquisition techniques, while elective choice enables students to gain some experience with advanced GIS concepts and tools.

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Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Intelligence
(Available online and residential*)

The Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Intelligence provides a foundation for leveraging spatial data in conjunction with social, political and environmental information to make decisions. It is designed for individuals who want to use spatial data to create actionable insight in disaster planning and incident response.

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Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Leadership
(Available online and residential*)

The Graduate Certificate in geospatial leadership is available for professionals in the geospatial industry to hone their technical skills while also learning leadership strategies for the GIS field. The coursework focuses on strategies for encouraging innovation and shaping the direction of GIS initiatives and organizations.

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Graduate Certificate in Remote Sensing for Earth Observation
(Available online and residential*)

The Graduate Certificate in Remote Sensing for Earth Observation explores the principles of spatial data acquisition through a variety of systems and sources. This program can benefit both experienced GIS professionals and newcomers to the field with coursework in gathering information through traditional systems, such as imaging radar and satellites, and from emerging innovative sources, such as mobile devices and text-scraping.

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*The application for the residential graduate certificates and online M.S. in Spatial Economics and Data Analysis (SEDA) program will open in early August.

Need help deciding which program is right for you? We can help. Contact an enrollment advisor for more information.

Request Brochure

Fill out the information below to learn more about the University of Southern California’s GIS Graduate Programs and download a free brochure. If you have any additional questions, please call 877-650-9054 to speak to an enrollment advisor.

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