This is an archive of the 2019-2020 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, Please visit

This is an archive of the 2019-2020 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: M.S., Geographic Information Science

Program Description

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies offers, within the Master of Science in Geographic Information Science (MSGISci) degree, a highly structured specialization program in which most of the requirements are met with graduate courses dealing with various aspects of GIS. This program is designed for students who want to pursue a career in this highly technological subfield of geography.

Program Requirements

A. Requirements for Admission to the Department

  1. One of the following:
    1. A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 to 2.99, please contact the graduate coordinator.
    2. A graduate degree in another field from CSUN or other accredited institution.
  2. At least a 2.75 GPA in the last 60 units attempted.
  3. Two letters of recommendation.
  4. Demonstration of research and writing skills. Applicants must submit to the graduate committee a sample research paper, written in English and, preferably, one that was completed as part of the baccalaureate degree requirements, such as a senior thesis or other research paper in an upper division undergraduate course. Because of the importance of research and writing to the graduate program, the committee needs to be assured of applicants’ abilities and promise in these areas.
  5. A well-written statement of purpose (approximately 1,000 words, double-spaced, 12-point font).

B. Classified and Conditionally Classified Status

Requirements for Classified Status

  1. Admission to the program requires an undergraduate degree (or its equivalent for international students).
  2. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required.
  3. General University requirements also must be met. Carefully consult other sections of this catalog for details. These requirements include passing the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) with a score of 8 or higher.

Conditionally Classified Status

  1. If the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam (UDWPE) requirements for classified status are not met at the time of application, the student will be admitted as conditionally classified, pending completion of the UDWPE requirement.
  2. No more than 12 units of work taken prior to attaining classified status may be applied to the master’s degree program.

C. Program Requirements

Completion of the following courses (a total of 30 units with a GPA of 3.0 or better):

1. Introductory Seminars (6 units)

GEOG 600 Geographic Thought, Analysis and Research (3)
GEOG 690J Foundations in Geographic Information Science (3)

2. Seminars in Geographic Information Science (9 units)

Select three courses from:

GEOG 690A Special Topics in GIS (3)
GEOG 690C Digital Cartography (3)
GEOG 690D Remote Sensing (3)
GEOG 690E WebGIS (3)
GEOG 690F GIS Automation and Customization (3)
GEOG 690G Applications in GIS (3)
GEOG 690H Spatial Database Management (3)
GEOG 690I Advanced Geospatial Project Management (3)

3. Additional GISci Courses (3 units)

Select any course from the GEOG 690 series.

Students may also select from GEOG 407/L, GEOG 408A/L, GEOG 408B/L, GEOG 408C/L, GEOG 408D/L, GEOG 408E/L, GEOG 408F/L, GEOG 408G/L, GEOG 408H/L or GEOG 409/L.

4. Additional Graduate Seminar (3 units)

Select one 600-level Geography seminar.

5. Statistics (3 units)

GEOG 690B Spatial Statistics (3)

6. Thesis Preparation (3 units)

GEOG 696 Directed Graduate Research (3)

7. Culminating Experience (3 units)

Submission of a thesis or graduate project approved by a departmental faculty committee:

GEOG 698 Thesis (3)
or GEOG 698D Graduate Project (3)

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 30


Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
Chair: Edward Jackiewicz
Sierra Hall (SH) 150
(818) 677-3532

Graduate Coordinator: Soheil Boroushaki
Sierra Hall (SH) 130-B
(818) 677-4715