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The master of science in geo-information science is a multi-disciplinary program of advanced study of geospatial technology and its applications whose purpose is to develop geospatial professionals that are proficient in the acquisition, analysis, use, and management of spatial information. GIS and related geospatial technologies, such as remote sensing from satellites and aircraft, are integral to a variety of applications, including mapping and surveying, environmental analysis and natural resource management, transportation and urban planning, business planning, crime analysis, and disaster management, to name only a few areas. An integrated and applied curriculum provides practical, real-world training in the utilization of leading geospatial technologies for research, planning, spatial data management, and project implementation.


Master of Science in Geo-Information Science

Program Overview

The MS in Geo-Information Science program at Salem State University is one of the preeminent geo-information science programs in Massachusetts and New England. Established in 1993, it was the first master’s program in GIS in the United States and continues to be a leader in training GIS professionals. 

Salem State's graduate GIS program offers students opportunities to develop skills in a broad array of leading geospatial software applications and technologies that are integral to the acquisition, analysis and visualization of spatial data. Anyone working with geographic or geospatial data (data linked to some location on the earth) may integrate GIS into their operations. Today, GIS plays a key role in many different occupations, including the earth sciences, computer science, intelligence, criminal justice, social science, public health, business analytics, and natural resource management. A wide array of public, private and non-profit organizations use geo-spatial technologies.

Students matriculate through a 30-32 hour program that has a thesis or a non-thesis option. Throughout their coursework students work closely with dedicated faculty in small classroom settings and are exposed to applied spatial problems generated from ongoing research initiatives centered at the University’s Digital Geography Laboratory (DGL) and the Center for Economic Development and Sustainability (CEDS).

Program highlights include:

  • Hands-on training in leading GIS and remote sensing software packages and scripting languages, including ArcGIS, ERDAS, IDRISI, MapInfo, Python, R, PostgreSQL, JavaScript, as well as other open source programs for spatial databases and web mapping
  • Use of the Salem State University’s Digital Geography Laboratory (DGL), a state-of-the-art 37-seat facility for GIS education and geospatial data collection, analysis, and display
  • Evening courses, designed for working professionals
  • Graduate assistantships and financial aid available
  • Graduate certificate in GIS is also available (credits earned applied toward the GIS master's degree)
  • Continuously rolling admission


Geospatial careers are among the fastest‐growing in the U.S. and world today, and geospatial jobs are currently available in every industry (American Association of Geographers. 2012. “The Geospatial Job Market”).   Geospatial technology is considered to be a high-growth industry by the U.S. Department of Labor and geospatial professions (e.g. geospatial or remote sensing information scientists and technologists, GIS technicians, cartographers and photogrammetrists), are classified by the U.S. Department of Labor as “Bright Outlook” occupations.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs in these professions are projected to grow faster than average through 2024 (US Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook 2015).

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), workers with a master’s degree earned 20% more on average than their counterparts with only a bachelor’s degree. US News and World Reports has shown that entry level jobs today and virtually all senior management and senior professional positions now require a master's degree. The Master of Science in Geo-Information Science degree offers opportunities to learn the skills needed in the spatial information technology workforce. The Graduate Certificate provides a way for professionals to sharpen their skills while drawing on the resources and knowledge of academic professionals.

Recent graduates of our program can be found in all of the following occupations, along with many others:

  • Geospatial Applications Engineer, KEYW Corporation
  • GIS Manager, GoodPointe Technology
  • GIS Analyst, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (hurricane modeling)
  • GIS Technician, Central Transportation Planning Staff, Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Geospatial Analyst, U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • GIS Manager, City of Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • PhD student and Research Assistant, Center for Global Change & Earth Observations, Michigan State University
  • Staff member, NASA’s BOREAS Project
  • Distribution Analyst, Santander Bank
  • Technical Lead – Integrated Mapping Applications Portal, National Grid energy utility
  • Business & GIS Analyst, New Hampshire Department of Information Services
  • GIS Engineering Technician, NiSource energy utility
  • GIS Analyst, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
  • Information Technologist, Complex Research Center, University of New Hampshire
  • GIS Coordinator, Town of Natick, Massachusetts
  • GIS specialist, Massachusetts Water Resource Authority

Admissions Information

Have Questions?

Whether you want to learn more about courses, faculty members or general program information, get in touch with the graduate program coordinator to see what this program has to offer you.

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