UA Starting a new Master of Science Program in Geographic Information Systems Technology

The School of Geography and Development is a one-year Master of Science program in Geographic Information Systems Technology that begins in the spring semester. Application are currently being accepted for 2012.

This program integrates GIScience, cutting-edge GISystems, and geospatial technology with management skills for use in government, corporate, nonprofit, and academic settings.

This comprehensive program is designed to meet the educational needs of working professionals seeking to improve their career as well as recent graduates seeking employment in the high-growth geospatial industries.

Chris Lukinbeal, the director of the UA MS-GIST program, says there is a definite need for the program. In fact, the current GIS certificate program is the most popular certificate program at the UA.

 “Any company who uses data-driven information that has locational attributes — even  McDonalds or Petco — needs a GIS professional,” said Lukinbeal, who was formerly the program director for the Masters of Advanced Study in Geographic Information Systems at Arizona State University (ASU).

According to the United States Department for Labor, geospatial technologies is an “emerging industry” with vast potential for job growth.

In 2005, the Arizona Geographic Information Council (AGIC) produced a report on the state of Geographic Information Systems in the state. According to the report, “GIS is being used successfully by hundreds of Arizona organizations in diverse areas such as emergency response, homeland security, infrastructure and economic management, wildfire management and response, drought planning, industrial permitting, demographic analysis, regional planning, and public health.”

Differentiating it with various online GIS programs, Lukinbeal has designed a program that focuses on building a learning community.

“I believe the best way to learn GIS is through personal contact between professors and students,” said Lukinbeal.
Additional features of the program include:

•    Appropriate for students with either extensive or limited experience in GIST
•    Does not require a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission
•    One of the lowest priced Master of Science in GIS programs offered by a premier research university
•    Program meets Monday through Thursday evening (6-9 p.m.).
•    Courses limited to those enrolled in the program
•    Courses offered sequentially so students can focus on one area at a time
•    Does not require a master's thesis
•    Students complete an internship and a research project

To find out more, visit

Contact: Chris Lukinbeal, Assistant Professor, School of Geography and Development, (520) 621-6181,