Undergraduate-Graduate Program in Geography & Geospatial Analysis

Geography/Masters of Science in Geospatial Analysis (MSGA)

Students majoring in Geography have the option of entering the five year program for a Masters of Science in Geospatial Analysis Accelerated Degree Program.  Students will apply in the second semester of their junior year.  Accepted students will complete 2 graduate courses in their senior year.  On completion of their undergraduate degree, students may apply for formal admission to the graduate program providing the forms and documentation listed below.  The two MSGA courses count toward the graduate program if formal admission to the MSGA program is received within five years of the award of the undergraduate degree.

Undergraduate Admission

Undergraduate students should apply for the MSGA Accelerated Degree Program in the second semester of their junior year (upon completion of 70 credits).  Applications will be due on the Monday of the 6th week of that semester.  Applicants should have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher based on a minimum of 12 UMW credits, have completed at least two GIS courses each with a grade of B or higher, and supply a letter of recommendation from a UMW faculty member who teaches GIS.  Once admitted, students will take MSGA 510 (Spatial Thinking) in the fall semester and MSGA 520 (GeoDesign and GeoVisualization) in the spring semester.  These courses are not sequenced; 520 may be taken before 510.

On completion of the undergraduate degree, students may apply for formal admission to the graduate program, providing the forms and documents listed below.  The two MSGA courses count toward the graduate program if formal admission to the MSGA program is received within five years of the award of the undergraduate degree.

Continuance Requirements (Undergraduate)

To continue in the program, students must achieve a grade of B (3.0) or better in each of the graduate courses and must maintain a cumulative GPA higher than 2.7.

Graduate Admission to the MSGA Program

– Earned bachelor’s degree from regionally accredited college or university;

– successful applicants typically have a GPA of 3.o or higher from undergraduate course work.  In addition, students are required to have successfully earned credits in at least two college-level GIS classes; in lieu of completed coursework, students can gain admission by providing documented evidence demonstrating they have worked with a GIS, such as ArcGIS, Grass, MapInfo, IDRISI, Intergraph – or the equivalent software – on a range of projects indicating competence in the topics typically covered in upper-level undergraduate GIS.  Students may be considered for provisional admission without having previous GIS course work or related work experience under the agreement that if they are admitted they must take GISC 200 and GISC 351 or GEOG 351 prior to beginning their graduate-level courses.

– Non-native English speakers will provide evidence of proficiency in English

Required forms and documents:

– Completed application for admissions.  The application form is found online.

– Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate course work.

– A statement of purpose outlining career goals.

– Resume, stating relevant work experience; applicants without completed course work in GIS need to provide documented evidence demonstrating their proficiency with GIS.

– Two letters of recommendation )on the application forms provided).  One should be from a person who can attest to the applicant’s GIS or geospatial experience, if applicable.

– Demonstration of English competency if English is not your native language.  Any of the following is acceptable: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) – a minimum score of 88 on the internet based test or a 570 paper-based score.  TOEFL website: toefl.org; International English Language Test system (ELITS) a minimum score of 6.5 on the academic exam.  See ELITS website; Certification of completion of the ELS Language Centers (ELS) Intensive English Program by completing Level 112.  See ELS website.

– If applicable, the International Student Application Supplement found online should be completed.

Following an initial vetting of applications by University Admissions, an interdisciplinary committee consisting of Full-time UMW faculty familiar with the geospatial field will evaluate submitted documents.  This committee will determine if students without undergraduate course work in GIS have sufficient knowledge to succeed in the program.

Students are admitted for the fall or spring semester.  Application Due Dates:

Fall Admission: June 1

Spring Admission: October 1

Requirements for Continuance in the MSGA Program

All matriculated MSGA students are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress in their graduate courses toward completion of the degree program.  A cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher is required for graduation from the program.

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) in each semester to remain in good academic standing, with no more than one grade lower than this benchmark per semester.  A student who earns a total of three Cs (including C+, C, or C-) or one F in a graduate course in the program (other than the Capstone) will automatically be suspended from the program.

To earn the MSGA, students must earn a minimum grade of B for all capstone credits taken (MSGA 595).  Students who fail to achieve this grade on the last three credits of the capstone will be offered the chance to repeat these credits one time.  A student who again earns a B- or below in capstone credits will automatically be dismissed from the program.

Major Requirements:

MSGA course requirements (30 credits)

see Graduate Catalog for Course Descriptions

4 – MSGA 510 – Spatial Thinking

4 – MSGA 520 – GeoDesign and GeoVisualization

4 – MSGA 540 – Modeling and Spatial Statistics

4 – MSGA 550* – Remote Sensing and Digital Imagery

4 – MSGA 570 – Geospatial Intelligence

4 – MSGA 580* – Geospatial Data and Services on the Web

6 – Capstone/Independent Research

1 to 6 – MSGA 595 – Capstone Project 91-6 credits)**

* students with expertise and the appropriate background in ether remote sensing (MSGA 550) or geospatial data management (MSGA 580) may petition the Program Director to substitute on of these courses with an independent study: MSGA 591 – Independent Study (4 credits).

** the last 3 credit house must be taken in the last semester of the program.