The School of Urban Studies at UW Tacoma offers a Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies degree. Admission is open during autumn quarter only and will be comprised of a 20 student cohort. The degree will provide advanced training in GIS, training students to use and apply geospatial hardware, software, and data in urban and environmental planning scenarios. It will also prepare students to become leaders in the management and utilization of geospatial technologies within the job market -- public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. It will also offer training in the development and deployment of location-based mobile applications and management of web-based geospatial data. This program will maintain a theoretical/critical focus on the application of these technologies to urban and environmental problem solving.
Understand the increasingly central role that geospatial technologies play in the governance of contemporary lived and environmental spaces.
Be proficient in the automation and customization of geospatial technologies such as GIS, web-based data services, locative mobile devices, and mobile & handheld geospatial sensors.
Recognize appropriate uses and limitation of geospatial technologies in urban and environmental planning scenarios.
Be equipped to carry out an independent geospatial project through all stages of conceptualization, planning, design, and implementation.
Geo-visualization and representation of modeling results.
Admissions Requirements & Deadlines
Completion of an undergraduate or graduate certificate program or one year experience working with GIS. Equivalent coursework or experience will be considered upon request. Students currently enrolled in the Urban Studies GIS Certificate Program may apply, but all prerequisites must be completed before the start of the program in September.
Students must meet at least one of the following criteria to be considered for admission:
Undergraduate or graduate coursework equivalent to a certificate, major or minor in GIS or geospatial technologies,
Concentration or emphasis in GIS or geospatial technologies during undergraduate or graduate studies,
At least one year of GIS or geospatial technology experience, or
A combination of the above.
Students should include their background and address how they meet one or more of the above criteria in their personal statement when applying. Students currently enrolled in the Urban Studies GIS Certificate Program may apply, but all prerequisites must be completed before the start of the program in September.
The University of Washington Graduate School and the School of Urban Studies require:
A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. or its equivalent from a foreign institution.
An overall grade-point average of 3.0 calculated from the applicant's final 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits.
Admission into this program does not require a Graduate Records Exam (GRE).
Completion of an undergraduate or graduate GIS certificate program or at least one year of GIS/Geospatial Technology experience.
Application package will include:
UW Graduate School Application & payment of application fee
Two letters of recommendation
Statement of purpose (see specific requirements below)
Unofficial transcript from the college/university where undergraduate degree granted*
*The Graduate School verifies where your bachelor degree was earned. After you are offered and accept and admission offer, you will be required to mail an official, hard-copy transcript from the institution that granted the bachelor's degree to the University of Washington Graduate Enrollment Management Services for verification. If you are a UW alumnus, the Graduate School verifies your official transcript on your behalf and official transcripts do not need to be mailed. Do not mail official transcripts until prompted by the Graduate School (after admission is offered).
Step 2: Complete UW Graduate School online application
Complete the Application for Admission to the UW Graduate School online (select: "Urban Studies - Tacoma (MS - Geospatial Technologies"). You may log in as often as you like to update your application. Once you are finished with your application, you may submit the $85 fee using a credit card. Once the fee is submitted, you will not have access to make any changes.
Step 3: Submit supplemental application materials via the UW Graduate School online application.
Upload Statement of Purpose. Submit a 500-1000 word essay addressing the following 3 items:
1. Why have you chosen to pursue a Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies at the University of Washington Tacoma?
2. How would a Master of Science at the University of Washington Tacoma contribute to your career goals?
3. How does your experience and education qualify you to meet the prerequisites for this Master of Science Degree?
Upload current resume/CV
Upload one transcript from each post-secondary school you have attended. The Graduate School in Seattle will require an official transcript for degree verification after you have accepted an offer of admission. Please do not mail official transcripts to Tacoma and do not send official copies to the Graduate School until after you have received an offer of admission. If the bachelor degree is in progress, send the most recent transcript available from that college/university. If you list additional classes that you have taken (post-graduate courses), you must also provide the Graduate School with official transcripts to support this work after you have been accepted.
Two letters of recommendation are required. You provide the recommender's name, e-mail address and phone number, then our system will send an e-form to your recommender. You may list up to three recommenders in the application.
Please check your application file frequently to make sure your recommendations have been received.
Applicants with international baccalaureate degree or higher
January 31, 2023 is the application deadline for applicants with international baccalaureate degrees or higher.
Your international transcript must include:
Degree statement, including date of graduation and title of academic degree awarded
All coursework with grades
The record must be submitted in the original language along with a certified English translation
For application review you may provide copies if they meet the criteria outlined above.
If you are admitted to the MSGT program and choose to attend, then the UW Graduate School will require you to submit official International Academic Credentials. For additional information on this requirement, refer to the UW Graduate School website.
The forty credit program is one year (4 consecutive quarters - Aut/Win/Spr/Sum) and consists of the following courses:
T GIS 502, Introduction to Geospatial Technology (5 cr.)
T GIS 501, GIS Customization and Automation (5 cr.)
T GIS 505, Cartography & Data Visualization (5 cr.)
T GIS 508, Practicum II: Implementation (5 cr.)
T GIS 503, Web-Based GIS (5 cr.)
T GIS 504, Mobile Geospatial Application Development (5 cr.)
T GIS 506, Environmental Planning Applications (5 cr.)
T GIS 507, Practicum I: Planning and Design (5 cr.)
This is a non-thesis MS program. To complete this degree a student must complete a total of eight courses at UW Tacoma. Each course will be five credits for a total of forty credits in the program. Courses cannot be substituted or taken at any other institution.
Cost & Financial Aid
You can view the current tuition rates at the Tuition Rates and fees here. The rates shown do not include course fees, books, room & board, transportation, and personal expenses). Tuition for the MS in Geospatial Technologies falls under Graduate Tuition Tier II.
*Subject to the UW Office of Budget & Planning and Board of Regents Review and Approvals, and to state tuition increase.
**For tuition costs for more than 18 credits, see the charts on the OPB website
Scholarships and Financial Aid Options
Learn about program-specific scholarship opportunities here.
The minimum requirements for graduation with the Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies degree from the University of Washington Tacoma are:
T GIS 501 GIS Customization and Automation (5)
T GIS 502 Introduction to Geospatial Technology (5)
T GIS 503 Web-based GIS (5)
T GIS 504 Mobile Geospatial Application Development (5)
T GIS 505 Cartography and Data Visualization (5)
T GIS 506 Environmental Planning Applications (5)
T GIS 507 Practicum I: Planning and Design (5)
T GIS 508 Practicum II: Implementation (5)
Total Credits: 40
Along with UW Graduate School requirements, all courses taken to complete the 40 credits must receive a passing grade (2.7 or higher).
A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA is required.
All courses are graded on a 4.0 scale. No courses can be graded on a S/NS or C/NC basis.
Academic Standards & Policies
Students are required to maintain satisfactory progress meeting the university and program standards relative to scholarship and performance in pursuit of the master’s degree, including each of the following:
Maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA
Earn a quarterly GPA of 3.00 or higher
Earn a grade of 2.7 or higher in each required course
Make adequate progress with practicum project as determined by the faculty advisor or committee chair.
Satisfactory Performance and Progress toward Completion of Degree
Admission to the Graduate School allows students to engage in graduate study and research at the University of Washington. Continuation in the Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies at the University of Washington Tacoma occurs only as long as students maintain satisfactory performance and progress toward completion of the graduate degree program as outlined inGraduate School Memorandum No. 16. Students must also meet the requirements found in the University of Washington Student Conduct Code. The Graduate Program Coordinator in collaboration with the Graduate Program Advisor monitors graduate student academic progress on a quarterly basis.
If a student does not pass a required course, the student must meet with the faculty teaching the course and the Graduate Program Coordinator before the beginning of the next quarter. Only in exceptional cases will the student be allowed continue in the program while simultaneously working to complete the failed course. Students are reminded to read and carefully adhere to the university’s policies. Please refer to the Graduate Admissions, Graduation Requirements for Master’s Degree, and Graduate Student Policies sections in this catalog or refer to the Graduate School website at https://grad.uw.edu/policies-procedures/for more information.
All courses in the Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies curriculum must be taken for a grade. No grades of S/NS AND C/NC will be issued.
Minimum Graduation Requirements for the Degree
Along with the Graduate School requirements, courses taken to complete the 60 credits required for the degree must receive a passing grade (2.7 or higher).
Evaluation of Student Performance and Progression
Good Academic Standing
In order to be in good academic standing, students must maintain a minimum cumulative University grade point average of 3.00 for all 400- and 500-level graded courses taken after attaining graduate status at the University of Washington. In addition, students must complete and pass all required Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies classes with a minimum grade of a 2.7 or higher. Students who earn a grade below a 2.7 or incomplete may be reviewed for satisfactory progress.
Failure to maintain a cumulative or quarterly grade point average of 3.00 or to earn at least a 2.7 in a required class is considered low scholarship. Low scholarship may lead to a change-in-status action by the Graduate School, including No Action, Warn, Probation, Final Probation, or Drop. If a student falls below this standard of academic performance, s/he will be evaluated individually on a quarterly basis by the Graduate Program Coordinator. The Registrar will record only those actions recommending Probation, Final Probation, and Drop.
A warning will be issued to a student when her/his cumulative or quarterly grade point average falls below 3.00, or who fails to earn at least a 2.7 in a required class for more than one quarter. This status is initiated and documented by the Urban Studies program, but is not reported to the Graduate School and does not appear on the student’s transcript. A warning may be issued for behavioral concerns as well. A student must be notified in writing, and documentation must be placed in the student’s file.
Probation will be recommended for any student who has not corrected the deficiency which resulted in the warning. A student may not remain on probation for more than two quarters and will automatically be reviewed each quarter while on probation. Students who suddenly and substantially fall below a 2.7 in a required class will be placed on probation. In this instance, a previous warning is unnecessary.
After at least one quarter of probation, a student may be placed on final probation (for one quarter only). The Graduate School will consider one additional quarter in extenuating circumstances as noted in Graduate School Memorandum No.16.
After one quarter of probation, a student may be dropped from the program. Exceptions to this policy will be considered by the Graduate School only in extenuating circumstances. If the Graduate School accepts a drop recommendation, the Registrar is notified by the Graduate School, and the student is immediately dropped from the Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies program. This final action is recommended for students who have not corrected the condition(s) that caused the final probation within the specified time limit.
Note: Action is taken for one quarter only and is reviewed each quarter. No action will appear on the transcript for any subsequent quarter unless a recommendation is made by the Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies Program Director to the Dean of the Graduate School.
Students may appeal change in status directly to the Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies Program Director. Appeals beyond this point must follow the process outlined in Graduate School Memorandum No. 33, Academic Grievance Procedure.
Apply to Graduate
Graduation is not automatic. In order to officially graduate and receive your diploma you must submit a graduation application through MyGrad. If desired students may request a meeting with a faculty advisor to discuss future goals or meet with the program advisor to discuss the graduation application process and/or complete the application on site.
All students must apply for graduation on time by the seventh week of their last quarter. Students must be enrolled for at least 2 credits the quarter they intend to graduate. Consult with the program advisor regarding procedures.