Master’s Program Admissions

The CyberGIS & Geospatial Data Science Master’s Program is designed for people looking to advance their expertise or pursue career advancement in the field of GIS or allied science field. Please see the “what do I need to apply” section for full application details.

Admitted students typically have prior work experience in a wide range of GIS or related positions.

Master of Science application deadlines are as follows:

  • Spring 2024 term — December 15, 2023
  • Summer 2024 term — May 15, 2024
  • Fall 2024 term — August 1, 2024

What do I need to apply?

Please make sure to include all relevant work experience. Even if you don’t have a career in a GIS or related field, include any volunteer work or related roles that you have held that would help us understand you as a person and what makes you a good fit for the program.

Obtain and upload transcripts from every post-secondary institution you have attended. Applicants must have been awarded a comparable bachelor’s degree (B.S. or B.A.) from an accredited institution in the United States or from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (A=4.0), or comparable GPA for an international applicant, for the last two years of the undergraduate program is the minimum requirement for admission. Please speak with a program adviser if your GPA is below 3.0 to discuss additional admissions options.

Submission of three letters are required for admission. Recommendation letters can come from either academic or professional sources; recommendations from personal sources (e.g., neighbors, friends, family) will not be considered.

We want to get to know you better! Think about these elements to include in your personal/professional statement:

  • An explanation of your professional background and the qualifications you bring to the master’s program (if your direct experience with the GIS field is not professional in nature, please explain why you are pursuing this degree).
  • A description of your goals for your degree (why are you applying to CyberGIS & Geospatial Data Science? What are your goals by completing a master’s degree in this area?)
  • A brief summary of any relevant personal information or experiences that contribute to your desire to pursue the M.S. in CyberGIS & Geospatial Data Science (e.g., why are you passionate about studying in this particular field?).
  • Other personal/professional items that you wish to share that will support your application materials.
Students whose native language is not English must present their official scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination with the required minimum scores: 611 on the paper-based test, 254 on the computer-based test, 103 on the Internet-based test (iBT).
Graduate Student
"Graduating from the MS in CyberGIS and Geospatial Data Science program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), has been an unparalleled journey. The online format provided latitude to attend to my work commitments at MDI Gurgaon, and at the same time make the most out of the rigorous, cutting-edge curriculum that UIUC is known for. The courses, designed with an eye towards the future of geospatial science, have equipped me with a unique blend of skills in geographic information systems, data analysis, and spatial thinking. The faculty, who are leading experts in their fields, were not just educators but mentors who were genuinely invested in our success. I am confident that the knowledge and experiences I've gained will be pivotal in my professional journey, opening doors to opportunities in research, policymaking, and technology innovation."
—Nakul Gupta
Spring 2024 Master's Degree Graduate

Certificate Program Admissions

Please complete the certificate application form to begin the application process.  Once your application form for the certificate is reviewed by the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science (GGIS), you will be contacted by a program adviser. Prospective students must hold a B.S. or B.A. (in a physical science field) to apply. 

You may also directly contact the Online Program Faculty Adviser in GGIS, Dr. Anand Padmanabhan,, for additional information regarding the certificate program or complete the form below to request more information

Certificate application deadlines are as follows:

  • Spring 2024 term — January 10, 2024
  • Summer 2024 term — June 1, 2024
  • Fall 2024 term — August 15, 2024
Heather Miller
"This is a truly unique program, where students will engage with world-renowned faculty as well as practitioners in the private and public sector. Students have an opportunity to learn from a wide variety of professionals, apply skills in real-world situations, as well as customize their educational path to meet their professional and personal goals, which sets this program apart from others. We look forward to working with each and every student throughout their time in the program!"
—Heather Miller
SESE Online Programs Coordinator

How much does the CyberGIS & Geospatial Data Science Online program cost?

The tuition rate for the 2023-2024 academic year is $740 (USD) per credit hour. These rates include both tuition and fees, and are the same for in-state, out-of-state and international students. Cost for future courses may be subject to moderate changes in accordance with the actions of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Based upon prior tuition rate trends, you can plan on approximately $23,000 for the 32 credit-hour program or $8700 for the 12 credit-hour certificate program. Tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state students

The CyberGIS & Geospatial Data Science program is self-supporting and does not accept the following tuition and fee waivers*:

Students in these programs are not eligible to hold a waiver generating graduate appointment (Assistantship or Fellowship). Current employees may be admitted to these programs, but their employee waiver is not eligible for use towards a program with this designation.

To apply for the M.S. in CyberGIS & Geospatial Data Science, complete the online application through the Graduate College at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The domestic application fee is currently $70 and $90 for international applications.

Master's Degree Application Review Process

Priority review is given to applications completed before these deadlines, but we accept applications until one week before the start of the semester. All items requested by the Graduate College should be submitted by the application deadline. Applications submitted after the semester begins are automatically designated to the next admission cycle at top priority for admission consideration.

The CyberGIS & Geospatial Data Science program does accept statutory waivers (veterans grants, etc.).

*The waiver policy is subject to moderate changes in accordance with the actions of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Is financial aid available?

Financial aid (student loans) is available for students accepted into the program and enrolled in at least 6 credit hours of coursework in the fall and spring, or 3 credit hours during the summer. Students must complete the FAFSA form for eligibility. Please contact the financial aid office for more information: