The Master of Geographic Information Science and Technology (MGIST) program at Ohio State is specifically designed for professionals who wish to advance their careers. This program includes 15 courses directly related to the GIST profession. To graduate, students need 33 credit hours, including a capstone to showcase their skills and knowledge. The fully online program provides students with flexibility that fits their own schedule. Students can also apply for the in-person program to experience the excellent vibes of the Columbus campus.

Please use the following tabs to explore the details of the program. 

A total of 33 credit hours are required to complete the MGIST program.

Required core courses (4 courses, 12 hours):

  • GEOG 5101 - GIS Professionalism and Ethics
  • GEOG 5200 - Cartography and Map Design
  • GEOG 5210 - Fundamentals of GIS
  • GEOG 5225 - Geographic Applications of Remote Sensing

Intermediate elective courses (choose 3 courses, 9 hours):

  • GEOG 5103 Intermediate Spatial Data Analysis
  • GEOG 5201 Geovisualization
  • GEOG 5212 Geospatial Databases for GIS
  • GEOG 5222 GIS Algorithms and Programming
  • GEOG 5223 Design and Implementation of GIS
  • GEOG 5229 Emerging Topics in GIS

Advanced elective courses (choose 3 courses, 9 hours)

  • GEOG 6223 Web GIS Development
  • GEOG 6226 Spatial Simulation and Modeling in GIS
  • GEOG 6286 Geodemography: GIS in Social Science and Business Research
  • PUBAFRS 7555 Project Management in the Public Sector

Required capstone project (3 hours):

  • GEOG 6299 GIS Capstone Project


The following is a list about the required information for you to prepare the application.

  • Minimal undergraduate GPA: 3.0.
  • A statement of purpose
  • An updated resume/CV
  • Two letters of recommendation from those who have evaluated you in a professional or academic setting. You may consider your current or former college advisors, professors, instructors, or work supervisors. 
  • The MGIST program does not require the GRE (Graduate Records Exam).
  • For international students only: TOEFL 100, IELTS 7.0, MELAB 84.
  • For Spring start: December 1 (domestic applicants), November 15 (international)
  • For Autumn start: June 1 (domestic applicants), May 15 (international)

If you are a veteran, please visit this page for Veterans Administration Educational Benefits.

The instructional fee for the 2023-24 academic year is $782.19 per credit hour. Students also need to pay a general fee of $29.88 and a student union fees of $9.30 per credit hour. 

Non-resident (out-of-state) students in the online MGIST program will have a flat-rate surcharge of $200 per semester/term. 

Non-resident (out-of-state) students in the in-person MGIST program will have a surcharge of $1,733.13 per credit hour per semester/term (not exceeding the total cost of 8 credit hours).

Please visit https://registrar.osu.edu/FeeTables/MainFeeTables.asp for details about tuition and fees.

For more information about financial aid, please visit https://online.osu.edu/future-students/financial-aid

For questions and information about the MGIST program, please contact

Dr. Ningchuan Xiao
MGIST Director
Email: xiao.37@osu.edu
Office: 1136 Derby