Academic Thought Leadership

The University of Denver’s GIS program prepares new and returning students to excel


At 26 years old, the University of Denver’s (Booth 1013) Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program is one of the nation’s oldest higher education programs focused on geospatial studies.

“We make sure our instructors aren’t just experts in foundational GIS, but also that they’re keeping pace with the future of the industry,” said Sarita Field, the program’s enrollment manager.

Denver offers a 48-credit master of science in GIS that prepares students to interpret geospatial data and solve problems using GIS technology. Master’s degree students begin their studies by earning a GIS graduate certificate through University College, Denver’s school of professional and continued studies designed for working adults. That certificate requires students to take two concentration courses and four electives before they seek admission to the department of geography and the environment to complete the rest of their degree.

Courses are offered in a variety of specialties, including crime mapping and analysis, hydrologic modeling, photogrammetry, and recently a ground school for UAV operation. To graduate, those enrolled must plan and execute a project focused on remote sensing, internet mapping, or image processing.

The GIS program is largely geared toward adults returning to academia to advance their careers or begin a career in a new field. Thus, the certificate program and the master’s degree are both available entirely online as well as on campus.

Fields wants all potential students to remember: “The sooner you start, the sooner you finish. If returning to school is something you’ve been thinking about, go for it.”

Headline Image: Students gain valuable hands-on experience in the University of Denver’s UAV Ground School course.

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