Geospatial Information Science and Technology - Online and Distance Education

Geospatial Information Science and Technology


How to Apply

Admissions Requirements

Complete and submit your application for the Master of Geospatial Information Science and Technology (MGIST) degree program online through the NC State University Graduate School Online Application. When applying for the online program, please make sure to select the ‘Distance Track’ option when choosing the desired program.

Priority DeadlinesOctober 15 (Spring Admission; July 1 for international students) or April 15 (Fall Admission; March 1 for international students)


1. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.

2. Official transcripts for all institutions attended, submitted directly to the Graduate School by the institution (see below for more detail)

3. A resume or curriculum vita (CV)

4. A personal statement describing:

  • Your career goals
  • Academic interests
  • Related experience and accomplishments
  • Statement of relevant coursework and skills (please highlight specific courses and/or work experiences that address the preferred skills listed below)
  • Statement addressing any possible deficiencies (especially if applying with < 3.0 GPA)

5. Recommendations from 3 people who know your academic or professional qualifications (2 of which must be from within the last 5 years)

6. GRE: NOT required

7. English Proficiency Requirement (International Applicants only)

International applicants  (all non-US citizens) are required to have a certain level of English proficiency before being granted admissions. This requirement can be met in one of several ways below. All international applicants are encouraged to visit the International Services website concerning visas and other information for prospective international students.

  • TOEFL (iBT) scores of 80 or better (at least 18/section, taken within the last 2 years) -OR-
  • IELTS overall band score of at least 6.5 (taken within the last 2 years) -OR-
  • Be a citizen of a country where English is the official language AND language of instruction in higher education -OR-
  • Successfully completed at least one year of full time study in a degree program at a four-year US college or university


Unofficial Transcripts: You may upload unofficial transcripts directly during the application process for us to review; however, you should also request official transcripts be sent directly to NC State (see below). NOTE: Official transcripts that you receive and upload yourself are no longer considered official by the Graduate School.

Official Transcripts:  To be considered ‘official’ transcripts must be sent directly from the institutions to NC State University. Most institutions have electronic mechanisms in place to directly send an official transcript to NC State. You should request your official transcripts be sent in this way if possible, or have the institution send the transcript directly using the address below:

The Graduate School
North Carolina State University
College of Textiles
1020 Main Campus Drive
Room 2320B, Campus Box 7102
Raleigh, NC 27695

Preferred Skills

Students tend to perform better in our MGIST program if they enter the program with basic knowledge in three areas:

  • Basic Geographic Information Systems
  • Introductory programming (in any language, but Python is taught in our program)
  • Introductory statistics

Generally an undergraduate course or 1 to 2 years of using these skills in the workplace are sufficient.  For applicants concerned about not having 1 or more of these skills in place at the time of admission, the program may recommend one or more courses to be completed during the first semester of enrollment (or students may consider taking courses as a non-degree student prior to admissions to gain these skills).  Please address these skills in your personal statement.


Students wishing to complete the degree online should designate themselves as a “Distance Track” student during the application process.

Students with less than a 3.0 GPA may still apply to the program and will be considered for provisional admission if the student demonstrates adequate work experience and meets all other admission requirements. The GPA and other experience should be addressed in the required personal statement. Students that are recommended for provisional admission will have their performance assessed in 9 credit hours of courses before full admission to the MGIST is granted. Students may also be recommended for admission to the Certificate program prior to consideration for the MGIST. The program may require additional materials to evaluate the student before granting provisional admission. Please contact the Associate Director of Professional Education for more information.

GIS Certificate students who want to enter the MGIST program must apply to the MGIST program as normal. Certificate students may transfer no more than 12-credit hours of B grade or better into the MGIST degree program upon approval of your advisor. Credits taken beyond 12 credit-hours will not transfer to the MGIST program. For students who want to transition directly into the MGIST, we recommend contacting the Graduate Program Associate or Associate Director of Professional Education after completing 9 credit hours of the Certificate to let them know your intention.

Application Review Process

  • Applications must be submitted to the NC State University Graduate School using the Online Application. (DO NOT send a copy of your application to the department.)
  • The Graduate School notifies the department when an application has been submitted.
  • The MGIST Graduate Admissions Committee review process begins on or near the priority deadline for that semester (April 15th or October 15th).
  • The department sends their recommendation (for or against admission) to the NC State Graduate School.
  • The NC State University Graduate School notifies you of your acceptance or denial into the MGIST program.
  • You will receive a welcome letter directly from the program once you accept the offer and are cleared by the Graduate School.
  • You can check the status of your pending application on the Online Application website.

Application Deadlines

Entry SemesterApplication Deadlines and Details
FallApr 15 (US); Mar 1 (Int)
SpringOct 15 (US); Jul 15 (Int)