Big geospatial and temporal data has become infused into many aspects of our daily lives. Analysis of such data is used, for example, to better understand and manage natural and built environments, investigate the spread of disease, locate services, guide route selection or mine the big data of social media to understand human behavior, mobility and communication patterns. In response, worldwide expenditures on geospatial technologies are large and rapidly increasing.

Geoinformatics has emerged as a field of study that is focused on basic questions about the acquisition, storage, management, analysis and visualization of geographic information within Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Geoinformatics researchers develop new computational, visual, analytical, and statistical methods to process, analyze and understand big geospatial and temporal data. Through the development of new theories and methodological tools, geoinformatics helps to support basic scientific inquiry as well as help address complex social and environmental challenges (e.g., climate change, public health, migration, transportation safety, and security). Geoinformatics research contributes to the development of various location-aware technologies such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile sensors, and remote sensing. Applied geoinformatics, in the form of geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing software, is used to support research in an increasingly wide range of disciplines that includes the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, and engineering. The growing importance of geoinformatics beyond academia is evidenced not only by the proliferation of location-based services offered as phone and tablet apps and used by consumers everywhere, but also by the prominent role it plays in the daily activities of government agencies and private enterprises throughout the world.

As the utility of digital geographic information has become more generally recognized, the demand for scientists and practitioners who are professionally trained in related concepts, methods, and technologies has grown rapidly. In recognition of current and projected long-term demand for professionals trained in geospatial technologies, we offer the MS in Informatics  with a cognate in Geoinformatics.


The Master’s in Informatics with a cognate in Geoinformatics requires a total of 31 semester hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. A total of 19 semester hours of core courses are required (shared with the Ph.D.; beware of specific core courses required for this cognate), with an additional 12 semester hours of geoinformatics courses.

The requirements described here are in addition to the University-wide requirements for Master's degrees described in the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College, Section X. 

Students should use the core courses plan of study worksheet and the additional  geoinformatics worksheet below.

Geoinformatics MS plan of study worksheet (use in addition to core courses worksheet)

Select four of these courses: 

GEOG:3010 - Geographic Information Systems and Science 

GEOG:3500 - Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing

GEOG:3520 - GIS for Environmental Studies

GEOG:3570 - Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR): Principles and Applications

GEOG:4150 - Health and Environment: GIS Applications


Admission decisions are based on prior academic performance, letters of reference, and the applicant's statement about background and purpose. Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College. For more information, see the PhD and MS admissions page.