Graduate student opportunities in GIScience at the University of Minnesota

Department of Geography, Society, and Environment at the University of Minnesota

The Department of Geography, Society, and Environment at the University of Minnesota invites students to apply for MA and PhD positions in Geography with a specialization in Geographic Information Science (GIScience). The department also offers a two-year professional Masters of GIS (MGIS). More information:

The department offers all MA or PhD students a very competitive funding package that will cover a standard progression of four to five years for the PhD and two years for the MA. This includes stipend, tuition, and fringe costs. The application deadline is December 15, 2018 for admission in Fall 2019.

The Department of Geography, Society, and Environment at the University of Minnesota has long been a center of innovative work in Geographic Information Science. The Spatial Innovation Lab is home to eight full-time faculty/staff members who provide breadth and depth in GIScience concepts and practice.

  • Somayeh Dodge: movement analytics and modeling, advanced visualization.
  • Kathryn Grace: quantitative/mixed methods in health and population geography
  • Mark Lindberg: cartography, quantitative analysis, and computation
  • Steven Manson: big data and spatial modeling of complex human-environment systems
  • Robert McMaster: cartography, generalization, and GIS and society
  • Susanna McMaster: professional GIS education, cartography, and spatial analysis
  • Eric Shook: big data, high performance computing, health, and population
  • Ying Song: spatiotemporal modeling, transport geography, urban mobility and accessibility

Graduate students have many opportunities to work with community experts who offer hands-on classes in topics including programming, web mapping, spatial databases, and surveying. More broadly, the University of Minnesota has deep expertise in all matters spatial, with over a hundred faculty working in spatial science and hundreds more working in spatial areas. We are also home to U-Spatial, a world-class spatial science infrastructure.

The Department of Geography, Society, and Environment at the University of Minnesota is internationally recognized and includes scholars working in GIScience, urban geography, globalization and development, nature-society studies, regional geography, climatology, paleoclimatology, and biogeography. The University of Minnesota is a world-class university that offers students access to a wide array of faculty and departments. The metropolitan area of Minneapolis-St. Paul has a population of over three million people and supports thriving arts and cultural communities. It is regularly listed as one of the top ten best places to live in the United States.

Application information

  • PhD/MA: See the application page for information. For questions about the MA/PhD application process, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Sara Braun (, +1 612 625-6080).
  • MGIS: The professional MGIS program has information on applying. Questions about the MGIS program should be directed to Susanna McMaster (