GIS & Web Map Programming

Master of Science in Cartography & Geographic Information Systems

Hands type on a laptop with mapping software on the screen

Gain cutting-edge knowledge in GIS programming, software development, and web mapping for the 21st century.


Is this program right for you?

The UW–Madison GIS and Web Map Programming professional master’s program was created to meet the growing demand for individuals skilled in GIS software development and online map programming/web mapping.

If you are a working professional who learned GIS before the growth of GIS software development and online map programming, this program is right for you. Currently, GIS education is not keeping up with the field’s rapidly changing technology. Our new program allows working professionals and international students working in fields ranging from geography, engineering, health care, data journalism, and natural and social sciences to advance their education, keep pace with technology, and learn new tools and techniques for web mapping and GIS application support.

Our fully online global program offers students an online experience that includes the world-renown expertise, support, and network of UW–Madison. Our highly personalized and interactive program includes guest speakers, group projects, community engagement, and networking. The program is designed for full-time students and working professionals, and allows you to customize the program to fit your life. A lifelong learning component allows you to keep pace with changes in software and technology, even after you earn your degree.

Is this program right for you?

The UW–Madison GIS and Web Map Programming professional master’s program was created to meet the growing demand for individuals skilled in GIS software development and online map programming/web mapping.

If you are a working professional who learned GIS before the growth of GIS software development and online map programming, this program is right for you. Currently, GIS education is not keeping up with the field’s rapidly changing technology. Our new program allows working professionals and international students working in fields ranging from geography, engineering, health care, data journalism, and natural and social sciences to advance their education, keep pace with technology, and learn new tools and techniques for web mapping and GIS application support.

Our fully online global program offers students an online experience that includes the world-renown expertise, support, and network of UW–Madison. Our highly personalized and interactive program includes guest speakers, group projects, community engagement, and networking. The program is designed for full-time students and working professionals, and allows you to customize the program to fit your life. A lifelong learning component allows you to keep pace with changes in software and technology, even after you earn your degree.

Admissions requirements

All applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent credential from an accredited college or university, with a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Have completed a minimum of two undergraduate-level courses in introductory GIS and/or cartography and one course in quantitative methods/statistics. Equivalent work experience also considered.
  • Non-native English speakers must have a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 580 (written), 243 (computer-based test), or 92 (Internet version). Submit your separate scores on the “Writing” and “Reading” sections of the test. If you score high enough in these two areas, you will still be considered for enrollment.

To apply:

  • Online application.
  • Resume/CV.
  • Unofficial transcripts.
  • Statement of interest in the program.
  • Two letters of recommendation from professional and/or academic contacts.

Connect with us

Program Overview: MEng in Civil & Environmental Engineering: Environmental Engineering

June 03
noon-1 p.m.
Join Program Director Jane Carlson and a recent program graduate to hear about UW–Madison’s Civil & Environmental Engineering Department’s online Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering. Learn how a master’s degree adds depth and breadth to your education to help you to tackle the environmental challenges of the 21st century. Topics will also include an introduction to program faculty, curriculum, learning outcomes, tuition, time commitment and more. Bring your questions for the program director and alumnus!
Register for the MEng in Civil & Environmental Engineering: Environmental Engineering Webinar

Program Overview: Design + Innovation

June 18
6-6:30 p.m.
Join enrollment coach Zach Benson to get more information about the Design + Innovation master's program including curriculum, application process and potential career paths.
Register for Design + Innovation Program Overview Webinar

View all events

Program highlights

  • The cartography and GIS master’s program is completely online, so you can earn your degree from anywhere in the world, on your schedule.
  • Unlike other programs, we focus on GIS development. You learn programming, mobile add creation, and web mapping—and we make sure you know all of the languages and technologies employers are looking for.
  • Our lifelong education plan ensures your skills are never dated. You have annual access to new lab materials from the classes you’ve completed, webinars from GIS experts, video tutorials from faculty, networking opportunities, and more.

How you'll learn

  • Fully online curriculum; you choose when you do most of your work each week.
  • Attend courses virtually, alongside peers from around the world.
  • Capstone course and practicum may be taken concurrently.

Sample curriculum

Core Courses

  • Geocomputing
  • GIS and Spatial Analysis
  • Graphic Design in Cartography
  • Interactive Cartography and Geovisualization
  • Spatial Database
  • Spatial Web and Mobile Programming

Other Requirements

  • Master’s Level Capstone in GIS Development
  • Practicum in GIS Development

Ready to learn more about GIS & Web Map Programming?
View the UW-Madison Guide

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Connect with our enrollment coaches

Our friendly, knowledgeable enrollment coaches are here to answer your questions. Contact an enrollment coach to:

  • Learn how to make this program work with your life/schedule
  • Verify credit transfers
  • Get help with your application
  • Determine if financial aid is available

Visit with our coaches on campus or at an upcoming student fair in your area. Search student fairs & events

Connect with a coach

Randy Sincoular

 It’s been a long time since I was in school, so I wasn’t sure if I had what it took for graduate-level courses. As I finished up my digital portfolio for my first class, I sat back in amazement. I couldn’t believe what I accomplished. If you want to learn from some of the sharpest GIS professionals, this is the program to do it.  

Randy Sincoular, Online M.S. in Geographic Information Systems and Web Map Programming
Read more about Randy