Master of Professional Studies in Geospatial Services

Campus Locations Online
Also available 100% Online Yes
Other Format(s)
Credits Required for Graduation 45
Entry Terms Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, Summer Quarter
Meets International Visa Requirements No


Northeastern’s Geospatial Services program is nationally recognized as an online NGA-USGS Academic Center of Excellence in Geospatial Science and USGIF accredited. The two awards are complementary and help to provide quality assurance for employers seeking students who meet 21st-century analytical workforce requirements. In a digital age where the vast majority of data has a location and time, geospatial systems provide the means to work and visualize it to reveal complex dynamics, patterns, and relationships.

Available 100 percent online in a manner consistent with the high academic standards established by Northeastern University, the delivery mode emphasizes the powerful relationship between learning and work. Students enrolled in this program can explore the world of geospatial intelligence and innovation and prepare for tomorrow’s challenges:

  • Geospatial intelligence and GIS
  • Speed and flexibile data acquisition and analysis
  • ​Information extraction and methods for tackling problems for large-scale automation
  • Web apps, emergency response, and disaster management
  • Emerging technologies with sensing as a service
  • RADAR, LiDAR, hyperspectral, and electro-opitcal imaging capabilities


Trend data suggest that geographic information technology (GIT) is related to the overall increase in interest in big data analytics. Geographic information technology and related systems are able to capture and model all types of spatial and geographic data, often useful for business or government intelligence, location-enabled services, and the planning and management of logistics, among many other purposes. Analysts who are trained in GIT are well-informed in how to produce, aggregate, and manipulate geographic/spatial data in order to drive decisions or services in any number of fields or industries. With the advent of mobile technology, the utility of GIT and employment of analysts with this expertise is expected to grow.


Northeastern University's Master of Professional Studies in Geospatial Services program is USGIF accredited. The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) is the only organization dedicated to bringing together industry, academia, government, professional organizations, and stakeholders to exchange ideas, share best practices, and promote the education and importance of a national geospatial intelligence agenda. To view the courses that are USGIF accredited and learn how students can receive USGIF’s Geospatial Intelligence Certificate, view the checklist.

NGA logo


Northeastern has been named a Center of Academic Excellence in Geospatial Sciences Program by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the U.S. Geological Survey with focus areas in geospatial analysis, remote sensing, and image analysis. The NGA is a world-leading intelligence and combat support agency that delivers geospatial intelligence used for policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals, and first responders. The information provided by NGA allows the Department of Defense to use its strategic intelligence and make key decisions on national security. To learn more about this partnership, visit the NGA webpage

Cordula Receives NGA Designation



Dr. Cordula Robinson receiving the NGA Center of Academic Excellence designation from Robert Cardillo, sixth Director of the NGA.




Interested in learning more? Watch one of our webinars:

MPS in Geospatial Services Overview
Exploring the Intersections of Geospatial Intelligence and Homeland Security



Please note: Students who started this program prior to Fall 2017 should follow the curriculum reflected on their DegreeWorks audits via the self-service tab of their myNEU portal.  Please consult your advisor with any questions.

Required Courses (21-22 q.h.)

GIS 5101 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 5102 Fundamentals of GIS Analysis (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
RMS 5105 Fundamentals of Remote Sensing 3 q.h.
GIS 5201 Advanced Spatial Analysis (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6980 Capstone (USGIF certified)
Should be taken as the final course in the program.
3 q.h. 

Choose two of the following courses:

ITC 6020 Information System Design and Analysis 3 q.h. 
ITC 6045 Information Technology Policy, Ethics, and Social Responsibility 3 q.h. 
LDR 6100 Developing Your Leadership Capability 3 q.h.
LDR 6125 Managing Organizational Culture 3 q.h.
PJM 5900 Foundations of Project Management
This course is required for students who do not have at least two years of professional experience working on projects. This course is only intended for those who are not familiar with professional project work. Students with two years or more of professional project experience may substitute PJM 6000 for PJM 5900. 
4 q.h.

If students prefer to focus their studies on a particular concentration, they may select 18 q.h. from one of the concentrations below and complement their studies with 6 q.h. of open elective courses, to meet the minimum 45 q.h. degree requirement.

Students are not required to complete a concentration. Any combination of 24 q.h. from concentration and elective courses will satisfy degree requirements.

Concentration in Geographic Information Systems (18 q.h.)

Choose six of the following courses:

GIS 6320 Use and Applications of Free and Open-Source GIS Desktop Software
( USGIF certified )
3 q.h. 
GIS 6340 GIS Customization (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6350 Planning a GIS Implementation 3 q.h.
GIS 6360 Spatial Databases (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6370 Internet-Based GIS (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6385 GIS/Cartography (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6390 Business Applications of Geographic Information Systems 3 q.h.
GIS 6391 Health-Care Applications of Geographic Information Systems 3 q.h.
GIS 6394 Crisis Mapping for Humanitarian Action (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6395 Geospatial Analysis of Crime (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6396 GIS for Defense, Homeland Security, and Emergency Response (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.


Concentration in Remote Sensing (18 q.h.)

RMS 6110 Digital Image Processing (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.

Choose five of the following courses:

RMS 6215 Unmanned Aerial Systems for Geospatial Analysts ( USGIF certified ) 3 q.h. 
RMS 6230 Remote Sensing and Global Change 3 q.h.
RMS 6240 Introduction to Radar and LiDAR Remote Sensing 3 q.h.
RMS 6250 Remote Sensing of Vegetation 3 q.h.
RMS 6270 Remote Sensing for Disaster Management (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
RMS 6280 Automated Feature Extraction for the Geospatial Professional (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
RMS 6290 Spectroscopic Image Analysis (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
RMS 6292 Photogrammetry and GPS (USGIF certified) 3 q.h.
GIS 6394 Crisis Mapping for Humanitarian Action ( USGIF certified ) 3 q.h. 

Concentration in Geospatial Analytics (18 q.h.)

ALY 6110 Data Management and Big Data
3 q.h. 
ALY 6020 Predictive Analysis 3 q.h.
ALY 6040 Data Mining Applications 3 q.h.
NEW Topics (Text Mining) 3 q.h.
ALY 6070 Commercialization and Visualization for Data Analytics 3 q.h.
GIS or RMS Open elective from GIS or RMS 3 q.h.


Open elective courses (6 q.h.)

Open electives can be fulfilled by choosing either 6 q.h. from the courses listed above or COP 6940 and 3 q.h. from the courses listed above.

COP 6940 Personal and Career Development
Enrollment into this course requires participation in the cooperative education program.
3 q.h.
INT 6943 Integrative Experiential Learning 3 q.h.


Required minimum credit hours: between 45-46 q.h. depending on the selected concentration

Admissions Requirements

Below are the official Admissions Requirements for this program.

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifying your educational goals and expectations from the program; please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose
  • Professional resume: Current resume that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
  • Two letters of recommendation: from individual(s) with either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, such as a faculty member, current employer, mentor, or colleague
  • Official undergraduate degree documentation
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines
  • Website Transcript Copy: To submit and complete your application you are able to upload your unofficial transcript directly to your online application. It can be uploaded in PDF format directly to the online application. Please ensure that the scanned documents are readable and include all courses, grades, (i.e. marks, scores, etc.) and credits completed to date. The scanned documents should also include information pertaining to the institution's grading scale. If accepted, you will additionally need to provide your official transcript. In order for a transcript to be "official," it must be in a sealed envelope from the transferring college or university.

For general admissions information and recommended admissions deadlines, Graduate Admissions.

All requirements must be received prior to review.


Estimated total tuition for this program is $30,195.00.

Tuition for individual courses is based on the number of quarter hours. Most courses are 3-6 quarter hours. See Graduate Tuition Rates for details.

Use our Tuition Calculator below to see if transfer credit or tuition reimbursement from your employer could reduce your total tuition.

Tuition Calculator

Degree Type


Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2017-18 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time.

*A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit to the Doctor of Education program.

Our Students

Our Students

What are our graduates doing? Explore our alumni map, created in-house, which shows positions held by our recent GIT alumni around the globe.

Fulbright Scholars:

The GIT program hosted two Fulbright scholars ( from Lebanon in 2014 and 2015: Dr. Nadine Nassif and Dr. Mhamad El-Hage. Both scholars applied innovative geospatial technologies in their research with respect to 1.) marine pollution and legal protection in the Mediterranean and 2) the DNA in remote sensing and GIS and Geospatial innovation to create a groundwater potentiality map for Lebanon.

Student Activity Examples, Summer 2015:
  1. Elise White traveled to Colorado in August 2015 to attend the ENVI Analytics Symposium Her poster presentation is titled "Automated Feature Extraction Techniques to Identify Flood Extent in Minot, North Dakota."
  2. What our students think: Colin Johnson’s Interview with GISCafe
  3. Stan Bosarge became the recipient of the USGIF 2015 Academic Research Award for Underwater Remote Sensing and the Fisheries Independent Ecosystem Survey: Examining Spatial Relationships of Red Snapper and Reef Habitat off Coastal Alabama:
Stan Bosarge's testimonial

Stan BosargeI recently graduated from Northeastern University’s Geospatial Services program with a master's in geographic information technology and a remote sensing concentration in the fall of 2014. I decided to return to the program to receive my United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation certificate in the spring of 2015.

One of the main reasons I returned to school to get my master's was to learn the required skills necessary to manage a large scale mapping program of the Alabama Offshore Reef Permit Zone designed to identify optimal habitats for sampling reef fish, particularly red snapper. I was able to directly apply concepts and skills learned within my courses to my day-to-day work, and by returning for my USGIF certificate, I was able to use the required capstone course to develop a project that would outline the way our organization examines spatial relationships of reef fish to habitat, how to organize and maintain large scale spatial databases, and how to facilitate data sharing between our organization and other stakeholders at the state and federal level.

On completion of my capstone project, Professor Robinson nominated me for the USGIF Academic Research Award, for which I am 2015’s recipient. This program annually recognizes exceptional work in the realm of geospatial intelligence, and to have my work recognized in this capacity was truly humbling. My experiences within the program have been invaluable, and the connections I have made within and outside the program are truly significant.

Alumni Map

What are our graduates doing? Explore alumni map, created in house, which shows positions held by our recent GIT alumni around the globe.

Our Faculty

Our Faculty

The faculty at the College of Professional Studies is comprised of National Science Foundation-awarded scholars (international humanitarian relief), federal and state employees and professional industry experts.

The faculty is made up of working GIS municipality project managers; USGIF-certified data production engineers for NGA Geospatial Intelligence software companies; GISP and CMS certified scientists in addition to lead image scientists for the army with top security clearance.

Learning Outcomes

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Specialized Knowledge
    Design and produce geospatial products for decision makers by turning data into actionable knowledge using geospatial principles, practices, and newly acquired knowledge of functions and essential skills.
  2. Broad and Integrative Knowledge
    Design and execute applied work that draws on the perspectives and methods of other fields of study (project management, leadership, information technology), including articulating and defending the significance and implications of the work in GIT to those fields.
  3. Applied and Collaborative Learning
    Create a professional poster and presentation reflecting the integration and application of acquired advanced knowledge in GIT to a practical challenge; assess approaches and standards for professional performance applicable to the challenge.
  4. Civic and Global Learning
    Propose a path to a resolution of a problem and create new methods to respond to geospatial challenges at the local, national, or global level.
  5. Experiential Learning
    Synthesize and transfer learning to new, complex situations within course work or beyond the classroom.

Talk to an Enrollment Coach

We can walk you through your program options and the application process.


Call Toll Free:
Contact Us
Next Term Starts
  • Summer Graduate
    Jul 10, 2017 (4-, 6-, and 8-week classes)
    Aug 7, 2017 (4-week classes)
  • Fall Undergraduate
    Sep 4, 2017 (7.5- and 15-week classes)
    Oct 25, 2017 (7.5-week classes)
  • Fall Graduate
    Sep 18, 2017 (6- and 12-week classes)
    Oct 30, 2017 (6-week classes)

Academic Calendar