Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Master of Science in GIS, Geographic Information Science Certificate

/ Academics / Departments & Programs / Geo / Academics Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Degree Overview

GIS at Calvin University equips students in foundations and advanced techniques in state-of-the-art geospatial science.

Take individual courses in GIS, complete the GIS Certificate Program, or earn a Master’s in GIScience. Deepen your geospatial skills with a virtue-driven focus from world-class faculty and instructors.

GIS Certificate for City and Local Government


Want to learn more about how our programs work? Watch the video below to learn more about GIS at Calvin University:

Program Distinctives

Unique program - Calvin University is the only place you can get a Master in GIS online at a Christian university!
Fully online - Our program is completely asynchronous and online, meaning you can fit it into your busy life.
Semester-length courses - Take the time you need to hone and master your GIS skills across 16-week courses.

Degree Information

Master of Science in GIS
  • Overview

    Calvin University is the only place you can get a Master in GIS online at a Christian university. If you are starting out new or looking for a career change, wrapping up your undergraduate at Calvin already and want more GIS, or you are just curious about computer cartography and mapping science, join us for graduate education at your pace, at your style.

    • Affordable | 30 Credit Hours @$660 per hour = $19,800
    • 100% Online | All courses are asynchronous and online
    • Scholarships Available | Three scholarships per year at $3000 per student. Open to Calvin alumni only at this time.
    • Semester length courses | 16-week courses give you time to hone and master your GIS skills & knowledge

    There are two pathways for students - those with the GIS Certificate and those without.

    With GIS Certificate (only four more courses)
    • GIS Certificate completed
    • GEO 563 (4) SP (Spring)
    • GEO 564 (4) FA (Fall)
    • GEO 565 (5) FA
    • GEO 566 (5) SP

    Without GIS Certificate (seven courses and can start any semester)
    • GEO 560 (4) FA/SP
    • GEO 561 (4) SP
    • GEO 562 (4) FA
    • GEO 563 (4) SP
    • GEO 564 (4) FA
    • GEO 565 (5) FA
    • GEO 566 (5) SP
  • Courses
  • Admission

    To learn more, or to start the process of applying, visit the Online MS in Geographic Information Science page.

  • Careers


    Did you know that US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists Cartographers & Photogrammetrists as one of the fastest growing jobs right now?


    • Government GIS experts, cartographers (mapping experts), satellite image analyst
    • Economic geographers, market researchers, logistics experts, location experts
    • Transportation experts, landuse/land planners, urban and regional planners
    • International development workers, community developers, missionaries
    • Environment consultants, land managers, environmental planners, conservationists
    • Area specialists, foreign affairs liaisons, ambassadors and travel agents
    • Teachers and professors



  • GIS Online Apps

    Recycling Industrial Land in Grand Rapids
    This Story Map illustrates industrial change in Grand Rapids, from the heyday of the "Furniture City" to the city's current postindustrial redevelopments.

    Recycling Industrial Land in Flint, MI
    This Story Map explores the fate of former industrial land in Flint by examining three sites that were once GM manufacturing facilities: Buick City, Delphi Flint East, and Chevy Commons.

    Liberia Mapping System
    The Liberia Mapping System v2.1, documents the geography and transformation of Liberia through clean water. You can interact, observe, and analyze a variety of geographical data on Liberia, including historical Demographic Health Survey data of Liberia, along with Clean Water Initiative data. Bolt GM, Jansen M, Koeman JL, & JE VanHorn. (2018). Previous version 1.0 was authored by VanHorn JE, L. Blanche, S. Haase, and TS Nam (2017).

    Re-Entry Mapping App for Returning Citizens
    The returning citizen services application is designed for users to connect with and access local reentry services in Grand Rapids, MI. This application was created at Calvin University in geography and political science with funding provided by the Henry Institute.

    Understanding Your Geography
    Live in the USA but don't know your neighborhood geography? An interactive map of demographic and economic data in the USA.

    Michigan Dune Inventory GIS
    An interactive map to explore dunes in Michigan. Include drawing, add data to the map, elevation profiles, geocoding, and several layers of imagery and vector data.restoration. Maps, History, Images, and Video all dedicated to learning about Plaster Creek.

    Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens GIS
    Over 90 acres of temperate deciduous forest, wetlands and old fields await your exploration on the campus of Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich. While you're here, visit the Bunker Interpretive Center, a LEED-certified facility used for environmental education.

    ArcGIS Rest Service Endpoints @ Calvin University

Geographic Information Science Certificate
  • Overview

    The GIS Certificate gives students a thorough introduction to GIS, cartography, and remote sensing (including drones!). To earn the Certificate, students must complete the courses:

    • GEO 260 (4) or GEO 560 (4)
    • GEO 361 (4) or GEO 561 (4)
    • GEO 362 (4) or GEO 562 (4)

    Students who complete the GIS Certificate will earn up to 12 hours of credit toward the Master in GISc Program. Leaving only 4 courses to complete to earn the Master's in GIScience at Calvin.

  • Courses

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