Geospatial Services

Location: Anywhere

Why Geospatial Services?

The Master of Professional Studies in Geospatial Services is a results-oriented program that explores a range of topics essential to the geographic information systems (GIS) field.

The fast-growing field of Geospatial Services includes techniques that may be applied across a wide range of disciplines and industries, from geography and archeology to urban planning and natural resources management. The online program is designed to improve each student’s technical expertise by explaining advanced concepts and techniques in areas such as raster-based GIS, geospatial information, and GIS modeling. It also offers hands-on GIS training that prepares graduates to competently apply their knowledge in their specific field of interest. 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 flexible 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

The Northeastern University Master’s in Geospatial Services program was developed to serve growing demands for highly skilled geospatial professionals, offering cutting-edge concentrations in geographic information systems, geospatial analytics and remote sensing (earth observation).

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.

More Details

Unique Features

  • Online program allows for flexibility and remote learning
  • Hands-on experience working across multiple software environments, including commercial and open-source products, such as ESRI, ENVI, PCI Geomatica, GeoIntelligence, and project management software
  • Option to participate in Co-op Program, Experiential Learning and Capstone Project
  • Students who complete the USGIF certified courses from our accredited program can receive USGIF’s Geospatial Intelligence Certificate

Program Objectives

  • Provide hands-on experience with software from ESRI, the industry leader in GIS
  • Improve the understanding of Internet GIS
  • Explore the fundamentals of remote sensing
  • Secure foundational skills in project management, system implementation, database development, and implementation
  • Evaluate the theoretical, mathematical, and computational foundations of GIS
  • Learn to effectively interpret and apply geographic information
  • Analyze cartographic principles
  • Study the legal, economic, and ethical issues associated with GIS
  • Examine practical applications of GIS to support geographic inquiry and decision making

Accreditation Description

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.

Career Outlook

Trend data suggests 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.


What you'll study

General Requirements

Master of Professional Studies in Geospatial Services General Requirements

21-22 q.h.

Please note:

  • GIS 6980 should be taken as the final course in the program.
  • PJM 5900 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
  • GIS 5101, GIS 5102, GIS 5105, GIS 5201, and GIS 6980 are USGIF Certified

GIS 5101 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
GIS 5102 - Fundamentals of GIS Analysis
RMS 5105 - Fundamentals of Remote Sensing
GIS 5201 - Advanced Spatial Analysis
GIS 6980 - Capstone

Complete two of the following:

ITC 6020 - Information Systems Design and Development
ITC 6045 - Information Technology Policy, Ethics, and Social Responsibility
LDR 6100 - Developing Your Leadership Capability
LDR 6125 - Managing Organizational Culture
PJM 5900 - Foundations of Project Management


Open electives can be fulfilled by choosing either 6 q.h. from any of concentration courses listed or COP 6940 and 3 q.h. from the concentration course lists.

COP 6940 - Personal and Career Development
INT 6943 - Integrative Experiential Learning

Concentration Option

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


Geographic Information Systems

Concentration Courses

Complete six of the following:

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

Remote Sensing

Required Course

RMS 6110 - Digital Image Processing

Complete five of the following:

RMS 6215 - Unmanned Aerial Systems for Geospatial Analysts
RMS 6230 - Remote Sensing and Global Change
RMS 6240 - Introduction to Radar and LIDAR Remote Sensing
RMS 6250 - Remote Sensing of Vegetation
RMS 6270 - Remote Sensing for Disaster Management
RMS 6280 - Automated Feature Extraction for the Geospatial Professional
RMS 6290 - Spectroscopic Image Analysis
RMS 6292 - Photogrammetry and GPS
GIS 6394 - Crisis Mapping for Humanitarian Action

Geospatial Analytics
ALY 6110 - Data Management and Big Data
ALY 6020 - Predictive Analytics
ALY 6040 - Data Mining Applications
ALY 6070 - Communication and Visualization for Data Analytics
ALY 6943 Topics (Text Mining) 3 q.h.

Open elective from GIS, RMS (3.00 quarter hours)

Did You Know?

12 graduate programs nationwide have received the coveted USGIF accreditation including our MPS in Geospatial Services program (

From our Faculty

"In the program’s 'Crisis Mapping for Humanitarian Action' students learned to use open, crowdsourced data sets to provide relief during Nepal’s 2015 earthquake." — Dr. Cordula Robinson, Associate Teaching Professor and lead faculty member

Average Time to Completion

1.5-3 years





Entry Terms