University of Wisconsin–Madison

Accelerated/Non-Thesis Master’s in Cartography & GIS Application Information

Applying is Easy! 1, 2, 3… You’re Done!

For first consideration apply by April 1st for Fall and August 1st for Spring.

Final deadlines for complete applications are June 1st for Fall and October 1st for Spring.

International student final deadlines for complete applications are April 1st for Fall and August 1st for Spring.

Please note that all letters of recommendation must be submitted in order for an application to be considered complete.

Step 1: Review Our Prerequisites


 You must have a four-year Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Your major or discipline does not matter.

  Minimum course requirement is one course in statistics/quantitative methods. Of course, equivalent work experience will also be considered. Please contact us if you have any questions.

 You may not be enrolled in other UW-Madison graduate coursework or programs concurrently with our program.

 You may not receive tuition remission from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. No TA-, RA-, or PA-ships from the University of Wisconsin are allowed.

 If you are a non-native English speaker, you must take the TOEFL exam and submit your scores during the application process. Minimum acceptable TOEFL scores by the UW Graduate School are 92 for internet based test (IBT) and 580 for paper test.

NOTE: There is NO GRE score requirement!

If you meet the above requirements, you’re ready to proceed to Step 2!

Step 2: Collect & Assemble 5 Things

  1. Your resume
    Include relevant work experience, education, professional training in GIS, cartography, or programming skills, and other pertinent information. International students: please provide the breakdown of your TOEFL score so we can determine your reading and writing scores separately from the overall score.
  2. Unofficial transcripts
    From any previously completed undergraduate and graduate degrees. Unofficial (e.g., scanned, downloaded) transcripts are fine at this point. Only after you’re accepted into the program will the Grad School require official copies. (Note: official copies will only be needed from your final, degree-granting institution.)
  3. Contact information for two professional or academic references
    You need the following info for each contact: Name, Mailing Address, Email, and Phone. Your contact will automatically be sent an email from the Grad School website when you complete your application.
  4. Write a Statement of Interest
    This 1-2 page document please tell us about your:

    1. Educational/professional background
    2. GIS interests
    3. Career goals
    4. and, why you chose our program here at UW-Madison
  5. Application fee
    Please have a Visa/Mastercard Credit or Debit Card ready to pay the $75 application fee. International students are assessed an additional small fee, so the cost is closer to $85 USD.

N0te: Be sure to convert all of your documents to PDFs before you proceed to Step 3. The UW Graduate School only accepts PDF documents. Click here to view a video showing how to save a Word file as a PDF.

Step 3: Complete Online Application & Submit

This part is really straightforward. If you’ve prepared everything above, the application itself will only take about 10 minutes! CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED.

Please make sure you select the following program: Cartography & Geographic Information Systems MS – Accelerated/Non-Thesis. (There are three Cartography & Geographic Information Systems MS Programs. Accelerated/Non-Thesis is the in-residence Professional Master’s.)

If you have questions about graduate school at UW-Madison broadly, the Grad School FAQ page is easy to read and full of useful information.



That’s it. You’re done!


We know how hard it can be to wait so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you:

– Have any questions about what happens next in the application process,

–  Start getting the jitters about whether or not this program is right for you, or

– Just want to keep in touch while you wait


We look forward to getting back to you shortly!