University of Wisconsin–Madison

Online Master’s Program in GIS and Web Map Programming


The University of Wisconsin–Madison has run an award-winning Master’s of Science in Cartography/GIS for many decades.

The curriculum of our Master’s program is continually revised to teach the latest technologies and techniques in the field of applied GIS and map design. This new online Master’s is the latest pedagogical adjustment in the evolution of the degree. It is by far one of our most ambitious modifications.

Research has shown that GIS programming, mobile applications, and web mapping our the technologies that are increasingly in demand today and will be for years to come. This is why we have re-created our Master’s to offer professional students an opportunity to focus on these these skill areas.

The shift from the paper to mobile/web medium caused some mayhem in the GIS industry. Those with a degree in GIS or cartography from as recently as 2005 were suddenly dealing with the challenges of new mediums that do not play well with certain print concepts.

Our new program is here to fill this void.


 The 32-credit GIS and Web Map Programming (GisWMP) degree teaches exactly what you need to advance your GIS career and stay relevant for years to come.

Unlike many of our competitors, our program focuses on GIS Development. Topics include programming, mobile app creation, and web map scripting. Our courses are designed to build off of one another and reinforce your skills as you go through the curriculum.

With your Master’s, not only will you earn a degree of distinction from a world-renowned geography department, you’ll graduate confident in your programming skills.

Ready to join us?



• First Consideration: May 1
• International Students: May 1
• Final Deadline: July 15

• First Consideration: September 1
• International Students: September 1
• Final Deadline: November 1

• First Consideration: February 1
• International Students: February 1
• Final Deadline: April 1


  • Intro to Geocomputing (378)
  • Graphic Design in Cartography (572)
  • Spatial Databases (574)
  • Interactive Cartography & Geovisualization (575)
  • Spatial Web & Mobile Programming (576)
  • GIS & Spatial Analysis (579)
  • Capstone in GIS Development (777)
  • Practicum in GIS Development (778)

Visit our Curriculum page for course descriptions.


Eight courses. Two tracks.

Our program consists of 8 courses (4 credits each, 32 credits total). These have been designed to maximize your learning and reinforce key concepts throughout the duration of your Master’s. You can attend full-time and graduate in one year. Or you can attend part-time and graduate in two-to-three years.


Full-time enrollment equates to 12 credits both fall and spring. These are followed by the Practicum and Capstone courses in the summer. Though by attending full-time you can graduate in one year, if you’re working full-time, this honestly may not be the track for you. (Mental health and a personal life are not to be trifled with!)

Here is an example of a full-time course load (35-40 hours per week):

1st Semester 2nd Semester 3rd Semster
Geog 378 Geog 575 Geog 777
Geog 572  Geog 576 Geog 778
Geog 574 Geog 579  MS DEGREE!



Part-time enrollment consists of 4 or 8 credits a semester. The Program Director will help you design a course plan right for your needs. Part-time students graduate in two-to-three years. Worried about Federal Financial Aid? No worries! One-course qualifies you as a half-time student.

Here is an example of a part-time course load (12-20 hours per week):

1st Sem. 2nd Sem. 3rd Sem. 4th Sem.
Geog 378 Geog 574 Geog 576 Geog 777
Geog 572  Geog 575 Geog 579 Geog 778



Please visit our Financial Information page to learn more about tuition and financial aid for this program.

The Online Master’s Program permits the following credit transfers:
UW-Madison Undergraduate – Up to 7 credits
Graduate credits from other institutions or UW-Madison – Up to 7 credits
UW-Madison University Specials Students – Up to 15 credits

Visit the Graduate Guide for more detail regarding credit transfers and program requirements.

Questions? Of course you have some. Please don’t hesitate to ask us.