University of Wisconsin–Madison

Online Master’s Program Features



Programming Skills

We designed our Master’s for those who already know how to use GIS. No fluff “getting to know” courses here. We emphasize teaching you GIS programming for the web and mobile devices. Period.

This includes teaching you all of the programming technologies GIS employers are looking for: Python, Java, SQL, NoSQL, GDAL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Bootstrap, Leaflet, CartoDB, Mapbox, CartoCSS, and D3.

Spatial Analysis Techniques for Development

Why use other people’s cookie-cutter analytical tools when you can program your own? We don’t teach stats. We teach you how to program GIS analysis into your tools. When you leave here you will know how to develop the right tools to complete your unique tasks.

UI/UX Design & Big Data Visualization

Distinguish yourself by designing user interfaces that are so intuitive, clients won’t realize they’re using one. Design amazing interactive maps that people can’t help but fall in love with. Learn to scrape “big data” off the web to make mind-blowing visualizations.

Mobile App Development

Graduate from UW-Madison with the knowledge to create your own mobile and cloud-based GIS apps. Produce custom-designed map apps. Design responsive web GIS tools that work on mobile devices of all sizes.

Skill Integration

Put your new skills to test. Integrate your new skill sets to solve real-world GIS development problems and workplace tool needs. Our world-renowned faculty will act as consultants, helping you achieve GIS VICTORY!


Have Some Coding Skills? No worries!

Great News! You can bypass up to two courses (8 credits).

Have previous coursework or work experience? Contact us to talk about waiving or transferring credits.


QUESTIONWhy wait until the end of the semester to prove you’re qualified at skills you learned weeks ago?

You shouldn’t.

In our online professional master’s program you receive skill certification during your classes. You can let the world know about your skills immediately!

And if anyone checks? We’ve got your back. Our program verifies your learning with badges Digital Medals.

Skill Medals. How They Work.

We’ve created a digital medal system that will make your colleagues envious. Our digital skill medals act as program certifications.

Each course in our program is devised of learning modules. When you satisfactorily complete a set of modules within a course, you will receive an official digital skill medal that certifies you have a particular technical or conceptual capability.

Each course contains at least three medals. Many courses offer opportunities to earn higher-level medals for exceptional work.

You don’t have to wait until the course is over to start promoting yourself — you receive a skill medal as soon as you earn it!

Geospatial Tools

Skill Medals Explained

Imagine you do well on a series of Python modules in our Geocomputing course. You won’t need to wait until you finish the course to say you know Python. You’ll receive a medal to share with the world — and potential employers — immediately.


Lab Updates for the Rest of Your Life. Seriously.

No doubt — Python, JavaScript, and SQL will be prominent for years to come. However, one day they will join the dustbin with Avenue, Visual Basic, and Flash ActionScript.

Rest assured — your UW-Madison Master’s Degree will retain its value.

We offer a one-of-the-kind Life-Long Education Plan that none of our competitors can match.

Our courses are regularly updated to incorporate the latest technology and coding standards. You will be offered a chance to have life-long access to all lab updates in all of the courses you have completed.

Earn New Badges in New Technologies

If you participate in our Life-Long Education Plan, you’re also eligible to complete new lab materials to earn new skill badges.

If in several years a course begins using R instead of Python, you will have access to the new labs that use R. If you complete the new lab work at a high enough level, you can earn a new digital badge in R.

We believe in long-term relationships with our students. How long? How about forever? Keep earning new digital badges and stay up-to-date with the latest technology and programming skills.

Life-Long Education Plan Pricing

We’re finalizing fees for the different plans. Subscriptions will be annual. We’ll have membership tiers catering to your individual needs. And… they’ll all be affordable.

Beyond access to new labs and badges, the plans will include:

Webinars with GIS industrial experts
Interviews with GIS entrepreneurs
Video tutorials and workshops with renowned GIS faculty
Alumni networking opportunities
Many other benefits


threeHipstersSmilingOverComputerOur goal is to create the most comfortable and personal online GIS master’s program in the world.We believe in cohort building, not maximum enrollments. We select our students based on their goals, potential, and drive. We then pool this elite group together to cultivate a community of learning. Together everyone learns more. And using your cohort’s network, someday you’ll earn more.

We carefully cap enrollment to maintain interpersonal interactions among faculty and students. Admission is competitive.

Our cut-off date for Fall 2017 applications is June 30.

However, if you want to ensure there is still space in the Fall cohort, we recommend you:

Apply by April 15, 2017

Beware of Diploma Mills

There are dozens of online GIS programs out there. Sadly, many are mostly concerned with high enrollment numbers, not quality education.

UW-Madison is different. Course quality and close relationships with our students matter to us.

We believe in smart growth, not profit maximization. Join us if you do too.