An innovative geospatial education with the flexibility you need.

Earn your GIS Master's degree from the #1 public university in the U.S.

Now accepting applications for Fall 2024! Priority application deadline is April 30.

Master of Applied Geospatial Information Systems and Technologies

The Master of Applied Geospatial Information Systems and Technologies (MAGIST) degree is a fully online professional STEM graduate degree program focused on training students to solve problems using GIS and location data.

The curriculum offers coursework that brings academic rigor to topics required for GIS professionals in business, engineering, planning, data and information management, as well as government and non-profit organizations.  With its emphasis upon spatial data analysis and computer programming techniques, the MAGIST program prepares students for professional success in specialized and highly skilled positions within the GIS and geospatial technology industries.


UCLA’s Master of Geospatial Applied Information Systems and Technologies (MAGIST) is designed for individuals with educational or professional experience with geographic information systems (GIS) or allied technical fields. Ideally, applicants will possess some GIS work experience or the equivalent of an undergraduate or graduate-level certificate in GIS.  Individuals who are interested in studying GIS at the entry level are encouraged to first enroll in the fully online GIS and Geospatial Techology certificate program, offered in partnership by the UCLA Department of Geography and UCLA Extension.

MAGIST applicants are NOT required to submit GRE scores.

Contact a program advisor for a personalized conversation.

Earn your STEM Degree Online

MAGIST is classified as a STEM degree program (CIP Code 45.0702: Geographic Information Systems and Cartography).

Online by design, backed by experience

Geospatial @ UCLA and the UCLA Department of Geography have an established track record of teaching geospatial technology courses fully online for more than a decade.  MAGIST has been designed from its inception as a fully online degree program, and program courses will be taught by program faculty who collectively possess dozens of years of online education experience and expertise.

The UCLA online advantage includes:

  • A curriculum designed to be online: The online format of the UCLA MAGIST is NOT a response to COVID-19; rather, it has been several years in the making. From its inception, the MAGIST was designed to be a fully online program that integrates UCLA knowledge, expertise, and experience in geospatial technology, online education and training, and public and private partnerships created to leverage geospatial data and analysis.

  • State-of-the-art, cloud-based projects: Much of the work for the MAGIST degree will be completed in the cloud. No more confusing software installations. No more computer memory limits. No more worries about operating system versions. All you need are a browser and an internet connection.

  • Asynchronous coursework: You’re busy. We get it. The MAGIST is designed so you can complete the coursework on your own time. Bi-weekly (i.e., every other week) project deadlines give students the flexibility to choose when to do the work, and the project guidelines ensure success.

  • Technology grants: Funding that can be used to improve or offset the cost of technology required to complete the MAGIST (e.g., laptop grant, high speed internet grant) will be available.

The UCLA Department of Geography consistently ranks among the top geography departments globally, with a graduate program ranked in the top 10 of all U.S. geography departments by the National Research Council.

The Academic Experience

The MAGIST program consists of seven required courses and a capstone project consisting of two seminars.  Three courses are offered in the Fall (begins September), Winter (begins January), and Spring (begins late March or early April) quarters every academic year. 

Project-based coursework focuses on developing familiarity and expertise with spatial analytic approaches, programming techniques for spatial data, spatial statistics, imagery analysis, and cutting-edge Web- and cloud-based geospatial platforms.

Thematic topics such as location privacy, inequality, data ethics, and climate change are directly integrated within the project-based curriculum.

Interaction with, and feedback from, world-class UCLA faculty and instructors are provided.

A key feature of the online MAGIST curriculum is its flexibility.  Students have the freedom to complete the program over a timeline ranging from one to three academic years.  

MAGIST Capstone Project

Over the course of two quarters, MAGIST students will complete an intensive, research-driven capstone project.  In the process of completing a research and analysis-driven capstone project under the supervision of a team of expert faculty advisors (and optionally in collaboration with an external partner from the business, government, or non-profit communities), students will develop geospatial solutions for real-world challenges in business, government, society, or policy.

Upon completion of the capstone project, and the MAGIST degree, participants will benefit from a deeper understanding of geospatial approaches, highly transferable skills, and an expanded professional network.

Career Support & Professional Development

MAGIST participants will have access to UCLA Career Services and the UCLA Geospatial professional network.

While enrolled in the MAGIST program, students can attend workshops dedicated to professional development in geospatial and allied fields led by invited guest speakers from UCLA, as well as the public and private sectors. Workshops are designed to assist in the professional development of MAGIST participants, and position them to succeed in an ever-changing marketplace. The primary objective of MAGIST professional development is to ensure participants possess the background, confidence and competence to direct, shape, and realize their professional goals.

Affordability & Accessibility

Tuition and fees for your UCLA MAGIST degree are comparable to other public institutions offering professional GIS Master’s degree programs.  UCLA Geospatial is proud to offer recruitment fellowships, grants, and scholarships to successful MAGIST applicants whenever possible, and particular weight is given to ensuring that the MAGIST program is accessible to students representing diverse and traditionally underserved communities.  Our program advisors are always happy to help students to identify suitable program-specific funding opportunities.

Beyond funding opportunities offered exclusively to MAGIST students, the UCLA Graduate Division and the UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships office support MAGIST students in applying for Federal Student Aid and pursuing other suitable funding opportunities, including specific opportunities available to veterans.

Are you ready to solve geospatial problems?

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