Who should apply?

The MAGIST program is designed for:

  • Experienced professionals who want to learn more about recent advances and future directions of the geospatial industry;
  • Analysts who want to take the next step in their career by expanding their technical knowledge;
  • Data scientists interested in maps and mapping;
  • Those curious about technology and mapping, and why the spatial is special, and;
  • Anyone who is looking for a new direction in technology

MAGIST blends state-of-the-art, hands-on training with ‘big picture’ ideas to facilitate and encourage lifelong learning. The MAGIST is more than software training, it is about learning when, how and why geospatial perspectives and techniques can be applied to answer questions, solve problems, and inform decision-making.

Admissions Requirements

The MAGIST program is designed to provide advanced graduate education for students and professionals who possess substantive academic background or work experience in the fields of geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial technology.  Given that the program approaches GIS from a spatial data science and computer programming perspective, students who have an abiding interest in learning data science research methods within a geospatial context are particularly encouraged to apply.

Standardized Admissions Exams

Applicants are NOT required to submit GRE scores or any other standardized admissions exams.  GRE scores will not be considered in the admissions process even if submitted.

General Requirements

Successful candidates for admission will typically possess undergraduate-level academic background in GIS (substantial coursework, certificate, major, or minor) or equivalent professional experience.  All applications will be given a comprehensive and holistic evaluation of the applicant’s readiness for participation in the MAGIST program.

Academic Background

Qualified applicants will hold at least a Bachelor’s degree (four-year degree) in an appropriately related field at the time they begin the MAGIST program.  Applicants who are currently in the process of completing a Bachelor’s degree are welcome to apply if the degree will be complete by the program’s start date.

Applicants should have a grade-point average (GPA) above 3.2 in upper division undergraduate coursework, and an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher in their most recently completed degree program.  Students who do not possess a GPA of 3.0 overall in their most recently completed degree are strongly encouraged to contact MAGIST admissions for a preliminary review of qualifications before submitting an application.

 Applicants who have completed a graduate degree may substitute graduate GPA for upper division undergraduate GPA if desired.

GIS and Geospatial Technology Experience

Qualified applicants will be able to demonstrate substantive academic or professional experience with GIS and/or related geospatial technologies.  MAGIST is not designed as an entry-level GIS degree program; applicants who do not meet the GIS experience requirements are encouraged to consider enrolling in Geospatial @ UCLA’s GIS and Geospatial Technology certificate program, offered in partnership with UCLA Extension.

To qualify for admission on the basis of academic experience, applicants will need to have successfully completed an undergraduate-level GIS certificate, minor, or major in GIS or geospatial technology, OR at least five quarter-length courses or three semester-length courses of substantive GIS or geospatial technology coursework.

To qualify for admission on the basis of professional experience, applicants will need to possess GIS or geospatial technology experience equivalent to that which could be gained by completing the aforementioned coursework.  This will be evaluated holistically and there is no specified number of years of professional experience required.  Applicants seeking the qualify on the basis of professional experience are encouraged to contact program advisors prior to application for an assessment of preparedness.

English Proficiency Requirements

If your first language is not English, or if you did not receive your bachelor’s degree (or higher degree) in an Anglophone country, you must certify proficiency in English when you apply to UCLA. This applies to U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents as well as international applicants. If you are admitted, you may also be required to confirm your proficiency upon arrival.

Applicants are required to complete an acceptable English proficiency exam unless…

  • You hold a bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited university located in the United States or in another country in which English is both the primary spoken language of daily life (e.g., Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, United Kingdom) and the medium of instruction, or;
  • You have completed at least two years of full-time study at such an institution

Applicants required to complete an English proficiency examination typically choose to take either the TOEFL or the IELTS exams.  Please refer to the UCLA Division of Graduate Education’s English requirements for more information about UCLA’s English proficiency requirements for incoming graduate students.  MAGIST follows all of UCLA’s procedures, requirements, and standards for English proficiency as outlined here, with the exception of requiring a higher minimum score for both TOEFL and IELTS than UCLA overall.

For both TOEFL and IELTS, the MAGIST program has higher minimum required test scores than UCLA overall:

  • Minimum TOEFL score: 100
  • Minimum IELTS score: 7.5

For any applicant required to complete an English proficency examination, the above minimum overall score requirements are strictly required for admission and no exceptions are possible.  Applicants who have not satisfied this minimum score requirement are advised to consider reattempting their selected examinations.

The Application Process

Applications for the online MAGIST program are submitted through the shared UCLA Application for Graduate Admissions.  Learn more about how to apply.