How to Apply

To apply to MAGIST, you will complete UCLA’s Application for Graduate Admission, choosing the Master of Applied Geospatial Information Systems and Technologies as your selected program.

Applying as early as possible is strongly recommended as admission will be offered on a rolling basis.  Students who apply early will be given first consideration for funding opportunities.

An application fee ($135.00 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents; $155.00 for all other applicants) will be collected before the application can be processed, subject to certain waivers specified by the Graduate Division.

Application Deadlines

MAGIST offers three start dates per year, one in each academic year quarter (Fall, Winter, and Spring).  Each start date has its own final application deadline.  Most students start in Fall quarter, so several priority deadlines are listed for Fall quarter.  Applying by a priority deadline ensures the quickest review possible.

Fall 2024: Priority deadline is April 30, 2024.  Final application deadline is July 31, 2024.

The earlier you apply, the earlier you will receive a decision about your application.

MAGIST uses a rolling admissions cycle, wherein applications are reviewed within several weeks after they are submitted.  Admissions decisions are made as quickly as possible as to provide applicants with clarity and certainty as they embark upon graduate study.

MAGIST Application Checklist

All applications for the MAGIST program must include the following components:

Start Your MAGIST Application

Admission to the MAGIST program uses the Application for UCLA Graduate Admissions.

Applicants should submit all of the materials listed below directly through the online application.   Contact one of our student advisors if you have any questions about the application process.

Preparing Your Application

UCLA Application for Graduate Admission

In order to apply for MAGIST, you will complete the online application for admission used by most UCLA graduate degree programs.  The application must be submitted using this standardized system; applications submitted by other means cannot be accepted.  You will upload all application materials to this system.

When starting the application, be sure to choose “Master of Applied Geospatial Information Systems and Technologies” as your selected program, not to be confused with the Master of Arts in Geography.

Statement of Purpose

Your statement of purpose is the cornerstone of your application:  it is in this written statement that you explain why you are interested pursuing a graduate education and earning the MAGIST degree at UCLA.  This statement is also your opportunity to describe your experience (academic and/or professional) within the fields of GIS, spatial data science, and geospatial technology, and also explain why you feel that MAGIST will help you to advance professionally.  Statements of purpose should ideally describe the applicant’s (1)  goals/purpose in applying, (2) academic background, (3) professional background, (4) leadership experience and accomplishments, and (5) how the applicant plans to contribute to their profession using knowledge and experience gained from the MAGIST program.  While your statement of purpose should be concise and focused, there is no specific requirement or limit in terms of the length of the statement.

Personal Statement

The Personal Statement is an opportunity for you to provide additional information that may aid the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UCLA. It will also be used to consider candidates for financial awards specific to the MAGIST program.

Applicants may wish to discuss some of the following questions:

  • Are there educational, personal, cultural, economic, or social experiences, not described in your Statement of Purpose, that have shaped your academic or professional journey as they pertains to the MAGIST program? If so, how? Have any of these experiences provided unique perspective(s) that you would contribute to your program, field or profession?
  • Describe challenge(s) or barriers that you have faced in your pursuit of higher education. What motivated you to persist, and how did you overcome them? What is the evidence of your persistence, progress or success?
  • How have your life experiences and educational background informed your understanding of the barriers facing groups that are underrepresented in higher education?
  • How have you been actively engaged (e.g., through participation, employment, service, teaching or other activities) in programs or activities focused on increasing participation by groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education?
  • How do you see yourself contributing to diversity in your profession after you earn your MAGIST degree at UCLA?

Applicants are strongly encouraged to explain how any unusual challenges and life experiences they have encountered will allow them to contribute to the diversity of the student body.  The University of California Diversity Statement can be found online.

Curriculum Vita or Resume

Applicants should upload a current curriculum vita or resume describing all relevant academic, professional, and personal experience.  The CV/resume and the personal statement should complement one another and allow the admissions committee to understand an applicant’s interest in and preparation for participating in the MAGIST program.  Formatting of the CV/resume is left to the applicant’s discretion.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are required to upload at least two, but no more than four, letters of recommendation as a part of their application.  UCLA uses an online recommendation system that allows recommenders to directly submit letters online to an applicant’s file.  For each recommender, you will be responsible for submitting their name, email address, organization, and title, and the recommender will then use the secure recommendation system to submit a letter on your behalf.

Letters may come from academic or professional references, though it is preferred (but not required) that at least one of the two required letters come from an academic reference who can speak to your aptitude for graduate study.  We suggest that you ask your recommenders to specifically comment upon your intellectual ability, professional and/or academic aptitude with geospatial technology, work ethic, creativity, resilience, and preparation for graduate-level studies.

For UCLA students/alumni: Students who have completed a UCLA degree or the UCLA Extension GIS and Geospatial Technology certificate program may find that the faculty members who can best speak to their academic background in GIS are members of the MAGIST program leadership and/or admissions committee.  Applicants are welcome to seek letters of recommendation from MAGIST program faculty members if they have completed undergraduate-level coursework or research with program faculty, but it is suggested that at least one letter come from a recommender outside the UCLA Department of Geography.


According to UCLA Graduate Division policies, applicants are required to submit unofficial transcripts from any previously-attended institutions of higher education.  Unofficial transcripts are used throughout the application review process, and official transcripts do not need to be submitted with the application.

For applicants seeking to meet program admissions requirements by providing evidence of prior GIS coursework, is crucial that transcripts be submitted from every institution at which an applicant completed GIS-related coursework.

An unofficial transcript will be issued by your university or college registrar’s office but may be accessed through a student portal. An unofficial transcript may also be a physical, official copy that you have opened and uploaded. Avoid uploading degree progress reports, grade audits, or similar printouts; these do not count as unofficial transcripts. Acceptable unofficial transcripts from U.S. institutions must:

  • Have the word “transcript” on the document;
  • Have the name of your institution attended or are attending;
  • Include the student’s name, program of study, and major of study;
  • Include a term by term breakdown of each course taken with its corresponding units and grade, and;
  • Be clearly legible.


Only after admission is submission of official transcripts necessary.  Applicants who do not accept an offer of admission will not need to submit official transcripts.  An official copy of your transcripts should be sent directly from the registrars of the academic institutions you have attended (beyond secondary school or community college), or you may request official copies and send them yourself to the Department of Geography. Please note that submitted records become the property of the University and cannot be returned.

Applicants who have completed coursework at UCLA do not need to submit UCLA transcripts.

Application Fee

All applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee.  For the 2023-2024 academic year, this fee is $135.00 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, and $155.00 for all other applicants.  Application fees are subject to change at any time based on decision of the UCLA Graduate Division.

The UCLA Graduate Division offers several exemptions for the graduate application fee.  We encourage all students to carefully review the “Fee Waivers” section on the UCLA Graduate Division website to see if they may be eligible to receive a fee waiver or reduction based on current university policy.

Admitted and ready to get started?

Most importantly, congratulations and welcome to UCLA MAGIST!

When you are ready to accept your offer of admission, visit MyUCLA to complete your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR).   The SIR deposit ($1,000) will be credited in full to your first quarter’s tuition.