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Call (888) 907-5029 to talk with an enrollment advisor.  Already a USC student? Talk with Ken Watson, academic advisor, at (213) 740-8298.

Admission Requirements

The GIST Graduate Certificate program is open to two groups of students—new students who wish to apply directly to the GIST Graduate Certificate Program and students currently matriculated in a master’s or doctoral degree program (other than the M.S. in GIST) at USC.  Certificate candidates must have: (1) a B.A. or B.S. degree or its international equivalent; and (2) a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 GPA (A=4.0).

The M.S. in GIST program serves several groups of students—students who wish to apply directly to the GIST master’s program; students graduating from the GIST Graduate Certificate program; students currently matriculated in a USC master’s or doctoral degree program; and USC undergraduate students who plan to earn both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years on a progressive degree path.

M.S. candidates must have: (1) a B.A. or B.S. degree or its international equivalent; (2) a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 GPA (A=4.0); and (3) a combined Quantitative and Verbal GRE scores of no less than 297.

All course work taken at the undergraduate level is used to calculate the GPA.  Exceptions will be made in cases of very high GRE scores or some other compelling evidence of potential to excel in graduate studies (e.g., outstanding letters of recommendation).  Preference will be given to candidates with significant professional experience working with geographic information systems and related geospatial technologies.

Application Procedures

Individuals who are not already USC students should visit http://gisonline.usc.edu/ or click here to download a free program brochure and to learn more about the application process.

Students who are currently enrolled in the USC Geographic Information Science and Technology graduate certificate program, are currently matriculated in a USC master’s or doctoral degree program, and or are USC undergraduate students who want to earn both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years, should talk with Dr. Jennifer Swift, Director of Graduate Studies, at: University of Southern California, Spatial Sciences Institute, 3616 Trousdale Parkway, AHF B55, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0374, (213) 740-5841.

Application Documents

Applicants should consult the USC graduate admissions information here.

Applicants are required to submit:

  1. completed application for admission, which can be found online at www.usc.edu/admission/graduate;
  2. statement of purpose;
  3. sample of academic or professional writing;
  4. official transcripts from all schools previously attended;
  5. two letters of recommendation; and
  6. for M.S. in GIST applicants, the results of the GRE General Test.

International students must submit TOEFL scores and are expected to achieve a minimum score of 100 on the Internet-based examination.

The statement of purpose and writing sample should be uploaded into the online application. This statement should: (1) describe the applicant’s motivation, field of interest and career goals; and (2) identify potential projects that the applicant might pursue for the master’s thesis project.

The writing sample can be any kind of written product which the applicant considers to be the best representation of his or her ability to communicate in the professional environment.   It may be a piece written in undergraduate or graduate studies or in the workplace.  It should be a well-written piece that fully demonstrates your ability to present material in a logical, cohesive, and organized manner.

The GIST graduate programs utilize rolling admissions and enrollment based on the standard academic calendar.  Students may start the program in any of the fall, spring or summer semesters.