Joint GIS Program with Nanjing Normal University

The University of Maryland (UMD) and Nanjing Normal University (NNU) in China offer a pioneering joint Master of Professional Studies in Geospatial Information Sciences (MPSGIS). 


  • For information (in Chinese) about applying to the MPSGIS program, please visit the website of Nanjing Normal University (有关该项目的申请信息, 请访问南京师范大学的网站).
  • To download a step-by-step guide (in PowerPoint) to submitting application materials to the UMD Graduate School, please click here.

UMD’s Department of Geographical Sciences is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in geopatial research and education.  Similarly, NNU’s School of Cartography and Geographic Information Systems is one of China’s most prestigious centers for geospatial research.

The UMD-NNU joint program—the first of its kind to be offered in China—leverages the outstanding human, scholarly, and technical resources of both institutions to create a singular learning environment for its enrollees. 

UMD’s Office of International and Executive Programs (OIEP) serves as liaison between UMD and NNU, helps recruit and evaluate applicants according to UMD standards and criteria, and ensures compliance with relevant UMD policies and procedures.

Students spend a year studying at their home institution (NNU) before transferring to the U.S. to complete a six-month residency at UMD prior to graduation.  UMD faculty visit NNU to teach some required courses, and all class instruction—whether given in China or the U.S.—is conducted in English.

At the end of the Capstone course there is a final presentation in the form of a "Poster Symposium" (the entire Department of Geographical Sciences—as well as alumni—are invited to attend).  The final product serves as a portfolio of what each student has accomplished in the MPSGIS program.  In the past, student presentations have addressed a wide variety of GIS and Remote Sensing topics, including:

  • Habitat suitability analyses;
  • Sea level rise risk assessment;
  • Spatial analysis of hurricane effects;
  • Historical artifact and archeological analysis;
  • Human trafficking modeling;
  • Remote sensing with unmanned aerial vehicles;
  • Web apps to access public services;
  • Online lidar data viewers and repositories; and
  • Geospatial social media mobile apps.