The University of Maryland (UMD) and Nanjing Normal University (NNU) in China offer a pioneering joint Master of Science in Geospatial Information Science (MSGIS).

  • For information (in Chinese) about applying to the MSGIS program, please click here.
  • To download a step-by-step guide (in PDF) to submitting application materials to the UMD Graduate School, please click here.
  • For a note on this program's name, 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 MSGIS program. 

Research topics of the 2019-2020 MSGIS cohort, presented in November 2021:

  • Comparative Study of Spatial Statistical Methods: Taking Suzhou as an Example;
  • Web Map Service for Tours of Hengdian World Studios, China;
  • Web GIS Platform that Provides Tourist Information and Surrounding Environment for Tourists in Hefei, China;
  • Establish a Web-GIS Applications for Visualization and Analysis spatial pattern of residential area and accessibility of service facilities within 15-minute life circle in Shenzhen;
  • AKURA: Seek a Key You Really Adore: A site selection system for house buying based on web GIS technology;
  • Landslide Susceptibility Mapping based on Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP): A Case Study from the Yibin, Southwest China;
  • GIS Map Network Application for Photography Sharing and Communication Website;
  • Potential Geographical Distribution of Desert Plants under Future Climatic Conditions in Xinjiang, China;
  • China's National Intangible Heritage and Tourism Web GIS Application;
  • Forest Fire Risk Prediction for Australia
  • Housing Price Analysis Model and Price Prediction Application in Taiyuan, China.

Research topics of the 2018-2019 cohort, presented in November 2019:

  • Spatiotemporal Analysis of Public Sentiment with Twitter : A Case Study in New York City, USA;
  • Developing a Habitat Suitability Model for Jaguar in Pantanal, Brazil;
  • Flood Risk Analysis in Louisiana Using Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP);
  • Indoor & Outdoor 3D Model Construction and Navigation Planning Based on Crowdsourcing Data;
  • Demonstration of Wetland Water Regimes Mapping in Alaska From Optical and Radar Images;
  • Effect of Potato Field Fertilization on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Yields in U.S. Eastern Seaboard Region;
  • Analyzing Spatiotemporal Hotspot Crime Patterns on Weekdays and Weekends;
  • The Changes in the Southern Amazon Basin Following Degradation and Deforestation From 2015 to 2019;
  • Spatial Analysis of Pedestrian Traffic Accidents in Washington, D.C. Based on GIS;
  • Economic Estimation of Countries Along the Belt and Road Region Based on Nighttime Lighting Remote Sensing Data;
  • Modeling and Mapping Forest Fire Risks in the Northwest of Brazil Using Remote Sensing and GIS;
  • Temporal and Spatial Analysis of Housing Prices: A Case Study of Nantong, China;
  • ONTRAVEL: Mobile Application Map Game Design For A New Way of Traveling;
  • Evaluating the Validity of Split-Window (SW) and Improved Mono-Window (IMW) Algorithm for Land Surface Temperature (LST) Retrieval from Landsat 8 Data;
  • Is There Any Relationship between Air Quality and Urban Area Change in Montgomery County, Maryland?;
  • Social App for Theater Lovers: An App Integrates Reading Performance Reviews with Getting Location on Map.

Research topics of the inaugural (2017-2018) cohort, presented in November 2018:

  • Space-Time Analysis and Spatial Modeling of Lyme Disease Cases in the USA, 2001-2015;
  • Choosing the Optimal Locations of Expansion for Bike-share System: A Case Study in Washington, D.C.;
  • Risk Assessment of Landslide Geological Hazard using AHP and Logistic Regression: A Case Study of California, USA.


Capitol GIS Graphic