Top 10 Questions For Potential Program Applicants

  • Completion of the program allows you to apply for positions that many GIS students are not qualified for.
  • Your starting income is likely to be higher than students who do not hold a Master's degree.
  • You will have higher status within the workplace, and better access to promotions.
  • The program is normally two full years in length (September - August) if taken full-time.
  • For those completing the program while maintaining fulltime work a more realistic timeframe to completion is three years.
  • Students who qualify for Advanced Placement into Stage 2 will be able to complete the program in one full year (September - August).
  • Stage 1 of the program may be taken face-to-face at the Nanaimo campus, or entirely online.
  • Stage 2 may be taken entirely online, or in a blended mode which requires students to attend classes at the Nanaimo campus.
  • For some students, this program will be the most difficult but most rewarding thing that they have ever done.
  • Students who have already completed a Post-Graduate GIS Diploma will know the kind of workload to expect, but will be expected to demonstrate a higher level of self-direction and independence than in the previous program.

The Admissions process for the Master of GIS Application depends on where you come from, and what your background is:

For Domestic Students

Students with limited GIS Experience (A Bachelor degree in any discipline, plus at least one applied course in GIS):

Students holding a Post-graduate GIS Diploma (equivalent to VIU's Advanced Diploma in GIS Applications) with grades in all courses higher than a "B":

  • Advanced placement into Stage 2 of the MGISA program
  • Students who do not have all grades higher than a "B" in all courses may apply to take these courses again, prior to applying for Stage 2 (Note: this does not automatically guarantee entry into Stage 2; entry is still a competitive process)

For International Students

  • Admission policies are identical to those for Domestic Students above, but you also need to meet the general requirements for entry into VIU. See VIU International Admissions.
  • Official copies of all post-secondary transcripts, demonstrating that you hold a bachelor's degree at an accredited post-secondary institution.
  • Evidence that you have completed an introductory GIS course. For information on acceptable courses and challenge options for fulfilling this requirement, please see Prerequisite GIS Courses.
  • A resume of academic and professional experience.
  • A cover letter explaining, in your own words, how the MGISA program will contribute to your career plans.
  • A preliminary description of the research topic you wish to pursue.
  • Two letters of recommendation (references) - not required if you are a graduate of VIU's Advanced Diploma in GISA. Refer to the reference letter template.
  • If your first language is not English, your TOEFL or IELTS score sheet.
  • Dedicated, experienced GIS faculty who are experts in their fields.
  • VIU has a staff of 6 GIS experts with a variety of backgrounds that can serve as research project supervisors.
  • Training program focused on practical and personal skills that are required in the job market.
  • You can apply to VIU online, by mailing in an application form, or in-person at the Registration and Admissions Centre (Nanaimo Campus, Building 200, Room 340).