Department of Geography, Geographic Information Science and Meteorology

Master of Arts in Geography


The WIU Department of Geography, Geographic Information Science and Meteorology offers a Master of Arts in Geography degree, a GIS certificate and a certificate in community development and planning . Our program has a low student-to-faculty ratio which allows students to receive one-on-one attention and access to faculty members.


The primary areas of faculty mentored graduate research include:


  • planning
  • transportation
  • spatial analysis
  • environmental GIS applications
  • social GIS applications
  • remote sensing
  • GIS visualization
  • cartography
  • river science and geomorphology


Geography is highly interdisciplinary and students with undergraduate degrees in other disciplines are encouraged to apply. The use of geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial technology is rapidly expanding in fields that include agriculture, biology, conservation, emergency management, law enforcement, logistics, meteorology, the military and more. Some students from these fields pursue master’s level credentials in geography and geographic information science (GIScience) to gain skill sets that can expand their career options.


Career Paths

There is demand for professionals with theoretical understanding, real-world problem solving abilities and technical skills in geography and GIScience in private industry, government and education. The US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics lists cartography and photogrammetry among the top 20 occupations with the highest percent chance of employment between 2014 and 2024. Additionally a 2012 study commissioned by Google identifies the rapid growth in demand for geospatial services and projects that the growth will continue.


Financial Assistance

Our department offers multiple graduate assistantships to accepted students providing tuition waivers and monthly stipends in return for work under the supervision of faculty mentors or in the WIU GIS Center where students can build strong portfolios working on real-world GIS projects. All degree-seeking domestic and international students can apply for assistantships. Multiple scholarships are also available to geography graduate students.



For geography program questions please contact:

Dr. Sunita George

(309) 298-1648

For information about Western Illinois University’s admissions process and for general graduate program information please contact:

School of Graduate Studies


Admission Information

M.A. in Geography degree program profile

WIU graduate school homepage (application forms available here)

Graduate catalog

Graduate assistantship information

Graduate assistantship application


International Admission Information

International admissions

International admissions frequently asked questions


Master's Thesis  / Project Guidelines and Procedures