Concentration Overview

UChicago's Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS) offers a new Concentration in Geographic Information Science as of Autumn 2019. It consists of five required courses. They are organized as three courses to develop the foundations of rigorous spatial thinking and its incorporation into the methodologies of Geographic Information Sciences, spatial analysis and spatial data science (Introduction to Spatial Data Science, Geographic Information Science I, and Geographic Information Science II).

A fourth course is an independent readings course in order to develop the student’s thesis research (Readings in Spatial Analysis). Students would typically take this course in Winter or Spring quarter to either develop their thesis topic or further refine an on-going thesis project. The fifth course is one out of a set of three courses that either further develop computational aspects of geographic information science (Geographic Information Science III), more advanced statistical treatment (Spatial Regression Analysis), or a practicum that would dovetail the thesis research (GIScience Practicum). Students will also be encouraged - but not required – to attend the weekly Study Group in Spatial Analysis

The sequencing of courses is designed such that students can complete all requirements in one year of study without impacting the required Perspectives course. The students are required to write their MAPSS thesis on a topic that applies spatial analysis and geographic information science to social science research, supervised by one of the faculty in the program (Anselin, Credit, Kolak).


The GIS Concentration requires 5 courses:

GEOG 30500 Introduction to Spatial Data Science (Autumn)
GEOG 38202 Geographic Information Science I (Autumn)
GEOG 38402 Geographic Information Science II (Winter)
GEOG 38700 Readings in Spatial Analysis (Autumn, Winter, Spring)

One course from the following three:

GEOG 38602 Geographic Information Science III (Spring)
GEOG 38000 GIScience Practicum (Spring)
GEOG 40217 Spatial Regression Analysis  (Spring)