Graduate Programs

The Department of Geography and Environmental Systems is at the interface between natural science, social science, public policy, engineering and information technology, with faculty who have background and collaborative relationships in both research and teaching related to all of these areas. The Department offers graduate programs leading to the M.S. degree and Ph.D. degree. Both non-thesis and thesis M.S. options are available.


(1) The application deadline for Fall admission to our graduate program is February 1. Applications can be completed online through the Graduate School’s web page: http://www.umbc.edu/gradschool/admissions/apply.html NOTE: International students must submit their materials earlier than the Department’s deadline of Feb 1. Please see the UMBC Graduate School website for more information.

(2) Current students who will be seniors in the Fall can apply for the Accelerated M.S. program. Here are some key points about the program:

  • Designed for current undergraduates who would like to begin their graduate education while completing the Bachelor’s degree in their senior year
  • Students can complete up to 9 credits of graduate courses in their senior year while paying tuition at the undergraduate rate
  • Application and degree requirements are the same as for the regular graduate degree; GRE scores for students applying for the Accelerated M.S. can be submitted through Feb. 1st.
  • Three letters of recommendation required, no more than two from GES faculty

To See the Catalogue Copy for the Geography and Environmental Systems Graduate Program Click Here.


For those seeking professional training that will allow them to serve as managers and analysts in the geospatial technology industry, you may also wish to consider pursuing the new Master in Professional Studies (MPS) in Geographic Information Systems, to be offered at the Shady Grove campus in Rockville, MD. The MPS program focuses on the combination of GIS, computer science, database management, and applications development. The web site for this program is: http://www.umbc.edu/shadygrove/mpsgisgrad.html.

UMBC hosts:

  • the field headquarters of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, an NSF and U.S. Forest Service-supported Urban Long-Term Ecological Research Site;
  • the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) and Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center (GEST), both of which are components of a NASA/UMBC consortium focusing on earth systems science and the application of remote sensing technology to monitoring of the earth’s atmosphere and surface;
  • the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE), focusing on the environmental, social and economic consequences of landscape transformation associated with urban and suburban development;
  • the U.S. Geological Survey Water Science Center for the MD-DE-DC region, which is located in the campus Research Park with a staff of 60+ personnel;

Christopher Swan, Graduate Program Director
Department of Geography & Environmental Systems

Eugene P. (Sandy) Parker, Chair
Department of Geography & Environmental Systems

University of Maryland, Baltimore County
1000 Hilltop Circle
211 Sondheim Hall
Baltimore, MD 21250
(410) 455-2002