Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

In this specialization, you will build specialized skills and knowledge in geographic information systems (GIS) to help businesses, organizations, public agencies, and communities make important decisions. Through hands-on experiences, you will learn how to use GIS technology to develop maps, analyze geospatial data, and help people and organizations visualize, analyze, and interpret data to effect positive social change. For example, you can apply GIS to help communities and businesses:

  • Plan evacuation routes in disaster-prone areas.
  • Understand the spread and transmission of diseases.
  • Plan transportation systems.
  • Better understand the impact of climate change on geography and natural environments.
  • Plan marketing campaigns, evaluate product placement and business locations, and improve communication.

This program will prepare you to take the exam required for certification as a Geographic Information System Professional (GISP)®.

Minimum Completion Requirements

  • 88 quarter credits
    • Core courses (53 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (minimum 20 cr.)
  • Professional Development Plan
  • Four PhD residencies to equal a minimum of 16 days
  • Minimum of 8 or 9 quarters’ enrollment depending on the transfer of credits awarded

Walden students have 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.

New Core Courses

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code PPPA 8004
PPPA 8004I
Course Foundations for Doctoral Studies

Foundations for Doctoral Studies for International Students
Credits (3 cr.)

(3 cr.)
Course Code PPPA 8405 Course Ethics and Social Justice Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code PPPA 8465 Course Strategic Planning: Collaboration, Cooperation, and Coordination Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8110 Course Research Theory, Design, and Methods Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code PPPA 8431 Course Finance and Budgeting for the Public Sector Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code PPPA 8111 Course Leadership and Organizational Change Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code DDPA 8204 Course Fundamentals of Mapping and Geographic Information Systems Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8210 Course Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code DDPA 8205 Course Spatial Analysis and Modeling Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8310 Course Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code DDPA 8206 Course GIS Research Methodology Credits (5 cr.)
Course Code RSCH 8260
RSCH 8360
RSCH 8460
Course Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis
Credits (5 cr.)

(5 cr.)

(5 cr.)
Course Code PPPA 8115 Course Writing a Quality Prospectus Credits (5 cr.)

Doctoral Writing Assessment

Course Code Course Credits
Course Code DRWA 8000 Course Doctoral Writing Assessment Credits (0 cr.)
Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.
Man researching online education on laptop
Request Free Information
Request Free Information

Fill out this form to get free information on courses, admissions and financial aid from your personal advisor.

Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.

Fill out this form to get free information on courses, admissions and financial aid from your personal advisor.

Please use our Domestic Form if you live in the U.S.
*Required Field
Academic Interests
Contact Information
Invalid email address
Please provide a valid phone number
Please provide a valid zipcode
Additional Information

By submitting this form, I understand and agree that Walden University may contact me via email, text, telephone, and prerecorded message regarding furthering my education and that calls may be generated using automated technology. You may opt out at any time. Please view our privacy policy or contact us for more details.


By checking this box, I agree that Walden University may contact me by email, text message, autodialed telephone call, and prerecorded message at the contact information provided above regarding opportunities and offers to further my education. I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time and that my consent is not a condition of any purchase. I have received the Walden University Privacy Policy