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.)
    • Elective courses (15 cr.)
    • Capstone courses (minimum 20 cr.)
  • Two residencies to equal a minimum of 8 days

Walden students have up to 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/doctoral study, 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/doctoral study 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.


Quarter Course Code Course Credits
Quarter 1 Course Code DDPA 8003
DDPA 8003I
Course Foundations for Doctoral Studies

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

(3 cr.)
Quarter 1 Course Code DDPA 8405 Course Ethics and Social Justice Credits (5 cr.)
Quarter 2 Course Code DDPA 8390 Course Strategic Context of Public Management and Leadership Credits (5 cr.)
Quarter 2 Course Code RSCH 8110 Course Research Theory, Design, and Methods Credits (5 cr.)
Quarter 3 Course Code DDPA 8382 Course Public Policy and Finance Credits (5 cr.)
Quarter 3 Course Code DDPA 8200 Course Management Techniques for the Public Sector Credits (5 cr.)
Quarter 4 Course Code DDPA 8111 Course Leadership and Organizational Change Credits (5 cr.)
Quarter 4 Course Code RSCH 8210 Course Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis Credits (5 cr.)
Quarter 5 Course Code DDPA 8112 Course Governance and Public Policy Credits (5 cr.)
Quarter 5 Course Code DDPA 8204 Course Fundamentals of Mapping and Geographic Information Systems Credits (5 cr.)
Quarter 6 Course Code DDPA 8210 Course Analytics for Evidence-Based Decision Making Credits (5 cr.)
Quarter 6 Course Code DDPA 8205 Course Spatial Analysis and Modeling Credits (5 cr.)
Quarter 7 Course Code DDPA 8206 Course GIS Research Methodology Credits (5 cr.)
Quarter 7 Course Code DDPA 8300 Course Writing Applied Research and Funding Proposals Credits (5 cr.)
Quarter 8-11 Course Code DDPA 8400 Course Professional Administrative Study Credits (5 cr. per term for a minimum of four terms until completion)

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.
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Questions about our Doctor of Public Administration?
Questions about our Doctor of Public Administration?
We're here to help. Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.
We're here to help. Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our Domestic Form if you live in the U.S.
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