Geodesign is the application of advanced geospatial technology to design and planning of the built environment. It incorporates a process grounded in sustainability for dealing with serious societal and environmental issues through collaborative interactions by various design and planning professionals, geographers and engineers using geospatial and related technologies for rapid analyses, impact simulations, decision-making and transparent communication with all stakeholders.
Graduates will possess sought-after GIS and parametric modeling skills and will be prepared for dynamic careers in interdisciplinary design/planning/engineering firms, state and federal agencies, NGOs, academia and more.
Basic knowledge of GIS is required. If applicants do not have recent GIS training/usage, we offer an accelerated Intro to GIS course the summer before a student starts the program. This foundation course is not included in the 36-credits required to complete the degree.
Students are required to have a high performance laptop computer. Please request laptop specifications from the program director. All GIS related software is provided “free” to the students. Depending upon the studio projects, some rendering software may need to be purchased.
The M.S. in Geospatial Technology for Geodesign is a 36-credit program. If students go full time, or take 9 credits per semester, they can finish in two consecutive years—Fall-Spring and Fall-Spring. However, there is also an 18-month accelerated option to allow completion of the degree in four consecutive semesters – Fall-Spring-Summer-Fall. Part time is possible, but as some technical courses are linked to the design studios, taking at least 9 credits is encouraged each semester. Students can start the program in the Spring, but only as a part-time student.
Yes, classes meet during the evening hours and on Saturdays. Parts of some courses are also conducted virtual/online.
Yes, you can also pursue the M.S. in Sustainable Design. Several courses are common to both degrees. Contact the program directors of either program for more information.
Entering the program with a background and/or education in one of the allied design professions is ideal, however if you have a passion for GIS and are excited about applying GIS to design and planning of the built environment, the M.S. in Geospatial Technology for Geodesign may be right for you. We look for diversity among people and professions and invite all who are interested in innovation, collaboration and the application of sustainable design principles through advanced geospatial technologies to real-world problems to get in touch to see if our program is right for you.
Admission to the M.S. in Geospatial Technology for Geodesign program is rolling and remains open into the summer preceding the fall start and the fall preceding a spring start.
Graduate assistantship applications must be submitted very early (by end of February). Click here for more info about assistantships. Assistantships are not typically awarded to students who are already in the program. Occasionally, a research project will come in and students will be recruited as a graduate research assistant. Sometimes scholarship opportunities become available. These are advertised to all on-campus students. In addition, the term "financial aid" is meant to include available loans that graduate students may or may not qualify for. In addition, campus jobs do become available, but they are also competitive and so students should not assume a job will be automatically available.
Philadelphia is a great city to live in. Like any large American city there is always some risk. The campus is very safe. Students coming from a foreign country should do research on different living options and rental rates. In addition, public transportation routes should be studied to makes sure there is direct transit to campus. It is best to have already lined up several places to live prior the start of the semester.
Philadelphia University is a Middle States Accredited Institution. The M.S. in Geospatial Technology for Geodesign is a post-professional degree focused on specific skills, specialized knowledge, innovative thinking and leadership, and therefore, does not require separate “professional” accreditation.
No. We did not see a correlation between high GRE scores and success in our program.