GeoDesign is 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 GIS and related technologies for rapid analyses, impact simulations, decision-making and transparent communication with all stakeholders.
Graduates will possess sought-after GIS 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 in the fall. This foundation course is not included in the 36-credits required to complete the degree.
GeoDesign 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 MS in GeoDesign is a 36-credit program. If students go fulltime, or take 12 credits per semester, they can finish in three consecutive semesters—fall, spring and summer. Fewer than 12 credits is considered part-time. 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 MS in Sustainable Design. Several courses are common to both degrees. Contact the Program Directors of either program for more information.
The definition of design has been broadly expanded in this program. We seek a mix of landscape architects, architects, urban planners, geographers/GIS specialists, engineers, etc. If still concerned, contact the Program Director.
Admission to the MS in 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 MS in 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.