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University of Wisconsin

Madison , Wisconsin ,United States


People often ask, “So you’re a cartographer? Hasn’t everything already been mapped?” No, cartographers are not explorers charting frontiers in an ancient time; we are artists, community organizers, data scientists, visual storytellers, and full-stack web developers. In an era of massive data sets and location-based apps, maps and geospatial data have never been more important, and the UW–Madison Cartography and GIS major covers the conceptual foundations and technical skills needed to harness maps and geospatial data to solve society’s most pressing problems.

Courses range from graphic design and web mapping to big data analytics and mobile app development, with all courses having an important laboratory component to work with industry-standard cartography and GIS technology. So, yes, everywhere has been mapped in some form, but in a dynamic world driven by information and technology, cartographers are needed more now than ever to help us understand our changing planet.



  • Aug

Application Processing Time in Days: 10

Minimum English Language Requirements

English Level Description IELTS (1.0 -9.0) TOEFL IBT (0-120) TOEFL CBT (0-300) PTE (10-90)
Expert 9 120 297-300 86-90
Very Good 8.5 115-119 280-293 83-86
Very Good 8 110-114 270-280 79-83
Good 7.5 102-109 253-267 73-79
Good 7 94-101 240-253 65-73
Competent 6.5 79-93 213-233 58-65
Competent 6 60-78 170-210 50-58
Modest 5.5 46-59 133-210 43-50
Modest 5 35-45 107-133 36-43
Limited 4 32-34 97-103 30-36
Extremely Limited < 4 < 31 < 93 < 30

Job Opportunity Potential

Cartography and GIS is a booming profession, but remains one of the biggest secrets on campus because of the limited treatment of geography in K-12 education. The Department of Labor reported that there were 425,000 US residents working in the geospatial industry in 2010, and the National Research Council estimates this could exceed 2 million by 2020. Cartography and GIS recently was rated the #1 profession in engineering, in part due to its extremely low unemployment rate (less than 1% of students with degrees!), strong future growth of the job market, and relatively low-stress rating. Our alumni work in local, national, and international government positions, as well as in private industry, including firms such as Apple, Google, Facebook, and Uber, and media outlets such as National Geographic, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

PSW Opportunity

  • 12 to 36 months( OPT duration depends on the major studied)

Admission Requirement / Eligibility Criteria

If you are currently enrolled in high school: Official transcripts from your U.S. high school, as well as transcripts for any secondary work (grades 9–12) completed prior to enrollment in a U.S. high school. Your current U.S. high school may submit their copy of your prior school transcript.


If you are currently enrolled in high school at the time of application:

  • An official copy of grade 10 secondary school examination board results officiated or attested by school official*
  • Internal grades for coursework taken in grades 11 and 12, through time of application.
  • In order to finalize admission, students must supply an officiated or attested copy of their grade 12 senior secondary board results. 

If you have already completed high school at the time of application: Attested secondary and senior secondary/intermediate education board results*

*Board results listed on transcripts are not sufficient; we require attested copies of the actual results certificates issued by the examining board.


Students may declare Honors in the Cartography and GIS Major in consultation with the Geography undergraduate advisor.


To earn Honors in the Major in Cartography and GIS, students must satisfy both the requirements for the major (above) and the following additional requirements:

  • Earn a 3.300 overall university GPA
  • Earn a 3.300 GPA for all GEOG courses, and all courses accepted in the major
  • Complete GEOG 578: GIS Applications with a grade of B or better
  • Complete at least one advanced-level course OR 6 credits of honors credits in the major at the 300 level or above
  • Complete a two-semester Senior Honors Thesis in GEOG 681 Senior Honors Thesis and GEOG 682 Senior Honors Thesis, a piece of original research composition, for a total of 6 credits.

  • Course Type: Full Time
  • Course Level: Bachelors/UG Degree
  • Duration: 04 Year  
  • Total Tuition Fee: 154616 USD
    Annual Cost of Living: 12000 USD
    Application Fee: 60 USD
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