New Master of GIS Applications Program Approved for VIU

March 26, 2015 - 9:30am

Students can now map their futures in a growing in-demand field through Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) newest master’s program.

VIU has received approval from BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education and the provincial Degree Quality Assessment Board to offer a two-year Master of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Applications program starting in September 2015.

“We’re recruiting students for this exciting new program,” says GIS faculty member Dr. Michael Govorov. “This applied master’s program is closely tied to our existing 10-month Advanced Diploma in GIS Applications program (ADGISA).

“We’ll draw on the expertise of faculty from within the ADGISA program,” adds Govorov. “Students will benefit from small class sizes, quality instruction with high levels of student/professor contact. Students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels (excluding online students) can also count on gaining relevant work experience through practicums with industry partners."

According to GIS faculty, there is a high demand for trained GIS specialists with companies in BC, Canada and around the world. Graduates of the new master’s program will be well-positioned to seek advanced positions as senior consultants, analysts or managers.

In development since 2008, the new master’s program will provide enhanced technical skills for students who have completed GIS programs at VIU and other institutions across Canada. The master’s program is also open to students who are new to GIS but hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university in any discipline, and meet certain admission criteria.

Applicants, who have already completed the ADGISA diploma program at VIU or other post-graduate GIS diploma programs, may be eligible for direct entry into the second year of the program.

Stage one of the master’s program (first year) will be offered at VIU’s Nanaimo campus in September 2015. A fully online option will be available by the following year in January 2016.

“In stage one, students new to GIS will learn the technical background that they need,” explains Govorov.

Stage two (available in September 2016) will focus on teaching students advanced technical and managerial skills. Students will also complete a substantial master’s thesis research project under the supervision of a GIS faculty member in consultation with an industry partner.

According to VIU faculty member Dave Cake, VIU’s ADGISA’s graduates work all over the world, including Australia, the US and all across Canada as GIS software developers, analysts and consultants.

“GIS is a great field to pursue,” says Cake. “One of our graduates flies around in helicopters doing snow surveys all over BC. Others are working for engineering companies, private firms and government ministries on various projects including designing 3D buildings and creating electronic databases. I’m certain our master’s graduates will also find exciting job opportunities in BC and beyond.”

For more information about the new master’s program, contact Dr. Michael Govorov at or 250.753.3245, extension 2729 or go to and



Janina Stajic, Manager, Vancouver Island University

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