Dec 07, 2023  
2020-2021 SGPP Catalog and Handbook 
2020-2021 SGPP Catalog and Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Data Intelligence and GeoAnalytics, M.S.

Program Description

The Master of Science in Data Intelligence and GeoAnalytics is a technology-enriched 36-credit graduate degree. The degree is intended to prepare learners with a solid foundation of hands-on technology to leverage new, exciting approaches in analytics and intelligence fields: 1) data acquisition, 2) data engineering, 3) principles of data science, and 4) geoanalytics and visual intelligence. These key areas are designed to provide a solid foundation in understanding technology, data development, data analysis, research, decision making, and presentation/communication skills vital for organizational effectiveness. Data intelligence provides insight to address questions about data:  where to find it, how to assess it, what it means, how to organize it, how to display it, how to create meaning from it, how to leverage it for decision making, and how to share it. Geoanalytics provides a powerful combination of information and analytics with geographic information systems (GIS) to meet growing demands sought after in today’s market of integrated technology solutions.

The integration of data intelligence and geoanalytics is ideal for a wide range of data-rich fields, such as public health analytics, natural resource management, business applications, urban planning, public safety, public policy, political science, demographics, and government applications. For example, it is possible to assess impacts to healthcare populations by forecasting illness or disease outbreaks, such as influenza, that will escalate in geographic areas. Evaluating data intelligence on how outbreaks will respond makes it easier to strategize localized planning logistics for providing vaccines. In learning how to couple GIS technology with growing data intelligence capabilities, graduates will be more versatile in integrating technology and data science platforms, addressing issues, and solving real-world problems to generate more informed perspectives in decision making.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze geospatial data.
  2. Apply skills in data collection, data engineering, and database administration.
  3. Develop custom applications and scripts for visualization and analytics.
  4. Engage in complex critical thinking.
  5. Design effective projects and research.
  6. Communicate with clarity and coherence.
  7. Evaluate the ethical and legal implications of decision making.

Program Structure and Delivery

Courses are delivered in the blended format, integrating face-to-face classroom meetings and online activities or interactions in a planned, instructionally valuable manner.

Students may use up to 21 credits from both the Data Engineering Certificate  and the Geographic Information Science (GIS) Certificate  or 15 credits from the GIS Certificate only or 12 credits from the Data Engineering Certificate only toward completing the M.S. in Data Intelligence & GeoAnalytics.  

Degree Requirements

Required Core Program Courses 33 cr.
Contextual Application Elective Courses 3 cr.
Total 36 cr.



The faculty members for this program have earned doctorate or master’s degrees. Faculty are selected for their combination of educational and professional experience and expertise.

Admission Requirements

Applicants may apply for admission to master’s degree programs at any time during the year. Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants must demonstrate the language proficiency necessary for successful graduate coursework. Applicants may complete an interview with a program administrator as part of the admission process.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel), and
  2. An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated on a course by course basis by a university accepted evaluation service, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards).  Evaluations from an approved member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services ( will also be accepted.
  3. A reflective essay which includes the following:
    1. brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
    2. statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and their reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
    3. description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
    4. personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. Letter(s) of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability; and
  5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  6. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.)

Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities Campus.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Admission
2500 Park Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55404