Graduate Certificate in GIS

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Geographic Information Science

Fall Admission Deadline: April 15
Spring Admission Deadline: November 15

Geographic Information Science (GISci or GIScience) is the academic theory behind the development, use, and application of geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, data visualization, global positioning systems, spatial analysis, and quantitative methods. The purpose for this graduate certificate in GIScience is to provide students with a solid foundation in GIScience and enable the students to explore application areas that utilize this technology. The curriculum is a mixture of core courses that teach the fundamental theory and application of geospatial technology and electives that cover the vast range of this burgeoning technology in disciplines such as computer programming; field methods including GPS technology and spatial analysis; environmental and ecological applications; geological applications in oceanography, coastal and upland environments; and quantitative analysis and database management. The graduate certificate in GIScience is intended to provide a mixture of theory and practical knowledge. The GIS certificate is designed to serve: 1) students who wish to acquire technical expertise to support knowledge gained in other graduate programs and 2) returning students who wish to acquire expertise to further their current and/or future job requirements.  At the end of the program, students will employ a balanced combination of theory of spatial concepts and practical application of GIScience techniques to spatial problems in their own field of study.


Applicants seeking admission to the GIScience certificate program must meet the following requirements:

To apply for admission to the Post-Baccalaureate GIScience certificate program you must submit the following:

Individuals who fall below one of these criteria may be admitted if other factors indicate potential for success.  Individuals with identified deficiencies may be accepted provisionally with a specific plan for the remediation of these deficiencies.  Such remediation may include a requirement of additional hours beyond those normally required for the degree.


Given that the goal for the certificate program is to provide students with a balanced theoretical and applied education in GIScience, the curriculum consists of 10 core, or GIScience theory, credits and 9 elective, or applied, credits for a total of 19 credits.

Core courses: 10 credits

GGY 520: Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems (3)

GGY 522 (422): Remote Sensing in Environmental Analysis (3)

GGY 524 (424): Advanced Geographic Information Systems (4) OR

GGY 526 (426): Environmental Geographic Information Systems (4)

Electives: 9 credits with a minimum of 3 credits from each category

Category 1: Computing Techniques:

CSC 515 (415): Artificial Intelligence (3) Prerequisite: CSC 332 or equivalent

CSC 517: Symbolic Artificial Intelligence (3)

CSC 520: Digital Image Processing (3) Prerequisite: CSC 340 or equivalent

CSC 570: Real-Time Graphics (3) Prerequisites: CSC 370 or equivalent

CSC 572: Scientific Visualization (3) Prerequisite: CSC 332 or equivalent, senior or graduate standing in a science program, or permission of instructor

MIS/MBA 513: Information Analysis and Management (3)

MIS 555: Database Management Systems (3)

MIS 560: Data Mining (3)

MIS 565: Analysis, Modeling and Design (3) Prerequisite: CSC 450 or MIS 411 and MIS 413 or equivalent

Category 2: Applied Techniques:

BIO 561: Barrier Island Ecology

BIO 580: Field Studies

CRM/SOC 504: Data Analysis (3) OR STT 501: Applied Statistical Methods (3) OR PLS 501: Quantitative Methods (3)

EVS 554: Remote Sensing for Environmental Management (3)

EVS 555: Geospatial Analysis for Environmental Management (3)

GLY 503: Advanced Field Methods (4)

GLY 551: Seafloor Mapping (3)

PHY 577 (477): Observational Methods and Data Analysis in Physical Oceanography (3)

PLS 504: Computer Applications and MIS in Public Administration (3)

STT 505: Data Analysis (3)

Additional graduate courses that contain a substantial amount of geospatial technology, including transfer courses, may be applied to the program as approved by the Program Director. Up to 6 hours of appropriate graduate coursework completed with a “B” or better at an accredited university will be considered for transfer into the certificate program by the admissions committee.

Student Learning Outcomes for the Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science

1. Investigate and design a research project.

2. Gather, manipulate and analyze data through technical data processing.

3. Describe the methods used to address a geographical problem or issue.

4. Coherently synthesize and present results.

Program Coordinator

Please contact Dr. Joanne N. Halls ( if you have any questions about this certificate program.

UNCW GIS website

Web GIS Portal - Includes 2012 project links

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