Earth and Ocean Sciences

Graduate Certificate in GIS

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Geographic Information Science

Fall Admission Deadline: July 1
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:

  • Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in this country or its equivalent in a foreign institution based on a four-year program;
  • Strong academic performance in an undergraduate curriculum indicated by a minimum of 3.0 GPA or its equivalent;
  • Indication of graduate academic potential reflected by the three letters of recommendation; and
  • Strong personal statement that indicates future plans as a GIS professional.

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

  • An application for admission to the graduate school; (

    Fall Admission Deadline: July 1
    Spring Admission Deadline: November 15

  • Official transcripts of all prior university or college coursework (undergraduate and graduate);
  • Three recommendations by individuals in professionally relevant fields; and
  • A personal statement describing reasons for pursuing the GIScience certificate.

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.

Program Requirements

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.