Academic Certificate

Geographic Information Systems

Build knowledge and skills in the world of GIS

Contact and location

Credits & Duration

  • 28 credits
  • 4-8 quarters


Start Term

  • Fall

What You'll Learn

This certificate introduces you to the exciting and expanding world of geographic information systems.

GIS is a rapidly-growing field with wide applicability around the world. Government agencies and companies use GIS to manage large spatial databases, generate maps and apps, conduct spatial analysis and support decisions. In business, science, and policy, GIS informs the allocation of assets, tradeoffs between alternatives, environmental risks, and many other issues.

In this certificate program, you’ll learn principles of geography and tools of spatial analysis to understand the connections between physical, cultural, historical, and other properties of the environment. You will also learn to create maps and interactive apps including interactive map viewers, 3D scenes, story maps, and dashboards.

In order to complete this certificate in one year, students must begin in the fall quarter and take two courses each quarter. Students seeking the certificate over two years have more flexibility and can benefit by prioritizing the first three courses in the sequence during the first year.

Certificate Prerequisites

The Field Research and Field Data Collection courses will require fieldwork to conduct investigations and collect data. 

To earn this certificate, students are required to earn upper division science credit in GIS with Remote Sensing Imagery and GIS: Field Research Project. Upper division science credit is considered to be junior-senior college level work. Other colleges/universities often use course numbers 300-499 to signify that a course is upper-division.  While you may be eligible to receive upper division credit in GIS for Field Data Collection, it is not required to earn the certificate.

Certificate Coursework

This certificate consists of 28 undergraduate credits. The following core courses must be taken in sequence:

GIS: Introduction and Principles - Fall Quarter, 4 credits
GIS: Mapping with ArcGIS Pro - Winter Quarter, 4 credits
GIS with Remote Sensing Imagery - Spring Quarter, 4 credits*

The following courses may be taken concurrently, prior to, or after completion of the core courses:

GIS and Mapping in Excel - Fall Quarter, 4 credits
GIS: Publishing Story Maps and Apps - Winter Quarter, 4 credits
GIS for Field Data Collection - Spring Quarter, 4 credits

The following course may be taken when all other courses have been complete, it is the final course for the certificate:

GIS: Field Research Project - Summer Quarter, 4 credits*

*Students are required to earn upper division science credits in these courses to earn their certificate.

Learn more about courses in the Academic Catalog