GIS Certificate

GIS Certificate

See also:

The College of the Environment Spatial Institute offers a GIS Minor, a GIS Certificate, and a major in Environmental Studies with a GIS emphasis. Admission to these programs is by APPLICATION only. Some upper division GIS courses are restricted to GIS Certificate students and GIS majors only. Contact Dr. Aquila Flower for more information.

The GIS Certificate is open to undergraduates, graduates, and post-baccalaureate students not currently enrolled in another degree. Students in any major are welcome to apply. 

Applicants should complete ENVS-320 (or be currently enrolled) prior to applying.

Geographic Information Science CERTIFICATE

Required courses* (with a grade of B- or better):

  •   GIS CORE Courses (19 credits):
    • ENVS-320             GIS I: Introduction to GIScience (4)
    • ENVS-418             GIS II: Cartography and Geovisualization (5)
    • ENVS-420            GIS III: Analysis and Modeling (5)
    • ENVS-421            GIS IV: Advanced GIS Applications (5)
  •   GIS ELECTIVES from the following list (3 credits):
    • ENVS-422          Advanced Spatial Analysis (4)
    • ENVS-423          GIS Processing and Analysis (3)
    • ESCI-442            Introduction to Remote Sensing (5)
    • ENVS-499Q       Topics in GIS Seminars/Workshops
    • ENVS-499O        Professional Geographer
    • ENVS-495          Teaching Practicum
    • ENVS-498          Internship, Thesis, or Project
  •   QUANTITATIVE METHODS (one class, 4-5 credits): 
    • ENVS-322         Analysis of Spatial Data (4)
    • ESCI-340            Biostatistical Analysis (5)
    • ANTH-335        Quantitative Methods in Anthropology (5)
    • Math-240          Intro to Statistics (4)
    • BIOL-340           Biometrics (5)
    • Soc-304             Statistics for Sociology (5)

The Geographic Information Science Certificate provides students with in-depth training in Geographic Information Science theory and techniques. Through an intensive series of courses in GIS, statistics, and remote sensing and the completion of original research projects, students will gain advanced skills in the development, management, analysis, and visualization of spatial data. The certificate prepares students for careers as geospatial analysts and GIS technicians, and is a valuable complement to many majors. Note that students completing the GIS Certificate can also apply for and receive the GIS Minor.

To apply for the GIS Certificate see: APPLICATION

Admission to the GIS Certificate program is competitive and space may be limited. 

Applications are due by May 1st.

Contact Dr. Aquila Flower for more information.


Priority enrollment for ENVS-420 (GIS III: Analysis and Modeling) and beyond (ENVS-421ENVS-422, etc.), is given to students who have been accepted into the GIS Certificate program. Once GIS Certificate students have enrolled any additional seats will be open to GIS Minors and/or general registration.   

GIS Certificate students may also receive the GIS Minor and classes can be double-counted for both degrees (but must declare as such).


Class Schedules for the GIS Minor and the GIS Certificate

Students considering the GIS Certificate should note that many of the classes are only offered once per year. Given that almost all of these classes are also sequential, completing the minor or certificate requires at least two years. Spreading these courses over three years is recommended if at all possible (e.g., taking ENVS-320 during the Sophomore year). Likewise, taking as many as possible during the Junior year is also recommended (e.g., completing most or ALL of the 400-level courses). Be aware that all of the 400-level courses are work intensive (so taking 5 of them in the same year will leave very little time for any other pursuits). Completing most of the courses before your Senior year will allow you to apply your GIS knowledge to research projects in your other 400-level classes and will make you qualified to apply for GIS-focused internships during or prior to your Senior year.