How Do I Earn a GIS Certificate?

A geographic information systems (GIS) certificate explores mapping, accessing and archiving geographical data. Read on to learn more about how to earn a GIS certificate, and what program levels are available. Schools offering Culture & Media Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Obtaining a GIS Certificate

If you want to work in a field that uses geographical data, you may be required to operate a geographic information system. Many professionals, such as surveyors, photogrammetrists, cartographers and mapping technicians, use GIS technology. A GIS combines software, hardware and data to capture, manage, evaluate and display geographically referenced information. GIS certificate programs provide you with a background and training in GIS through the completion of coursework covering areas like GIS applications and programming.

Important Facts About This Field Of Study

Prerequisites Program-dependent, but minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent for an undergraduate certificate and minimum of a bachelor's degree for a graduate certificate.
Common Courses Computer cartography, remote sensing, surveying, informatics
Possible Careers Cartographer, photogrammetrist
Degree Field Geography, cartography

Finding GIS Certificate Programs

Many universities and community colleges throughout the country offer GIS certificate programs. In addition to campus-based programs, many schools also offer online GIS certificate programs that can be completed over the Internet. These programs train you to manage and develop geographic information projects and use software like ArcGIS. Depending on the level of training you want to complete, you may find GIS certificate programs available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Undergraduate GIS Certificate Programs

If you are new to GIS study, you may find that undergraduate certificate programs often include classes involving cartography. Such coursework deals with deciphering map data and performing field mapping. Other topics covered in an undergraduate GIS certificate program include the theory behind GIS, applications of GIS and the analysis of aerial photography.

Graduate GIS Certificate Programs

You will find that graduate-level certificate programs are typically designed for those who have completed a bachelor's degree program in surveying or geography. In some cases, the courses of a graduate-level GIS certificate program satisfy a portion of the requirements of a master's degree in geographic information systems. You may obtain the certificate while you are working toward a different type of degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

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  • Maryville University

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

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  • Concordia University Portland

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  • University of Pennsylvania

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    • Maryland: Towson
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    • Florida: Gainesville