Geographic Information Science - Graduate Certificate

Geographic Information Science

Graduate Certificate Program

Program Delivery

On Campus, Online, Hybrid

Total Credits

20 Credits

About the Geographic Information Science Certificate Program

Students in a UCCS graduate program are eligible to earn the GIScience Certificate for Graduate Students.

The Certificate coordinator also welcomes non-degree status graduate students who anticipate admittance to a UCCS graduate program to take the required courses (e.g., make progress towards completing the Certificate). Note that this is not a stand-alone Certificate. As such, students cannot earn the Certificate without completing a graduate degree (MA in Applied Geography or other). 

The Certificate consists of three required and two elective courses. Students must complete 20 credit hours: 12 from the required courses and 8 from the set of elective courses. A minimum grade of B- must be earned in all certificate courses and students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Focus of Study

Scientists, practitioners, and policy makers around the world are addressing so many of our planet’s increasing challenges, from loss of nature and lacking biodiversity to ongoing social conflict. At the same time, we hold the opportunity to better understand about the world through large and rich geospatial data sources acquired through remotely sense imagery, global satellite navigation systems, mapping and wireless technologies, and cellular systems. GIScience provides a platform to digitally model our world and bring together disconnected data through data management and integration, mapping and visualization, analysis, and modeling. GIScience – its methodologies, technologies, and people – embraces our understanding about the built environment and the nature. GIScience creates a better and smarter world.

Our GIS Certificate program was founded in 2012. Our program’s success is reflected through the alumni’s high rate of employment in GIS-related fields. Our course contents are selectively designed to provide students with the most important and state-of-the-art knowledge and technologies in geospatial data science. These include geospatial data management, cartography and geovisualization, spatial analysis and modelling, satellite-based imagery analysis, python programming for geoprocessing automation, web mapping and analysis.

Courses are taught by our accredited GES Faculty and staff members who are nationally and internationally recognized for their GIScience research. The classrooms are supported by two enterprise GIS servers and two labs with 40 computers. Our students are also fully supported with remote desktop connection to the labs. The labs include the latest state-of-the-art GIS computing software - ESRI ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Online and Enterprise, PostgreSQL/PostGIS and SQL Express database servers, QGIS, ENVI, and IDRISI. We also support students’ projects with map plotters, GPS/DGPS units, and drones for mapping.

Department of Labor Occupation and Summary Report: Geographic Information Systems Technologists and Technicians

US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Cartographers and Photogrammetrists 

Program Requirements

After completing the following coursework requirements, student must submit an application to the certificate coordinator, Dr. Diep Dao ( and to GES Finance and Human Resources Professional, Monica Killebrew ( Applications are processed two times during an academic year, at the end of each Spring and Fall semester. Additionally, applications submitted during the summertime (5/15 - 8/15) will be processed at the beginning of the following Fall semester.

Program Coursework

Three Required Courses (12 credits)

  1. Introduction to GIS (GES 5030) - 4 credits
  2. Introduction to Remote Sensing (GES 5060) - 4 credits
  3. Advanced GIS (GES 5080) - 4 credits (GES 5030 is a prerequisite, GES 5000 is highly recommended)

Any Two Elective Courses (8 credits)

  1. Cartography (GES 5050) - 4 credits
  2. Introduction to Geospatial Computing (GES 5130) - 4 credits (GES 5030 is a prerequisite)
  3. Geovisualization (GES 5070) - 4 credits (GES 5030 is a prerequisite)
  4. Image Processing (GES 5090) - 4 credits (GES 5060 is a prerequisite)
  5. Internet GIS (GES 5120) - 4 credits (GES 5030 is a prerequisite)
  6. Spatial Database (GES 5040) - 4 credits (GES 5030 is a prerequisite)