Geographic Information Science - Undergraduate Certificate

Geographic Information Science

Undergraduate Certificate

Course Delivery

On Campus, Online, Hybrid

Total Credits

20 Credits

About the Geographic Information Science Certificate Program

GIScience is enabling a better and smarter world.

Our GIS Certificate program is available to all UCCS active undergraduate and graduate students in any major. With 20 credit requirements from 5 courses, students can earn the certificate in a short time with low tuition costs. After graduation, students can work in a variety of fields. The average annual salary for GIS professionals is more than $70,000. Since 2012, more than 100 UCCS students have earned the certificate and 85% of them got GIS-related jobs.

Focus of Study

Scientists, practitioners, and policymakers 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 the world through large and rich geospatial data sources acquired through remotely sensed 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 of the built environment and nature. GIScience creates a better and smarter world.

Our GIS Certificate program was founded in 2012. Our program’s success is reflected in 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 geo-visualization, spatial analysis and modeling, satellite-based imagery analysis, python programming for geo-processing automation, and 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 3030) - 4 credits
  2. Introduction to Remote Sensing (GES 3060) - 4 credits
  3. Advanced GIS (GES 4080) - 4 credits (GES 3030 is a prerequisite, GES 4000 is highly recommended)

Any Two Elective Courses (8 credits)

  1. Cartography (GES 3050) - 4 credits
  2. Introduction to Geospatial Computing (GES 4130) - 4 credits (GES 3030 is a prerequisite)
  3. Geovisualization (GES 4070) - 4 credits (GES 3030 is a prerequisite)
  4. Image Processing (GES 4090) - 4 credits (GES 3060 is a prerequisite)
  5. Internet GIS (GES 4120) - 4 credits (GES 3030 is a prerequisite)
  6. Spatial Database (GES 4040) - 4 credits (GES 3030 is a prerequisite)