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Geographic Information Systems (Certificate)

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University College offers the region's first complete graduate certificate program in Geographic Information Systems—available entirely online. You’ll receive hands-on experiences in executing GIS projects using remote sensing, internet mapping, and digital image processing. After earning your certificate, move to the GIS master’s degree (MSGISc) offered through the Department of Geography and the Environment.

You will learn:

  • Plan, implement, and execute a GIS project from start to finish

  • Solve real-world problems using the latest GIS technology

  • Produce typical GIS mapping products using cartographic design

Geographic Information Systems Outcomes

This program prepares students to:

  • Understand the nature of geographic data
  • Recognize appropriate applications of GIS technology to solve spatial problems
  • Be able to apply GIS technology to solve real-world problems
  • Be able to plan, implement, and execute a GIS project

Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program, please visit our website at

Required Courses

The graduate Certificate of Advanced Study in Geographic Information Systems requires completion of 24 credit hours (6 courses).

Concentration courses - 8 qtr. hrs

Concentration courses allow students to focus on a specific professional area within the larger industry sector in which they are working or wish to work, and master the skills needed to excel in that area.

Elective courses - 16 qtr. hrs (Choose 4)

Electives may be chosen from among all courses in Geographic Information Systems programs. You may also select courses from other University College graduate programs with approval from the academic director.

Your academic advisor will help you select electives that align with your career and personal goals, and your advisor will obtain any necessary approvals from the academic director.

Popular electives for students pursuing Geographic Information Systems programs include:

Additional Elective courses available, please Design your custom plan for elective courses

Design Your Custom Plan

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Careers in Geographic Information Systems Certificate

Geoscientist, Geospatial Analyst, GIS Analyst, GIS Data Manager, GIS Developer, GIS Specialist, GIS Technician, Programming Lead, Project Manager, Systems Architect

Content management, coordination, mapping, design, development, management, research, idea generation, servers maintenance, troubleshooting, mapping.

The geospatial market is growing at an annual rate of nearly 35%, with commercial ventures increasing at a rate of 100% each year, according to U.S. Department of Labor’s High Growth Industry Profile report. The increasing popularity of GIS products such as Google Maps, the integration of location-based services on smartphones and tablets, and the prominence of maps in social media has brought the field of GIS to the forefront of technology. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, states with the highest level of employment for GIS professionals includes Maryland, Texas, California, Virginia, and Colorado.

Careers In Geographic Information Systems

Locate your dream job.
Employment for geographers is expected to grow 35% through 2020, much faster than the average especially for the professional, scientific, and technical services industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Governmental agencies provide for about 15% of surveying, cartography, and photogrammetrist jobs-primarily in Virginia, Maryland, and the D.C. area. Most GIS positions in the private sector require a master's degree.

It's all about innovation!
Future GIS professionals will need to learn to navigate and manage a culture of change within the industry as Geographic Information Systems continue to evolve and innovate, according to the 2013 industry outlook by A rising need for professionals with technological and management experience or education is expected, as job-seekers need to demonstrate a comprehensive range of skills in this changing job market, from geographic information systems to information and communication technologies, project management to leadership acumen.

Where are they now?
GIS graduates hold job titles such as Software Engineer, GIS Analyst, Engineer III, Analyst, Research Coordinator, and Systems Security Engineer for companies and organizations including Raytheon, Visa, Flight Safety Corp., General Dynamics, Pass Time, Clayton Holdings, Jones International, and the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

Career Services

Enhance Your Career
As a student, you'll gain access to a range of free services offered through DU Career Services. From resume and cover letter assistance to individual career counseling and assessments, you'll have valuable career support during and after your program.

Ready to Apply

It's time to gather your materials and apply to your program of choice. Remember to include:

How to Apply

Need More Information

Interested in attending University College, but need additional information before you make a decision? No problem−we're here to help. You may request additional information about a specific program and specialty, review and ask questions in our Frequently Asked Questions section, or contact University College directly.

Want to Take a Class

Even if you missed the application deadline, you can start taking courses for one quarter before you have to submit a completed application. We know how important it is to get started when you're ready, so review the class schedule or start the registration process now.

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