GIS and Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Gain insight into one of the fastest growing areas of GIS: the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, for mapping and analysis. In this specialized GIS graduate certificate, you’ll start by building your foundational knowledge in geographic information systems, then learn to operate UAS and the science behind preparing aerial photography collected from drone platforms for use in GIS.

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At a Glance

Classes Begin
September 11
Online or HyFlex
Term Length
10 Weeks or 5 Weeks
4 Course Certificate
As few as 6 months
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Top-Ranked University

U.S. News & World Report Rankings
Stuart Boyd
Talk to an Enrollment Manager

Stuart Boyd

Free Application

University College is committed to educational access, and given the difficult circumstances currently impacting millions of people, we are waiving application fees.

Skills You'll Learn

Cultivate a working knowledge for the safe and efficient use of UAS

Conduct several aircraft maneuvers while collecting data

Execute aerial mapping for use in GIS


Specialized Graduate Certificate in Certificate of Advanced Study in GIS and Unmanned Aircraft Systems requires completion of 16 credit hours (4 courses).

All students are required to complete a zero-credit Student Success Course.

Concentration Courses

Sample Schedule

Finish a graduate certificate in as few as six months or take up to a year. Choose your time to completion to get a better sense of what your schedule will look like during your certificate program. Note this sample schedule is for the four-course Graduate Certificate.

Time to Completion
Year 1 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Classes 2 2 0 0

Take a Course Before You Apply

We know how important it is to get started when you're ready and that's why you can enroll in a course before you officially apply.

Career Outcomes

Predicted outcomes for graduates of GIS and Unmanned Aircraft Systems

From helping to clean up environmental incidents to scouting for new businesses, aerial imagery obtained via unmanned aircraft systems can make an impact across industries.

Fill the skills gap! Drone pilots who specialize in GIS and mapping are hard to come by, according to Market Watch, which indicates specialization will keep you in high-demand.

The FAA estimates that by 2022, nearly half a million registered drones will be in use in the United States, much of that for commercial use for GIS purposes.

Job Titles

GIS and Drone Mapping Specialist
Aerial Survey Sensor Operator
GIS Technician
GIS Analyst
Aerial Geomatics Technician
Land Surveyor

GIS Specialist Salary: National Average


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Flexible Online Classes

Flexible Online Classes

We understand the demands of balancing work, friends and family, and school can be challenging. That's why at University College, you can complete your program entirely online. Our online learning platform makes it easy to work anywhere at any time.

Featured Instructors


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Higher Learning Commission

University College programs maintain the highest level of accreditation offered by The Higher Learning Commission, one of the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the federal government. The University of Denver and all of its academic programs are regionally accredited by this commission, and regional accreditation is the highest standard for universities in the United States.

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