The Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems provides students with a graduate level academic credential in advanced Geographic Information Science applications. This program is designed for students who wish to establish themselves in GIS practice but are not yet ready to commit to a full graduate program.The certificate can be completed on campus or as a distance student and is available to both non-degree (PBS) students and students pursuing a non-GIS graduate degree. The entire program requires 12 credit hours (effective January 2012), up to 12 credit hours can be transferred to the master's degree program upon acceptance into the program.
Use the following links to find information on:
- Admission requirements
- Required and elective courses
- Requirements for completing and obtaining your certifcate
- Estimated cost (tuition and fees)
- Who to contact if you have questions
Admission requires a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. The application process is described on the GIST How to Apply web page.
- Fall: July 1
- Spring: October 31
- Summer: March 25
The Graduate Certificate program does not assign advisors to certificate students as successful completion of the 12-credit curriculum is all that is required to complete the program. When questions do arise, please contact the Graduate Certificate Coordinator for more information.
DE and Classroom sections denotes class is offered in 2 sections: as a Distant Ed course or an on-campus course
DE only denotes only DE classes are available
To earn a certificate, you are required to complete 12 credit hours (2 required courses and then your choice of electives)
Required (6 credit hours)
- GIS 510 - Introduction to Geographic Information ScienceDE and classroom sections
- GIS 520 - Advanced Geospatial AnalyticsDE and classroom sections
Electives (6 credit hours)
Geographic Information Systems
*APP denotes applications-oriented GIS courses that are specifically recommended for
- GIS 512 - Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing DE
- GIS 515 - Computer Cartography DE
- GIS 521 - Surface Water Hydrology with GIS DE only
GIS Certificate and Minor students - these courses may also be taken as electives by
master's degree students.
Engineering, Biological & Agricultural
- BAE 590 AutoCAD Civil 3D-GIS IntegrationDE and classroom sections
- BAE 590 GIS Apps in Precision AgricultureDE
Forestry and Environmental Resources
- FOR 510 Introduction to GPS
- FOR 554 Principles of Spatial Analysis DE and classroom sections
- FOR 753 Environmental Remote Sensing
- LAR 500 Landscape Design Studio (selected sections)
Marine, Earth, & Atmospheric Sciences
- MEA 511 Introduction to Meterological Remote Sensing
- MEA 582/GIS 582 Geospatial Modeling and AnalysisDE and classroom sections
- MEA 592 Applied Data Analysis in the Earth Sciences using Matlab (Fall 2010)
- MEA 592 Tectonic Geomorphology (Fall 2010)
- MEA 592 Advanced Earth Surface Processes - Landscape Evolution (Fall 2009)
- MEA 792 Advanced Geospatial Modeling with Open Source GIS (Offered in Fall only)
- SSC/CS/BAE 440 GIS in Production AgricultureDE and classroom sections
- SSC/BAE 535 Precision Agriculture TechnologyDE
- SSC 545 Remote Sensing Applications in Soil Science & AgricultureDE
Total Credit Hours: 12
Award of the certificate requires an overall GPA of 3.0 or better and a grade of B- or better in all courses (required and elective). When you have completed 12 credit hours of approved classes and all grades have been posted to your transcript:
Be sure to add the list of your courses (12 credit hours in total) to the "comments" section when Applying to Graduate.
After the deadline, you may request your GIS Certificate by sending an e-mail message to the GIS Certificate Coordinator. In most cases, you will be asked to "apply to graduate" for the next semester.
If you are interested in applying for the MGIST program, you may do so after the successful completion (3.0) of two 3-credit courses. You must apply to the program through the Graduate School or through this website with the "Apply Now" button.. Transferring into the program from the Certificate program is not an option as the programs are separate. Note: that all transcripts will be already on record and are not required a second time.
At this time there is no Financial Aid available for Certificate students.
Tuition and fees for North Carolina (NC) residents and non-residents can change from semester to semester.
To calculate the cost for yourself--
If you plan to enroll as a Distance Education student, go to:
If you plan to enroll as an on-campus student, go to:
If you would like to talk to someone about the GIS Certificate Program, contact the GIS Certificate Coordinator at (919) 513-0411 or by e-mail. For information about your application, please contact the Admissions Coordinator (919) 513-0350.