Geographic information systems (GIS) consist of computer hardware, software, data, and people that are used to capture, manage, analyze, display, and distribute all forms of geographically referenced information. Effective use of GIS has evolved into a requisite skill in most academic research, as well as for agencies in both the public and private sectors. Graduate students from such varied disciplines as geography, atmospheric science, biology, engineering, economics, urban planning, landscape architecture, and sociology benefit from applying GIS and related technologies such as global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing, spatial statistics, and computer programming to input, analyze, model, and display (map) location-based data. As such, it has found wide applications in the sciences and engineering, as well as in business, government, military, and consumer areas.
The certificate program is designed to provide graduate students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the rapidly expanding field of GIScience or apply GIScience concepts in their own field of study. The graduate certificate program complements the existing M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees and builds upon the existing graduate concentrations in GIScience within the department.