Geographic Information Science

The University of Georgia offers a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science. The field of geographic information science has grown rapidly with the development of powerful and versatile computing environments since the early1980’s. This field comprises all phases of processing spatially-referenced data, including data acquisition (remote sensing, global positioning systems), data analysis (vector- and raster-based representational media, photogrammetry, spatial statistics), data interpretation, and data display (cartography). Since employment opportunities for people trained in geographic information science have proliferated, the University of Georgia has developed this graduate certification program. The Geography Department offers courses and related training in fundamental topics of geographic information science with other departments and organizational units, such as Anthropology, the Institute of Ecology, School of Forestry, School of Environmental Design, and the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science, offering training in applications of geographic information science. The curriculum structure is drawn primarily from Geography courses which are heavily enrolled with students from other units at UGA. The requirements were developed by an interdisciplinary committee.


The Graduate Geographic Information Science Certificate Program is designed with three components: a set of prerequisite skills necessary to gain entry into the program, a set of courses required of all students enrolled in the program, and a set of elective courses that permit exploration of more advanced themes in geographic information science. The prerequisite training, considered to be essential background for the certificate program, includes competence in elementary calculus, computer science, statistics, photo interpretation, and cartography. The three required courses include introductory GIS, an advanced GIS class focused on analysis, and a graduate level seminar in GIS. Elective courses include cartography, engineering surveying with the Global Positioning System (GPS), photogrammetry, remote sensing, and advanced remote sensing with GIS applications, with a formal requirement of at least one 8000-level seminar. A final requirement is the development of individual research projects or internships in geographic information science. Together the required and elective courses in the certificate program total 17 semester credits. Students are awarded the Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science upon completion of all certificate requirements and completion of a University of Georgia graduate degree.

Xiaobai (Angela) Yao