Certificate in Geographic Information Systems
The Certificate in Geographic Information Systems is designed for those individuals seeking careers as GIS specialists, providing geographic data management, spatial analysis, and GIS system management support to professionals in a broad range of disciplines, such as criminal justice, health services, city and regional planning, civil and environmental engineering, transportation, and marketing. Certificate holders will seek employment in positions such as "GIS Specialist," "GIS Analyst," or "GIS Coordinator."
The School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and the College of Letters and Science jointly offer the certificate. The core courses (12 credits) focus on the structure of geographic data, components for managing geographic information systems, spatial analysis, and delivery of geographic information through maps and displays. Students select the remaining 6 credits for the certificate from electives, which may include an internship, in areas such as remote sensing, map-making, and data management systems.
Upon completion of the certificate courses, a student is awarded the certificate which qualifies for 5 credential points in the GIS Certification Institute's standards for professional certification in GIS.
Application and Admission
Students interested in the GIS Certificate should contact the Department of Urban Planning or the Department of Geography. Those who are not already admitted to a UWM graduate degree program must complete a UW System online admission application and have an official undergraduate transcript sent to the Graduate School. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or a graduate degree to be accepted into the certificate program.
For international applicants, whose first language is not English, a score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of at least 600 (250 on the computer-based version) or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0 must also be submitted.
Credits and Courses
A minimum of 6 credits each in Urban Planning and Geography courses are required for completion of the certificate.
Required Courses (12 cr)
- Tier 1 (select one course)
- URBPLAN 791, Introduction to Urban Geographic Information Systems for Planning
- GEOG 525, Geographic Information Science
- Tier 2 (select one course)
- URBPLAN 792, Using Urban Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Planning
- GEOG 625, Intermediate Geographic Information Science
- Tier 3 (select two courses)
- URBPLAN 793, Applied Projects in Urban Geographic Information Systems
- URBPLAN 794, Internet Geographic Information Systems
- GEOG 725, Advanced Geographic Information Science: Geographic Modeling
- GEOG 734, GIS and Society
Elective Courses (6 cr)
- URBPLAN 771, Transportation Policy and Planning
- URBPLAN 991, Legislative/Administrative Agency Internship
- URBPLAN 999, Independent Study
- ANTHRO 380, Anthropological Applications of GIS
- BUSADM 749, Data Management Systems
- GEOG 403, Remote Sensing: Environmental and Land Use Analysis
- GEOG 405, Cartography
- GEOG 547, Spatial Analysis
- GEOG 698, GIS/Cartography Internship
- GEOG 703, Advanced Remote Sensing
- GEOG 750, Remote Sensing and Urban Analysis
- GEOG 960, Seminar: Geographic Techniques
- Other courses as approved by the GIS Certificate Subcommittee
Grade Point Average Requirement
To continue in the program, a student must maintain a minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM.
Up to 3 credits of graduate coursework in GIS and related courses may be considered for transfer to the certificate program. To be eligible for transfer, the course must have been completed within the last 2 years, the student must have received a grade of B or better, and the GIS Certificate Coordinator must approve the course for transfer.
Students must complete all courses for the certificate within 3 years from the date of initial enrollment in the certificate program.
This certificate program is subject to federal gainful employment regulations. For more information please visit http://www4.uwm.edu/financialaid/EligConsInfo/gainfulemployment.cfm.