Online GIS Certificate Program

About the Program

Designed specifically for working adults, the Online GIS Certificate Program at Elmhurst College combines the convenience of online courses with the collaborative environment of small classes and a cohort model. You’ll work closely with faculty who are experienced educators and active professionals, and you’ll complete hands-on projects and electronic portfolios. Along the way, you’ll apply class lessons to your current job responsibilities.

Many workers in the geospatial community have been using GIS as a tool for many years, but are unable to become certified as a GISP (certified GIS professional) because they lack the formal coursework to fulfill the educational requirements of the GISP. Elmhurst College’s Online GIS Certificate Program provides the college-credit coursework that is accepted by the GISCI for the educational GISP requirements.

Others are interested in changing careers into one that can provide a challenging and rewarding experience with cutting-edge technology. Geospatial technology provides that for our career changers.

Most students complete the Online GIS Program in less than a year. There are no prerequisites for introductory courses, and you may be able to apply previous college coursework toward your certificate.

The Online GIS Program aligns with the core guidelines of the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM), National Center for Geographic Information Analysis (NCGIA), the proposed standards of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) and the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) for professional GIS certification.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop a spatial perspective with which to approach concepts, issues, and problems in various non-geographical disciplines and professions.
  • Gain access to GIS information, expertise and technology that is directly applicable to the issues and concerns facing communities and industry.
  • Learn the basics of GIS technologies and obtain hands-on experience in using GIS software in order to effectively import, display, query, summarize, and analyze spatial data.
  • Explore the interdisciplinary applications of GIS in disciplines including, but not limited to, biology, business marketing, geology, urban planning, which include aspects of cartography, topology, map design, and spatial analysis.
  • Understand how spatial information and techniques are used to solve practical problems within various disciplines.
  • Acquire the knowledge to develop custom GIS solutions using VB.NET and ArcObjects.
  • Learn to apply best practices for GIS data modeling and collection combined with relational database design.

Sample Course Sequence

Summer Term
(8 weeks, 1 course credit, 4 semester hours)
GIS 100 Introduction to Geospatial Technologies

Fall Term
(16 weeks, 2 course credits, 8 semester hours)
ISG 100 GIS Programming
GIS 200 Remote Sensing Techniques

Spring Term
(16 weeks, 2 course credits, 8 semester hours)
IGS 200 Implementing Geodatabases
GIS 300 Capstone: Applications in GIS

Registered students will access online via the dedicated GIS Server, and the following software as part of the registration fee: ESRI ArcGIS Desktop 10.x including all extensions.

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