GIS Graduate Certificate

Put Your Career on the Map With a Geographic Information Systems Certificate

Degree Type: Graduate Certificate | Format: Online | Department: Geography and GIS | Time to Degree: 1.5 Years

With the technologies we have today, there’s no limit to the spatial information that can be mapped and analyzed. Geospatial technologies affect almost every aspect of life, from navigating an unfamiliar neighborhood to managing environmental issues. With this degree, you’ll apply tools to understand the people, places and processes of Earth. That’s what makes GIS a fast-growing industry—and an excellent career opportunity.

If you want to learn about geographic information systems without committing to a full master’s degree, GIS certificate programs allow you to do so while developing practical skills and experience in the field. As part of Elmhurst University’s GIS graduate certificate program, you’ll take six courses from our Master of Science in GIS program. You’ll learn skills in GIS you can apply right away. You can also take the courses you need to go on and earn your graduate degree. Either way, our GIS online certificate helps you build the foundation you need to enter this rapidly growing field.

GIS Graduate Certificate Program Highlights

Elmhurst’s GIS online certificate is a six-course sequence that will introduce you to fundamental GIS concepts and skills. While you earn your GIS online certificate from Elmhurst, you’ll have the flexibility you need to gain experience in the field — and easy access to leading GIS software programs.

Here’s what makes Elmhurst stand out among other GIS certificate programs:

  • 100% online. Complete your geographic information systems certificate online in one and a half years.
  • Part of a distinctive M.S. in GIS program. Learn in the same graduate courses as students in our master’s in GIS—and, if you choose to, smoothly transition into a master’s after earning your certificate.
  • The foundation you need to do more. Decide whether GIS is for you, work toward a Master’s in GIS degree or identify new career options.
  • 24/7 access to GIS software. Access Esri™, ArcGIS® online and ArcGIS Pro software on your own computer via the cloud, making it easy to complete coursework and build your portfolio.
  • Top-tier faculty. Learn from professors with years of experience teaching GIS and applying geospatial technologies to real-world contexts.

What Can You Do With a Geographic Information Systems Certificate?

A geographic information systems graduate certificate from Elmhurst University empowers you to advance your career in several ways. You’ll take graduate-level GIS courses, develop an e-portfolio and complete a research symposium, which can assist you in securing a career in GIS.

Entry-Level Careers in GIS

  • Cartographic Technician
  • GIS Analyst
  • GIS Mapper
  • GIS Technician
  • Infrastructure Analyst
  • Land Survey Technician
  • Urban Planner

Is a GIS Certificate Worth It?

Some students wonder whether a geographic information systems certificate is worth it because it’s not a complete graduate degree. We say it is—depending on your goals and the certificate program. The job market for those with geospatial analysis and data visualization skills is promising, as every industry from agriculture to public safety now uses GIS. The right GIS certificate program will offer practical coursework—such as an e-portfolio experience— to help you gain employment after earning your certificate.

At Elmhurst University, we offer that practical experience in an accessible format and work to keep our GIS certificate affordable. That means you can decide if GIS is for you without the investment a master’s degree requires. If you decide a master’s in GIS is worth it, you can complete your M.S. in just a few more courses.

Explore Online GIS Certificate Program Courses

In Elmhurst University’s GIS online certificate program, you’ll take graduate courses in remote sensing, web mapping, geospatial programming and more.

GIS Graduate Certificate Program Required Courses

Course offerings reflect the 2022-2023 Elmhurst University Catalog.

  • AGS 500 Fundamentals of Geospatial Technology (Fall A)
  • AGS 510 Remote Sensing Interpretation (Fall B)
  • AGS 530 Principles of Geodatabases (Spring A)
  • AGS 540 Spatial Analysis and Web Mapping (Spring B)
  • AGS 520 Geospatial Programming (Fall A)
  • AGS 580 E-Portfolio and Research Seminar (Fall B)

If a student chooses to complete the master in science in GIS, additional coursework will include AGS 550; AGS 560; either AGS 590 or AGS 592; and either MBA 509 or AGS 554.

Programs Related to the GIS Graduate Certificate at Elmhurst University

Interested in other graduate programs related to what you’d study in our online GIS certificate program? Explore these offerings in technology and information systems:

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Judith Bock

Instructor, Geography and GIS; Program Director, M.S. in Geography and Environmental Studies; Certificate in GIS
Department of Geography and GIS

5 Million U.S. employees rely on geospatial services to do their jobs, according to ESRI.

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