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Graduate Programs at UConn
GIS Certificate

The Department of Geography, University of Connecticut, initiated a Certificate Program in Geographic Information Systems in September 1989. This program is a graduate certificate program formally recognized by the University of Connecticut. Students completing the Certificate Program receive a certificate of completion and the award of the Certificate is entered on the student’s official University of Connecticut transcript.

As of Fall 2012, the department also offers an Online GIS Certificate program. Information about the Online GIS Certificate can be found here.

The Certificate Program is designed to recognize completion of a focused set of courses for graduate students and other professionals seeking expertise in the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS are computer systems for integrating and analyzing spatial data. These systems, and the science behind their development and use, are the topics covered in the required coursework. GIS and related technologies are used in a wide range of applications in the public and private sectors. The elective coursework provides students with the opportunity for graduate study in fields where GIS are used.



Application to the GIS Certificate Program is made through the Graduate School of the University of Connecticut. Applicants complete the first page of the application and indicate that they are applying to the Certificate Program in Geographic Information Systems.

Students applying for admission to or already enrolled in a graduate degree program in Geography or another field of study at the University of Connecticut may apply for admission to the Certificate Program. They must apply to the Graduate School through the described process. They are not required to pay an additional application fee.

Non-degree students may also apply for the program. Non-degree students are required to pay the application fee to the graduate school. Non-degree students may be required to obtain instructor consent to enroll in all or some graduate courses taken to complete the Certificate.

All students applying for admission to the Certificate Program must have a B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited institution. Official transcripts and a personal statement of interest in the program must be submitted with the application. GRE scores and letters of recommendation are not required for application to the GIS Certificate Program.

Complete applications are forwarded to the GIS Certificate Program Coordinator for review and approval. When action on the application has been taken, the GIS Certificate Program Coordinator notifies the Graduate School.

Non-degree students in the Certificate Program may be eligible for financial support in the form of fellowships, scholarships, or assistantships from the Department of Geography. Non-degree students who decide to apply for admission to a graduate degree must apply separately for admission to the Graduate School. The credits taken in the Certificate Program on a non-degree basis may apply to the completion of a graduate degree.


Program of Study for the Certificate in Geographic Information Systems

The Certificate is earned upon the completion of twelve credits of coursework beyond the B.A. or B.S. degree. Students in the Certificate Program are required to complete Geography 5500 and Geography 5510, plus additional courses in Geography or a related field. The additional courses must be taken at the graduate (5000) level. The exception is NRME 4535C which is accepted for credit. A student’s program of study for the Certificate may include only one course numbered Geography 5810. Students develop a program of study with the assistance and approval of the Certificate Program Coordinator. To earn the Certificate, a student must pass all courses counted toward the Certificate with a grade of B- or better in each course and an overall GPS for the 12 credits of 3.0 or greater. All coursework for the Certificate must be completed at the University of Connecticut.

It is best to start the Certificate Program coursework in the fall semester. GEOG 5500 and GEOG 5510 are offered in the fall and spring semesters respectively. Sample programs of study are shown below.

GEOG 5500 - Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science
GEOG 5510 - Application Issues in Geographic Information Systems
GEOG 5380 - Advanced Environmental Restoration
GEOG 5390 - Advanced Physical Geography

GEOG 5500 - Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science
GEOG 5510 - Application Issues in Geographic Information Systems
GEOG 5100 - Location Analysis
GEOG 5600 - Spatial Data Analysis

GEOG 5500 - Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science
GEOG 5510 - Application Issues in Geographic Information Systems
NRE 4535 - Remote Sensing Image Processing
NRE 5575 - Natural Resource Applications of Geographic Information Systems


When an admitted student has completed the 12 credits of required and elective coursework, the student must provide a transcript to the GIS Certificate Program Coordinator. The Coordinator reviews the transcript to make sure that the requirements of the program have been met. The Coordinator notifies the Graduate School that the admitted student has met the requirements. The Graduate School then awards the Certificate. The appropriate designation appears on the student’s official university transcript. The Graduate School notifies the student that the Certificate has been awarded by letter.


More information about the Certificate Program is available from

GIS Certificate Program Coordinator
University of Connecticut
Department of Geography, Unit 4148
215 Glenbrook Road
Storrs CT 06269-4148

Voice: (860) 486-3656