Geographic Information Systems

 

Graduate Certificate | Geographic Information Systems

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Entrance Exam: Not required
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Would you like to establish yourself in GIS practice but are not yet ready to commit to a full graduate program? The Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems is for you! The Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems provides students with a graduate level academic credential in advanced Geographic Information Systems and Geographic Information Systems applications.

Building on NC State's strengths in technology, computational methods, and geographic information systems (GIS), this program provides professional, graduate-level academic preparation in the advanced application of GIS technologies to a wide spectrum of disciplines, including economics, public health, emergency planning and response, land use planning, environmental resources, etc. The certificate, which is also available to current NC State students enrolled in non-GIS graduate programs, forms the basis for the Master of Geospatial Information Science and Technology.

Eligibility

Admission to the certificate program requires a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with at least a 3.0 GPA. Students with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA may still be considered for admission based on the remaining criteria, including other graduate coursework. These determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis. All applicants must submit:

  • Transcript showing Bachelor's degree conferred
  • A clear and concise personal statement/statement of interest
  • A resume/CV

The program website explains the application process in detail.

For students already enrolled in another graduate program at NC State: You can apply to the certificate by using the contact information above and supplying your full name and student ID number prior to enrolling in your first certificate course or during the semester in which you enroll in your first certificate course.

Students may begin taking courses for the certificate in Fall or Spring academic terms.

Cost

This 12-credit graduate program includes four three-credit graduate courses. At 2019-20 tuition rates, the cost of these courses is $462 per credit for North Carolina residents and $1,311 per credit for non-residents. Thus, the total estimated cost for the program is $5,544 for North Carolina residents and $15,732 for non-residents. See Online and Distance Education Tuition and Fees for cost details.

Plan of Study

The Geographic Information Systems Graduate Certificate requires 12 credit hours. Six credit hours are core required courses and 6 hours are electives. The focus is on theory and applications of GIS and skill building. A final GPA of 3.0 or greater is required at the time of graduation to receive the certificate. Specific course requirements are listed on the program website.

Career Prospects

GIS careers exist in every imaginable discipline, from environmental science to mining to urban planning to commercial businesses to defense. Practitioners use GIS to visualize, analyze, and model systems to help in the planning and decision-making processes of their organizations. GIS is a burgeoning field, used across government, commercial, and educational organizations. Jobs and salaries vary widely by region, nation, discipline, and experience.

The Geographic Information Systems Graduate Certificate requires 12 credit hours. A final GPA of 3.0 or greater is required at the time of graduation to receive the certificate.

Core Required Courses (two courses, 6 credits)

GIS 510 - Fundamentals of Geospatial Information Science and Technology

Units: 3

This course provides an advanced overview of how geographic information systems [GIS] facilitate data analysis and communication to address common geographic problems. Students improve spatial reasoning and problem definition expertise while emphasizing geographic data models and structures, data manipulation and storage, customization through programming, and the integration of geospatial analysis and modeling into project-based problem solving applicable to a variety of disciplines. Skilled application of both desktop and cloud-based GIS software supports these areas. Extensive independent learning and computer experiences include virtual laboratory sessions, alongside optional online or in-person weekly help sessions to facilitate student learning.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2019 Fall Term 2020 Spring Term

GIS 520 - Spatial Problem Solving

Units: 3

Focus on spatial problem solving from a geographic information perspective. Students learn to solve spatial problems through advanced analysis using geospatial technologies, learn to integrate and analyze spatial data in various formats, and explore methods for displaying geographic data analysis results to guide decision making. All course materials are delivered through the Internet, with optional weekly on-campus and synchronous online help sessions.

Offered in Fall and Spring

Find this course:

2019 Fall Term 2020 Spring Term

Electives (two courses, 6 credits)

At least 3 credit hours of electives must come from a course with a ‘GIS’ prefix.

GIS 501 - Geospatial Professionalism

Units: 2

Students will examine a variety of topics critical to successful navigation of the geospatial profession, with an emphasis on map communication and presentation, interpreting geospatial research, the ethical, legal, and social implications [ELSI] of using spatial data, metadata concepts, and linking results to policy actions. Students will engage in several writing, presentation, and interpretation exercises.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2019 Fall Term 2020 Spring Term

GIS 512 - Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing

Units: 3

Principles and hands-on techniques for processing and analyzing remotely sensed data for natural resource applications. Topics include review of the electromagnetic spectrum, pre-processing [georectification, enhancements and transformations], processing [visual interpretation, indices, supervised and unsupervised classification] and post-processing [masking, change analysis and accuracy assessment] of digital image data. This course will provide students with fundamental concepts and skills needed to pursue further studies in digital processing of remotely sensed data.

Offered in Fall and Spring

TERM: Offered in Fall and Spring

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2019 Fall Term 2020 Spring Term

GIS 515 - Cartographic Design

Units: 2

Principles of cartographic design and how to apply them to produce high-quality geographic information system [GIS] based maps. Successful students will acquire an understanding of map design and experience applying it with GIS software. Students produce project maps in both print and web media.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2019 Fall Term 2020 Spring Term

GIS 521 - Surface Water Hydrology with GIS

Units: 3

The application of geographic information systems [GIS] to surface water modeling including stream and watershed delineations, regulatory wetlands jurisdiction determinations, and flood mapping. In addition students will develop spatial computation methods to support hydrological analysis in land use planning, landscape management, and engineering assessments.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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GIS 530 - Spatial Data Foundations

Units: 3

This course focuses on geospatial information systems from a mathematical and information science perspective. We discuss theoretical frameworks for conceptualizing geographic data, including levels of measurement, data control, and the vector data and raster data paradigms. Then we discuss the geometric underpinnings of geospatial systems: representing data with geographic elements, spatial referencing systems, and projection. Next, we explore map-related topology and computational geometry concepts. Finally, we survey the algorithms for core spatial manipulations, such as interpolation and polygon operations.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2019 Fall Term 2020 Spring Term

GIS 535 - Web and Mobile GIS Protocols

Units: 3

This course examines the design, development and deployment of web and mobile geospatial applications using internet and web-based protocols. Throughout the course, students will develop and deploy web and mobile GIS maps and applications relevant to their career using on-premises hosted infrastructure. Course participants will be required to complete assignments with data relevant to their interests. Additionally, students will search for and examine scientific and popular literature to understand how the course concepts are being employed and to foster ideas and discussion.

Offered in Fall Only

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2019 Fall Term

GIS 582 - Geospatial Modeling

Units: 3

The course provides foundations in methods for GIS-based surface analysis and modeling. The topics include proximity analysis with cost surfaces and least cost paths, multivariate spatial interpolation and 3D surface visualization. Special focus is on terrain modeling, geomorphometry, solar irradiation, visibility, and watershed analysis. Students are also introduced to the basic concepts of landscape process modeling with GIS and to the principles of open source GIS. Introductory level knowledge of GIS or surveying/ geomatics principles is required.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2019 Fall Term 2020 Spring Term

GIS 609 - Geospatial Forum

Units: 1

The Geospatial Forum brings together researchers, educators, practitioners, and students of the geospatial sciences in an exciting, weekly series of lively presentations and facilitated discussions centered upon frontiers in geospatial analytics and geospatial solutions to complex challenges. Live discussions are recorded and made available online for students.

Offered in Fall and Spring

Find this course:

2019 Fall Term 2020 Spring Term

Other Electives. There are a number of electives outside of GIS that many of our students have also found useful. Contact your academic advisor for assistance.
Entry Semester Application Deadlines and Details
FallApr 15 (US); Mar 1 (Int)
SpringOct 15 (US); Jul 15 (Int)

Dr. Eric Money

Associate Director of Professional Education, Director of Graduate Programs, Assistant Professor

College of Natural Resources

919.513.0408
esmoney@ncsu.edu

Anju Singh

GIS Graduate Program Associate

College of Natural Resources

919.513.0350
anju_singh@ncsu.edu