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GIS Certificate

Information on the GIS certification program

GIScience is an emerging specialization that combines various aspects of computer science with geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, cartographic visualization, spatial statistics, and global positioning systems (GPS) in studying and solving geographical problems.

The Certificate in GIScience is made possible through the joint efforts of the Departments of Geography and Computer Science.

Certificate Requirements

To earn the Certificate in GISciences, students must (a) apply for admission to the program by contacting one of the program co-directors before the completion of 12 semester units of courses listed below and (b) complete the required units with a 2.5 grade point average. Non-SDSU students must enroll with the College of Extended Studies prior to taking courses. Nonmatriculated students can enroll in the certificate through the Open University program. For Open University information please see the College of Extended Studies website or call the College of Extended Studies registration office at 619-594-5152.

Certificate Curriculum

The Certificate requires 27 units distributed between the Departments of Geography and Computer Science as follows:

Geography (12-15 units)

104 - Geographic Information Science and Spatial Reasoning
381 - Computerized Map Design
484 - Geographic Information Systems (Required)
581 - Cartographic Design
583 - Internet Mapping and Distributed GIServices
584 - Geographic Information Systems Applications
585 - Quantitative Methods in Geographic Research
589 - GIS-Based Decision Support Methods
591 - Remote Sensing of the Environment
592 - Intermediate Remote Sensing of the Environment
596 - Advanced Topics in GIScience

Computer Science (12-15 units)

105 - Visual Basic Programming
107 - Introduction to Computer Programming (Required)
108 - Intermediate Computer Programming (Required)
220 - UNIX and the C Programming Language
237 - Machine Organization and Assembly Language
310 - Data Structures
320 - Programming Languages
503 - Scientific Database Techniques
514 - Database Theory and Inplementation
520 - Advanced Programming Languages
535 - Object-Oriented Programming and Design
537 - Component GIS Architecture
551 - User Interface Environments
575 - Super Computing for the Sciences
596 - Advanced Topics in Geocomputation
615 - Spatial Databases

Courses with relevant content may be substituted for the geography and computer science courses listed above with the approval of the certified advisors.


For more information on how you can obtain a Certificate in GIScience while you meet the requirements for your undergraduate major, or as a post-baccalaureate student, contact:

Dr. Piotr Jankowski
Department of Geography
SH 310


Dr. Carl Eckberg
Department of Computer Science
GMCS 543

The statements found on this page/site are for informational purposes only. While every effort is made to ensure that this information is up to date and accurate, official information can be found in the university publications.

©Department of Geography, San Diego State University