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Earn your certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

GIS has been widely used by organizations across the world to support better spatial decisions. Earn a certificate in GIS to equip yourself with data visualization and spatial analysis skills to support your career development various fields that use geographic data. 


The Graduate Certificate in GIS is a 15-hour program that provides students with broad exposure to the principles and applications of GIS. Requirements for the program have been designed to parallel skills needed by GIS professionals. Students who complete the program will be well-versed in general GIS theory and able to apply GIS skills to solve real-world problems in a variety of disciplines that utilize geographic data. 



Core Courses (9 hours, choose three courses from the list below): 

  • GEOG 5103         Fundamentals of GIS
  • GEOG 5323        GIS: Resource Management Applications
  • GEOG 5253        GIS: Socioeconomic Applications
  • GEOG 5343        Advanced GIS: Resource Management Applications
  • GEOG 5353        Advanced GIS: Socioeconomic Applications
  • GEOG 5373        GIS in Public Health

Elective Courses (6 hours, choose two courses, each from a different category): 

Category I: Spatial Analysis/GIS Programming:


  • GEOG 5383      Introduction to GIS Programming
  • GEOG 5303      Geographic Analysis I
  • GEOG 6303      Geographical Analysis II

Category II : Spatial Data Collection, Management, and Representation:


  • GEOG 5263      Geospatial Applications for Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • GEOG 5333      Remote Sensing
  • GEOG  5503     Applications of GPS in Field Research
  • GEOG  5663     Web GIS: Trends, Principles and Applications
  • GEOG  6313       Mixed Methods in Field Research
  • GEOG  6333      Advanced Remote Sensing

Additional Notes: 

  • Complete at least 12 hours overall at OSU. Up to 3 hours can be waived for equivalent courses taken at other universities.  
  • Courses from other OSU programs that contain at least 50% of geospatial technology in the course content may be considered as alternatives for elective courses. Consult with program coordinator for qualified alternatives.  
  • A minimum 3.00 GPA is required for all courses taken for the certificate program. 


Admissions Requirements and Deadlines

Students need to have a bachelor’s degree and meet the admission standards of the Graduate College. Students can participate in this certificate program while concurrently enrolled in an M.S. or Ph.D. degree program.  

Application must be complete by the following deadline to be considered for admission to the corresponding semester: 

  • Fall admission: July 1 of the same year  
  • Spring admission: December 1 of the prior year 
  • Summer admission: April 15 of the same year. 

To apply to the certificate program, please complete the Graduate College application and submit transcripts from all bachelor degree studies by the deadline. This application does not require recommendation letters or entrance exams such as the GMAT or GRE.  


Cost and Assistance

Cost for on-campus enrollment

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