GIS Certificate | Department of Geography and the Environment

GIS Certificate

Both undergraduate and graduate students may complete the Certificate in GIS. Current graduate students must complete the Application for Concurrent Graduate Academic Certificate Programs before the semester of graduation. Other applicants with existing bachelor's or graduate degrees must apply and be admitted to the Graduate Academic Certificate (GACT) Program with the Graduate School before taking graduate GIS certificate courses. The application process and forms can be found here. There is no application process for undergraduate students. Undergraduate students must fill out the Undergraduate Certificate Completion Form upon completion of all required courses listed below.

What is GIS?

A Geographic Information System (GIS) uses computer software to capture, store, manage, manipulate, analyze, and display geographically-referenced data. A GIS facilitates visualization of data that may reveal geographic patterns not readily apparent with traditional maps or database management systems.

Who Uses GIS?

GIS is an essential planning and management tool for city and county governments, utility companies, and various private sector firms that use maps and spatial information. Government agencies use GIS for tasks ranging from highway planning to environmental protection. Businesses use GIS for such diverse tasks as locating retail outlets, managing real estate, studying disease patterns, and visualizing subsurface contamination.

The Certificate Program

The certificate program provides the conceptual understanding and technical proficiency necessary to apply GIS in a variety of settings. Five courses are required to complete the undergraduate certificate and four courses are required for the graduate certificate. Graduate students must also have the equivalent of GEOG 3500 before starting the graduate certificate. All required courses must be taken at the undergraduate level for the undergraduate certificate or at the graduate level for the graduate certificate. A maximum of two required classes can be waived (for example, because of prior coursework or relevant work experience); two other electives must be taken at UNT instead.

All required classes can also be applied to undergraduate or graduate degree programs at UNT.

Required Courses

Students must earn a "B" or higher in each course applied to the certificate.

  • GEOG 3500. Introduction to GIS (3 hours) (undergraduates only)
  • GEOG 4550/5550. Advanced GIS (3 hours)
  • GEOG 4560/5560. Intro. GIS Programming (3 hours)
  • GEOG 4590/5590. Advanced GIS Programming (3 hours)
  • GEOG 4570/5570. Special Topics in GIS.

The GIS certificate courses can be completed in 16 months. The following is a typical sequence of the GIS certificate courses:

  • Fall semester: GEOG 3500, GEOG 4560/5560
  • Spring semester: GEOG 4550/5500 (also offered online beginning Summer 2018), GEOG 4590/5590
  • Fall semester: GEOG 4570/5570


Undergraduate Certificate Questions: Dr. Chetan Tiwari

Graduate Certificate Questions: Dr. Pinliang Dong

NOTE: For information regarding gainful employment data, CLICK HERE.

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