Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems

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The Department of Environmental and Geosciences at SHSU offers a GIS Graduate Certificate to provide students with GIS skills required in today's job market. The GIS Graduate Certificate curriculum is developed with the objective of providing a solid hands-on experience in GIS applications. Students enrolled in the GIS Graduate Certificate program at SHSU will learn to use and apply technological tools and skills in their areas of expertise as well as in several major application areas. This includes use of GIS in infrastructure management, the oil and gas industry, public health, planning, and business applications. The curriculum will provide students with hands-on experience in major GIS and remote sensing vendor-specific as well as open source software packages, such as ArcGIS, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, ERDAS IMAGINE, Python programming, Geoda, and Fusion. Students will learn:

  • different spatial data structures and their essential properties;
  • principles and methods for collecting spatial data;
  • principles of map design and effective cartographic communication;
  • methods of spatial analysis, ways spatial data can be used to investigate complex problems; and
  • how to customize GIS software to meet organizational needs.

The program is intended to serve: 

  • recent graduates who wish to acquire technical expertise to support the knowledge gained in their undergraduate major;
  • returning students who wish to acquire specialized training to meet current or future job requirements; and
  • students at the graduate level who wish to demonstrate a level of mastery of the subject area by obtaining a certificate.

This Graduate Certificate is eligible to receive Title IV funding – Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Graduate PLUS loans by request. To be considered for aid, students need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Additional information: Reference the Program Landing Page for additional information, such as cost, delivery format, contact information, or to schedule a visit.

Applicants seeking admission to pursue a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems must submit the following directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. Application fee
  3. Official transcript from the baccalaureate degree granting institution
  4. Resume

The graduate GIS Certificate curriculum consists of three core courses and a minimum of two electives.

Students must complete a minimum of 15 graduate credits.

Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems
Core Courses
GEOG 5361Geographic Information3
or GEOG 5366 Cartography And Visualization
GEOG 5362GIS Principles and Application3
or GEOG 5314 GIS for Professionals
GEOG 5364Spatial Analysis3
Select two of the following:6
GIS Project Management
GIS in Law Enforcement
GIS ModelBuilder
Spatial Database
Digital Image Processing
Cartography And Visualization
GIS Programming
Geographic Information Systems in Engergy-Related Fields
Introduction to LiDAR & Radar
Advanced GIS Analysis
Total Hours15

Note: The GIS graduate certificate is also offered in coordination with the MS in Geographic Information Systems.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state's 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers. Marketable skills are those valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Integrate data from a variety of sources, viz. surveys, satellite images, and digitized images, and then utilize the information to build, maintain and update databases.
  • Review geospatial datasets and maps for quality.
  • Create maps and graphic representations with multiple layers of information for visualization purposes.
  • Analyze geospatial data to find patterns, trends and connections to guide project planning and strategy.
  • Use GIS software, viz. ArcGIS Pro, QGIS, etc. for data modeling, cartographic visualization.