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Geographic Information Science

The Geographic Information Science Certificate Program (GIScience) is designed to prepare undergraduates with the basic training necessary to enter the rapidly expanding field of geographic information science (GIS).

The Geographic Information Science (GIScience) Certificate Program is designed to prepare undergraduates with the training necessary to enter the rapidly expanding field of GIScience.

Why GIScience at the University of Georgia (UGA)

  • A comprehensive collection of courses in GIScience and GI Technology is offered by the Department of Geography and other UGA departments.  Learning geospatial concepts and skills in geographic data collection and analysis will increase your research and employment opportunities in the growing field of GIScience.
  • GIScience faculty have research interests covering various aspects including theories and methods in GIScience, remote sensing, landscape ecology, cartography and geovisualizaiton, health and the environment, urban studies, transportation, community studies,  social media, natural resources, human-environment interaction, and more. 
  • Gain real-world experience through a GIS internship or a GIS independent study.

Inquiries, Application, and Completion

  1. There are no prerequisite courses required for the certificate program.  If you have any inquires on the program, please contact the certificate program coordinator (Dr. Lan Mu, 
  2. To apply, please request to be admitted to the GIScience Certificate Program from UGA’s Athena system online.  Log into Athena using your UGA MyID, go to the Curriculum Change Application module and choose GIScience Certificate Program. You will receive a confirmation after your request is processed.
  3. After you have completed all the course requirements, please fill out the Undergraduate GIScience Certificate Completion Form and email it to the certificate program coordinator.   Your completion form will be evaluated by the certificate program coordinator and the GIScience faculty.
  4. Your GIScience Certificate will be approved if you have fulfilled all the course requirements with an average 3.0 and above GPA in the 12 credits of GIScience courses. You will receive the following confirmation and documents:
    • A signed copy of the UGA Undergraduate GIScience Certificate through the mail (please make sure we have your most updated mailing address).
    • An official record on your UGA transcript to show that you have earned the Undergraduate GIScience Certificate.

Course Requirements (12 credits, with at least 9 credits of GEOG courses)

In order to understand the fundamental knowledge of GIScience and build essential skills, students enrolled in the GIScience Certificate Program will take a minimum of 12 credits of UGA courses, selected from among the following.  It is not necessary to take these courses in sequence.  A repeated course (such as a directed study) can only be counted once toward the GIScience Certificate Program’s requirements. Only courses with A-F grading can be used to fulfill the course requirements.  

Core course (3 credits)

  • GEOG 4370-4370L or 4370E Geographic Information Systems

Elective courses (9 credits from the following courses)


  • GEOG 2011-2011L Introduction to Geographic Information Science
  • GEOG 4380-4380L Transportation Modeling and GIS
  • GEOG 4385 Community GIS
  • GEOG 4570-4570L Advanced GIScience
  • GEOG 4571-4571L GIScience for Health and the Environment

Remote Sensing

  • ATSC/GEOG 4140 Satellite Meteorology and Climatology
  • GEOG 4330-4330L Aerial Photographs and Image Interpretation
  • GEOG 4350-4350L Remote Sensing of Environment
  • GEOG 4430-4430L Advanced Image Analysis and Photogrammetry
  • GEOG 4450-4450L Digital Image Analysis
  • GEOG 4460-4460L Field and Lab Methods in Remote Sensing

Data Science and Programming

  • ATSC/GEOG 4100 Programming for Atmospheric Scientists
  • GEOG 4300 Data Science in Geography
  • GEOG 4410-4410L Geovisualization and Data Visualization
  • GEOG 4470-4470L Geospatial Analysis
  • GEOG 4590-4590L Programming for GIScience

Internship or Independent Study (up to 4 credits, with a focus on GIS&T)

  • GEOG 3990 Internship in Geography
  • GEOG 4921 Special Problems in Area Analysis
  • ENGR 4920 Engineering Design Project
  • One of the research courses - 4960H, 4970H & 4980H offered by UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO)*. CURO requires students to provide a four-letter course prefix (e.g. GEOG, BIOL, HIST...) for the research course series. Not all academic departments offer all CURO courses. For details, please check CURO’s website:

GIS&T in related disciplines

  • ANTH 4420L Anthropology of Landscape
  • CRSS 4050 Improving Nutrient and Energy Efficiency with Geographic Information Systems
  • DMNA 7450 GIS and Disasters (with permission)
  • ECOL 3520 Applied Field Ecology: A Coastal Experience
  • ECOL 4450 Spatial Ecology
  • EDES 4270 Environmental Design Uses of Geographic Information Systems    
  • EDES 4280E Environmental Design Uses of Geographic Information Systems
  • ENGR 3120 Spatial Data Analysis
  • ENGR 5930 GPS with Engineering and GIS Applications
  • ENVE 4710 GIS for Urban Engineering, Planning, and Development
  • FANR 3800 Spatial Analysis of Natural Resources
  • FANR 4201 Spatial Analysis for Integrative Natural Resource Problem Solving
  • FANR 5620 GIS Applications for Natural Resources
  • FORS 5650 Aerial Photogrammetry in Forestry
  • GEOL 4530 Principles and Environmental Applications of GIS

In addition to the courses listed above, upon request by the applicant, a GIS related course taken in another department at UGA can be considered as an elective course contingent upon an evaluation by the certificate program coordinator or the GIScience faculty.

Additional Stipulations

In order to ensure that certificate recipients display a strong command of GIScience, the certificate is granted only to those students who achieve a 3.0 GPA in courses that constitute the GIScience Certificate Program. The GPA for certificate purposes will be computed in accordance with UGA policy.  Post-baccalaureate students returning to acquire the certificate must repeat any required or elective courses which were completed more than five years prior to the award date of the certificate.

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