Add a Certificate in Geographic Information Science

The Department of Geographical and Sustainability Science offers an undergraduate certificate in Geographic Information Science (GISci). Certificates enhance and enrich undergraduate academic programs and broaden students' opportunities for post-graduation employment or graduate studies. Certificates are interdisciplinary and draw on courses offered by multiple departments to craft a broad foundation on each subject.  

Students completing the Certificate in Geographic Information Science will be able to understand how:

  • Geographic patterns and processes are captured and represented using computer technologies
  • Spatial analytical methods are used to address challenges associated with the study and management of urban, natural, and agricultural systems
  • Geospatial technologies (e.g., geographic information and remote sensing systems) can be used to conduct spatial analyses. Geovisualization is used to communicate the results of spatial analyses
  • To work on collaborative project teams address complicated geographic issues

Our objective with this certificate is to help build a knowledgeable geospatial workforce that understands how to use GIScience properly and is able to apply this understanding in ways that lead to, for example, improved transportation systems, better water quality, or more productive companies. The certificate will provide students with a higher level of knowledge of related concepts and theories through readings and discussions, and as well as an applied understanding of related technology through hands-on laboratory exercises.


  • Requires a minimum of 19 semester hours of credit
  • Students must maintain a grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.00 in work for the certificate
  • Courses taken pass/nonpass do not count toward the certificate
  • The certificate may be earned by any student admitted to the University of Iowa who is not concurrently enrolled in a UI graduate or professional degree program
  • Students who major in geography (geographic information science track) or who earn a Minor in Geographic Information Science cannot earn this certificate

Take all of the following
Course numberCourse nameSemester hours
GEOG:2050Foundations of GIS4
GEOG:3500Environmental Remote Sensing3
GEOG:3540Geographic Visualization3

Choose one of the following
Course numberCourse nameSemester hours
GEOG:3050Geospatial Programming3
GEOG:4500Advanced Remote Sensing4
GEOG:4580Geographic Databases3

Choose two of the following
Course numberCourse nameSemester hours
GEOG:1030Our Digital Earth3
GEOG:3570LiDAR: Principles & Applications3
GEOG:3520GIS for Environmental Studies3
GEOG:4150Health & Environment GIS App.3

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Hannah Whitcomb

Hannah Whitcomb

Senior Academic Advisor