GIS Certificate Program

A Program of the Joint Center for GIS and Spatial Analysis (GISSA)


Program Description

The GIS Certificate Program is designed to meet the needs of both the novice, and experienced GIS professionals. Students who graduate from this program will have a solid understanding of the theoretical basis of GIS and rich hands-on experience with GIS software packages.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply and demonstrate the principles of geographic information science 
  • Formulate requirements and constraints in spatial analysis 
  • Complete spatial analysis with selected GIS software packages 
  • Develop skills for designing and implementing real-world GIS applications
  • Gain hands-on experience with popular GIS software such as ArcGIS 
  • Learn how to communicate effectively via mapping and graphic presentation


The GIS Certificate Program is open to both matriculated and non-matriculated students at the University of Cincinnati. Students can start the program in any quarter/semester. The deadline for application is two years after completion of all required courses. However, students are strongly encouraged to contact an advisor and apply early in the process.


To obtain a GIS certificate, a student must complete 4 required courses specified below, with a minimum grade of C in each course. The certificate will be awarded upon application and satisfactory completion of the required courses.

Remote Sensing and Cartography group (Select 1) Introduction to GIS group (Select 1) GIS Applications group (Select 2)
  • GEOG6072 Principles and Applications of GPS
  • GEOG6074 Computer Analytical Cartography
  • GEOG6076 Principles of Remote Sensing
  • PLAN2054 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 
  • PLAN6071 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • GEOG6071 Introduction to Geographic Information Sciences
  • PLAN6091 GIS Project Formulation and Management, Pre-requisite: any 1 course under (2)
  • GEOG6081 Intermediate GIS, Pre-requisite: any 1 course under (2)
  • GEOG6091 Advanced GIS & Web GIS, Pre-requisite: any 1 course under (2)
  • GEOG6021 Crime Mapping and Analysis, Pre-requisite: any 1 course under (2)
  • GEOG6031 GIS and Public Health, Pre-requisite: any 1 course under (2)
  • GEOG6089 Digital Terrain and Watershed Analysis, Pre-requisite: any 1 course under (2)
  • GEOG6087 Hyperspectral/Thermal Remote Sensing, Pre-requisite: GEOG6076
  • GEOG6096 Advanced Remote Sensing and Image Analysis, Pre-requisite: any 1 course under (1)
  • GEOG6099 Exploratory Visual Analytics, Pre-requisite: any 1 course under (2)
  • GEOG7091 Seminar: GIS, Pre-requisite: any 1 course under (2)

Lower level courses may be replaced by upper level courses upon approval of the advisor. One of the required courses may be substituted by a similar course taken outside the program. A written petition must be submitted to Dr. Liu or Dr. Wang for such substitution, and it must include well-reasoned justifications, including a thorough comparison of content coverage between the two courses, with the syllabi attached. The petition will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Lin Liu
Geography, Braunstein Hall 400E

Xinhao Wang
Planning, DAAP Building 6217