Geography Information Sciences 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 semester. Applications must be made online via for the undergraduate certificate and for the graduate certificate. 


To obtain a GIS certificate, a student must complete 4 required courses, with a minimum grade of C in each course for the undergraduate certificate, and a minimum grade of B in each course for the graduate certificate. The certificate will be awarded upon satisfactory completion of the required courses and approval of the online application for graduation. The certificate will appear on the official transcript. 

Courses (offering schedule subject to change):
Remote Sensing and Cartography group (Select 1) Introduction to GIS group (Select 1) GIS Applications group (Select 2)
  • GEOG6072 Principles and Applications of GPS
  • GEOG5174C/6074C Computer Analytical Cartography (Fall)
  • GEOG5176C/6076C Principles of Remote Sensing (Fall) 
  • GEOG5171C/6071C Introduction to Geographic Information Sciences (Fall, Spring)
  • PLAN6071 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (Fall, Spring)
  • PLAN2054 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 

- Pre-requisite: any 1 course under Intro to GIS Group

  • GEOG5015C/6015C Intro to Landscape Ecology and GIS
  • GEOG5121/6021 Crime Mapping and Analysis
  • GEOG5131/6031 GIS and Public Health
  • GEOG5181C/6081C Intermediate GIS (Spring)
  • GEOG5189C/6089C Digital Terrain and Watershed Analysis
  • GEOG5190C/6090C GIS in Hydrology
  • GEOG5191C/6091C Advanced GIS & Web GIS (Fall)
  • PLAN6091 GIS Project Formulation and Management (Spring)
  • GEOG5197C/6097C GeoComputation-Big Data
  • GEOG5198C/6098C Data Mining/Visual
  • GEOG5199C/6099C Exploratory Visual Analytics
  • GEOG7091 Seminar: GIS


- Pre-requisite:

  • GEOG5176C/6076C Principles of Remote Sensing
  • GEOG5087/6087 Hyperspectral/Thermal Remote Sensing
  • GEOG5196C/6096C Advanced Remote Sensing and Image Analysis 

Lower level courses in Groups (1) and (2) may be replaced by upper level courses in Group (3) 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.

Program Directors

Lin Liu
Geography, Braunstein Hall 400E

Xinhao Wang
Planning, DAAP Building 6217


The cost of courses in this program is in accordance with the university’s general tuition rate. Please visit for the current tuition rate.