Graduate Course Listing

Graduate Certificate in Geographical Information Systems

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) allow us to capture, manage, query, analyze and model geospatially referenced data. GIS ties the idea of location to information, allowing us to visualize it in map form. Using geospatial techniques we can combine and overlay data to visualize complex scenarios from a geographic perspective. GIS also allows us to integrate data from diverse sources, helping identify relationships, trends, and patterns of distribution.

The goal of our certificate program is to provide students with a solid grounding in geospatial theory and techniques, combined with the practical skills to apply these techniques to real world problems. Students will be exposed to a combination of industry standard software and open source softwares, in classes that encourage an extensive hands-on approach. We feature service learning components in our courses, that increasingly incorporate the growing field of open source GIS.

The demand for geospatial science skills is significant in today’s job market, and GIS is increasingly popular in many different disciplines and industries, such as; scientific investigation, resource management, marketing, archaeology, environmental research, urban planning, demography, development, policy, public health, emergency management, and logistics.


Certificate Requirements

The Geographical Information Systems (GIS) graduate certificate program provides students with a solid grounding in geospatial theory and techniques, combined with the practical skills to apply these techniques to real world scenarios. Students will be exposed to a combination of industry standard and open source softwares, in classes that encourage an extensive hands-on approach. Graduate participants will complete a selection of core and elective courses that will provide knowledge and skills needed by professional GIS users.

The Certificate requires the completion of 12 graduate credit hours, with three required courses: GEOG 6304 (GIS 1), GEOG 6305 (Geospatial Statistics), and GEOG 6306 (GIS II) and one elective class. All students are expected to complete the program in four semesters or less.


Core Courses

GEOG 6304: Geographical Information Systems I (Fall, Spring Summer)
Course Description: This course is designed to introduce students to both the science and skills of cartography, by examining topics such as visualization, map projections, map interpretation skills, thematic mapping, and most importantly, the fundamentals of map creation using computer-assisted techniques. The GIS portion of the course will focus on obtaining a good introductory competency with the GIS application ArcGIS 10.

GEOG 6305: Geospatial Statistics (Fall)
Course Description: This course is tailored to introduce commonly used methods, tools and approaches in spatial analysis. Spatial analysis is used to describe and test hypotheses about phenomenon that have a spatial component. The course will begin by reviewing statistical concepts and techniques used in traditional applied statistics. Students will learn common sampling strategies, how to analyze and interpret geographical data and how to apply statistics in their research. In this class students will use Excel, SPSS, and ArcGIS. They will learn how to integrate data analysis and graphic visualizations such as graphs and maps in their research.

GEOG 6306: Geographical Information Systems II (Spring)
Course Description: This course is designed to build upon students GIS and cartographic knowledge by re-visiting topics such as visualization, map projections, map interpretation skills and thematic mapping; while adding new concepts such as spatial analysis, database design, and geospatial modeling. The practical element of the course will focus on expanding students existing proficiency with the GIS application ArcGIS 10.


Electives

GEOG 6307: Digital Image Processing (Spring)
GEOG 6309: GIS for Emergency Management (Fall)
GEOG 6293: Computer Programming for Geographic Applications (Fall 2014)
GEOG 6293: Geo-visualization & Cartography (Fall 2014)
GEOG 6293: Open Source GIS (Summer 2015)
GEOG 6293: GIS in the Field (Spring 2015)

If you wish to visit the department, or speak to the program advisor, please contact:

Nuala M. Cowan, D.Sc
Director of the GIS Certificate
202-994-5154
nuala@gwu.edu

A Map of the World: GIS Certificate Offers Cutting-Edge Skills

From environmental scientists to bridge builders, from disease trackers to fire departments, more and more professionals rely on geographic information systems (GIS). The mapping technology has become a critical tool in addressing crises from inner-city poverty to global warming. Read more. 

GIS Spatial Analysis Lab

Access to Exciting Technologies

Our state-of-the-art Spatial Analysis Lab is available for student research and our faculty members have expertise in GIS, remote sensing and spatial analysis.

Map

Flexible and Interdisciplinary Approach

Certificate students have an opportunity to pick from a broad range of electives that match their interests. Our electives aim to capture the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary geospatial analysis

The Washington Advantage

The University’s location in downtown Washington provides numerous opportunities for graduate students. Our location in the nation’s capital provides close proximity to government entities, NGOs and think tanks where students gain valuable experience as geospatial volunteers & interns.