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The Graduate Certificate Program in Geographic Information Sciences (GISc), offered within the Department of Geography, is designed to educate and train students in geographic information systems, remote sensing, quantitative methods, spatial analysis, global positioning systems, and data

Image courtesy of Dr. Yulong Zhang

visualization. GISc is used in environmental policy, marketing, planning, demographic analysis, resource management, ecological analyses, health care delivery, nutrition and diet, environment and health, epidemiology, information technology, and more. GISc practitioners are employed by government agencies, corporations, agribusiness, environmental health and ecological consulting firms, planning organizations, and academic institutions.

Program & Requirements:

  • Complete 18 credit hours of relevant coursework (see Program Description pdf for list of possible courses).
    • Transfer credit for appropriate previous courses (6 credits maximum) can be requested from the certificate director.
  • Finish in 1 year for full-time students; part-time students have up to 4 years to complete.
  • You must have a BA or BS degree at time of application and have taken an introductory course in statistical methods (course can be added to first semester, if needed).
  • Cost based on rates for graduate tuition & fees and depend on credit hours enrolled (see ).

Please see the Program Description pdf for complete program details.  Further questions can be directed to Dr. Erika Wise, Director of the GISc Certificate Program, at

To Apply:

Application deadline: June 15th for fall admission or November 15th for spring admission.

Send the following to Dr. Erika Wise, Director of the GISc Certificate Program (

  • Transcripts, showing undergraduate graduation date.
  • Essay that describes your interest in the program and your rationale for applying, indicates your requested start semester, and provides your full contact information (2-page maximum).
  • Name, position, and contact information for someone who can serve as a reference.

If you are currently enrolled as a graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill: You do not need to send the above materials. Instead, send the certificate director (Dr. Erika Wise, an email indicating your interest in joining the certificate program and have your advisor send an email stating that they support your enrollment in the program.

Image courtesy of Dr. Yulong Zhang