University Catalog 2024-2025

Geographic Information Systems (Certificate)

Building on NC State's strengths in technology, computational methods, and geographic information systems (GIS), this program provides professional, graduate-level academic preparation in the advanced application of GIS technologies to a wide spectrum of disciplines, including economics, public health, emergency planning and response, land use planning, environmental resources, etc. The certificate, which is also available to current NC State students enrolled in non-GIS graduate programs, forms the basis for the Master of Geospatial Information Science and Technology.

Please visit our certificate program site for more information. 

Learning Outcomes and Degree Requirements

The Geographic Information Systems Graduate Certificate requires 12 credit hours. Six credit hours are core required courses and 6 hours of electives tailored to student interests. The focus is on theory and applications of GIS and fundamental skill building. A final GPA of 3.0 or greater is required at the time of graduation to receive the certificate. Specific course requirements are listed on the program website.


The demand for geospatial scientists across a wide range of disciplines and employment sectors continues to increase the options for GIS careers. Our students go on to enter positions as GIS technicians and analysts, consultants, and many other disciplinary positions where GIS skills are highly sought. Students currently working in the geospatial field also have found success transitioning to new positions and/or higher salaries within their current organizations upon completion of the certificate. 

Additional Information

Up to 12 credit hours of B or better grades from the Certificate can transfer into the MGIST program if/when a student applies and is accepted into that program.

Distance Website

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the certificate program requires a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with at least a 3.0 GPA. Students with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA may still be considered for admission based on the remaining criteria or may be recommended to take one of our graduate courses as a non-degree student first. These determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis. All applicants must submit:

  • Transcript showing Bachelor's degree conferred
  • A clear and concise personal statement/statement of interest
  • A resume/CV

Current NC State students in other degree programs may also be eligible to earn the certificate. These students should contact the Center for Geospatial Analytics for more information on how to apply. 

Applicant Information

  • Delivery Method: On-Campus, Online, Hybrid
  • Entrance Exam: None
  • Interview Required: None

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: April 15 (US); March 1 (Intl)
  • Spring: October 15 (US); July 15 (Intl)

Plan Requirements

Core Courses6
Fundamentals of Geospatial Information Science and Technology
Spatial Problem Solving
Elective Courses6
Choose 6 credit hours of electives from the "Elective Courses" listed below, at least 3 of which must be GIS prefix courses
Total Hours12

Elective Courses

Geospatial Professionalism
Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing
Cartographic Design
GIS Applications in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning
Surface Water Hydrology with GIS
Spatial Data Foundations
Geospatial Data Science and Analysis
Web and Mobile GIS Protocols
Special Topics in Geospatial Information Science
Geospatial Modeling
Mapping and Analysis Using UAS
Geospatial Forum
Special Topics in Geospatial Information Science
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Soil Science and Agriculture
Remote Sensing Applications in Soil Science and Agriculture
Precision Agriculture Technology
GIS Applications in Precision Agriculture
GIS Applications in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning
Introduction to Meteorological Remote Sensing
Spatial History
Fundamentals of Statistical Inference I
Fundamentals of Statistical Inference II
Statistical Methods For Researchers I
Statistics for Management and Social Sciences I
Statistics For Management and Social Sciences II
Applied Spatial Statistics
Statistical Programming I
Statistical Programming II
Total Hours0

Other courses not listed can be approved as an elective upon consultation with an advisor.



  • Eric Money, Director of Graduate Certificate Programs

Full Professors

  • Ross Meentemeyer
  • Helena Mitasova
  • Stacy Nelson
  • Gary Roberson

Associate Professor

  • Jeffrey White

Teaching Associate Professors

  • Eric Money
  • Stacy Supak
  • Laura Tateosian

Teaching Professor

  • Perver Baran

Emeritus Faculty

  • Heather Cheshire
  • Hugh Devine
  • Siamak Khorram