GIS Certificate

The undergraduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a curriculum designed specifically for students, pre-professionals, and current professionals. Various geospatial technologies are used in the program, such as: Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and programming. The certificate will serve to complement a student’s major degree, especially if there is an interest and need for cartography, database management, or spatial analysis skills. Above all, the certificate ensures that students and professionals have a solid theoretical understanding of spatial concepts, and equipped with the tools to analyse real-world problems. 

The program offers:

  • A broad-based curriculum
  • Internationally recognized faculty
  • Hands-on training from leading GIS professionals
  • A diverse and active student body
  • State-of-the-art facilities and resources
  • Flexible scheduling options, including courses offered in late-afternoons, evenings; and mixed-mode and online classes to accommodate students who work full-time


      Certificate Format

      The GIS Certificate at UM-Flint consists of seven classes and 22-26 credits. You can view the complete class listing and descriptions in the catalog

      Courses are often offered in the evening, as well as in online and mixed-mode formats. The curriculum can be organized into three tiers:

      Tier one: Key topics

      • Five parts of a GIS (hardware, software, data, people, methods). 
      • Data types: raster, vector
      • Projections
      • Metadata
      • Finding/evaluating data
      • Data storage (geodatabases, shapefiles)
      • Web GIS

      Tier two: Advanced topics

      • Spatial analysis
      • Spatial statistics
      • GIS Project Management
      • Advanced geoprocessing

      Tier three: Content knowledge

      • At least one elective is required for the completion of the GIS Certificate. Elective classes cover a variety of topics related to GIS, including biology, natural resource management, urban planning, public health, and sociology. 

      A bicycle heartrate map of Wuppertal, Germany. 


      Thanks to continuous advances in technology, the GIS industry is growing at a rapid rate. Some sectors that employ those skilled in GIS include:

      • Environmental Sciences
      • Archaeology
      • Defense & Intelligence
      • Public Health
      • Urban & Regional Planning

      The GIS industry is expected to reach $17.5 billion by 2023. Additional research forecasts the larger geospatial analytics market to reach $73.91 billion by 2021. 

      The certificate coursework is formatted to provide training in the core geospatial abilities outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor Geospatial Technology Competency model. 

      Common job titles in this field include GIS Technician, GIS Analyst, and GIS Manager. 

      Next Steps

      If you'd like to learn more about the GIS Certificate, contact Dr. Greg Rybarzyk, GIS Certificate Program Coordinator, at Please put "GIS Certificate" in the subject line. 

      You're encouraged to reach out as soon as possible, to identify a schedule that will allow you to complete the certificate in a timely manner. We look forward to hearing from you!