Geographic Information Science Certificate

The undergraduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science requires a minimum of 18 s.h. of credit, including at least 12 s.h. earned at the University of Iowa. Students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 in work for the certificate. Courses taken pass/nonpass do not count toward the certificate. The certificate may not be earned by students enrolled in a UI graduate or professional degree program.

Geographic information systems (GIS) and the digital spatial data that they contain inform major decisions on how natural resources are managed, how smart cities are built, how communities respond to natural disasters, and how the spread of disease is detected. These same systems and data guide such everyday tasks as deciding one's driving route, finding family and friends using a phone, or figuring out when the bus arrives. Geographic information science (GIScience) has emerged as a field of study focused on fundamental questions about how to acquire, store, manage, analyze and visualize geographic information using computers.

The certificate is designed to provide the knowledge and skills needed to work with geographic information and prepare individuals to work in this growing profession. The certificate course work helps build a knowledgeable geospatial workforce that understands how to use GIScience properly and applies this understanding to improve transportation systems, improve water quality, or make companies more productive.

Students who major in geography (geographic information science track) or who earn a minor in geographic information science cannot earn the Certificate in Geographic Information Science.

The Certificate in Geographic Information Science requires the following course work:

Core Courses

Code Title Hours
One of these:    
GEOG:1030 Our Digital Earth 3
GEOG:1050 Foundations of GIS 4
Both of these:    
GEOG:1065 Introduction to Spatial Analysis: Patterns and Processes 3
GEOG:3540/IGPI:3540 Introduction to Geographic Visualization 3

Geographic Analysis Electives

Code Title Hours
Two of these:    
GEOG:3500/IGPI:3500 Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing 3
GEOG:3520/IGPI:3520 GIS for Environmental Studies 3
GEOG:3570 Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR): Principles and Applications 3
GEOG:4020 Field Methods: Mapping and Mobile Computing 3
GEOG:4580/IGPI:4580 Introduction to Geographic Databases 3

Capstone Course

Code Title Hours
One of these:    
GEOG:4150/GHS:4150/IGPI:4150 Health and Environment: GIS Applications 3
GEOG:4500/IGPI:4500 Applications in Environmental Remote Sensing 4
GEOG:4520/IGPI:4520 GIS for Environmental Studies: Applications 3
An independent project or internship (Consult advisor) 3