Geographic Information Systems

Graduate Certificate Program

GIS is the process of managing and analyzing spatial data for decision-making purposes. Data has become more and more integral in the functioning of many businesses and industries. Uses include crime mapping, urban planning, logistics, environmental issues etc.

The Graduate Certificate is a 18 hour graduate two-year sequence designed to prepare students for proficiency in the field. Students seeking admission to the certificate program are required to fulfill the general requirements for admissions to graduate programs at CSU, which includes attainment of a 3.0 GPA at the undergraduate level. In addition, students who lack at least 3 hours of introductory computer programming and 3 hours of introductory GIS may be required to make up these deficiencies. Students who have already taken some of the required courses at CSU or elsewhere are encouraged to consult the advisor. Fieldwork and internships are a key part of the program. The department has established relationships with a variety of businesses, community organizations and public agencies that hire frequently in the GIS area. For those students wishing to continue their degree program can register for one of the Master degree program including an M.A. in Geography with  Geographic Information Systems Concentration.  Information for this program can be found here (\gsea\geography\graduate.htm).

Upon completion of the certificate students should:

  • Understand the principles of cartography and be able to design and produce professional quality maps.
  • Understand technical aspects of remote sensing. Be able to visually interpret, digitally process and analyze imagery acquired via remote sensing systems.
  • Understand spatial data structures. Be competent in designing, developing and managing spatial databases.
  • Understand GIS concepts, operations and the process of decision making in the GIS context.
  • Understand how ArcGIS and its extensions work.
  • Understand how remote sensing applications work.
  • Be able to plan and implement a GIS project using ArcGIS and its extensions.
  • Be able to plan and implement a GIS system.


The Geographic Information Systems Laboratory at CSU consists of 16 Windows Vista Business machines, two servers, and several printers for map output. All of these machines contain the latest ArcGIS 10.0 release and ERDAS Imagine 2011 remote sensing software. Other map composition tools, geocoding and statistics software including Corel Draw and SPSS are loaded in the laboratory. Global Positioning Systems equipment is available for use in course and project work.

GIS Lab 2012

Several local and regional datasets are stored in the lab and are available for research purposes. Among these datasets is a library of Landsat satellite imagery for the past three decades, IKONOS imagery of the Lake Calumet Region and several sets of census information. Other resources include the Calumet Environmental Resource Center (CERC) and the Fred Blum Neighborhood Assistance Center (NAC).

Certificate Courses (18 hours):

Geog 5800    Introduction to GIS

Geog 5820   Environmental Remote Sensing

Geog 5830   Advanced Geographic Information Systems

Geog 5810   Analytical Cartography

Geog 5840   Digital Image Processing

Geog 5850   Geographic Information Systems Applications

Graduate Certificate Information Sheet (pdf file)
Graduate Certificate Information Sheet (word file)
Course Descriptions (pdf file)
Course Descriptions (word file)

For more certificate information, please contact:

Dr. Daniel Block, Graduate Advisor
Office: SCI-254
Phone: (773)995-2310