Geographic Information Science Certificate

Department of Geography, College of Arts & Sciences

Vision Statement

The mission of the geography graduate program is to provide quality graduate education in physical geography, human geography and spatial analysis (GIS, cartography and remote sensing). The department offers a rich learning environment for students with close interaction between faculty and students, technology-enhanced instruction, and opportunities for fieldwork. Courses enhance student’s perception and appreciation of the earth’s human and physical environments as well as geography’s essential role in both understanding and navigating our increasingly interconnected world. The department, an active participant in its community, has ties throughout the city and state, leading to a wide variety of internship opportunities. The department is committed to providing students with the essential knowledge and skills needed to succeed, be it in professional employment or further graduate education.

Program Contact Information:

Dr. Christina Dando, Graduate Program Chair (GPC)

Durham Science Center (DSC) 271


Program Website:

Application Deadlines:

  • Fall: July 1
  • Spring: December 1
  • Summer: May 1

Application Requirements:

  • Online Application
  • One official copy of transcripts for ALL institutions previously attended
  • Application Fee
  • If English is not the language of nurture, official test scores from the TOEFL, IETLS, or PTE exam are required
    • 500 on the written TOEFL
    • 173 on the computer-based TOEFL
    • 61 on the internet-based TOEFL
    • 5.5 on the IELTS
    • 44 on the PTE
  • Minimum GPA of at least 3.0 in undergraduate courses related to proposed major
  • Applicants for whom English is not the native language must have a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (213 if computer based; 79-80 internet-based)
    • 53-Pearson Test of English (PTE)
    • 6.5 IELTS
  • Only required if not admitted to MA in Geography program

    • Two (2) letters of recommendation
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Resume

Program-Specific Requirements:

Applicants must have a GPA in geography of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

The student must demonstrate a background in geography, statistics, and computer science.

Prerequisites would include courses in human and physical geography, statistics, and programming

such as the following:

GEOG 1020Introduction to Human Geography

3 credits

GEOG 1070Physical Geography: Soils and Landforms

4 credits

MATH 1530Introduction to Applied Probability and Statistics

3 credits

CIST 1400Introduction to Computer Programming

3 credits

Cert-GIS Degree Requirements

Cert-GIS Required Courses (12 hours):

GEOG 8535Cartography & GIS

2 credits

GEOG 8545Cartography & GIS Lab

2 credits

GEOG 8056Geographic Information Systems I

4 credits

GEOG 8666Geographic Information Systems II

4 credits

Cert-GIS Elective Courses (6 hours):

GEOG 8016Conservation of Natural Resources

3 credits

GEOG 8036Computer Mapping and Visualization

3 credits

GEOG 8636Environmental Remote Sensing

4 credits

GEOG 8650Land Use

3 credits

GEOG 8800Internship in Environmental/Regional Planning

1 - 6 credits

Students may substitute advanced courses in GIS for required courses already taken. Students will be allowed a maximum of two substitutions for these required courses. Substitution must be approved by the department GIS advisor.

Total Credit Hours: 18