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

Program-Specific Requirements:

  • Applicants for whom English is not the native language must have a minimum TOEFL score of 550; 213 if computer based; 80 internet-based, 53 if Pearson Test of English (PTE), or 6.5  if 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

Degree Requirements

Required Courses (12 hours):

GEOG 8535/GEOG 3530Cartography & GIS

2 credits

GEOG 8545Cartography & GIS Lab

2 credits

GEOG 8056/GEOG 4050Geographic Information Systems I

4 credits

GEOG 8666/GEOG 4660Geographic Information Systems II

4 credits

Elective Courses (6 hours):

GEOG 8016/GEOG 4010Conservation of Natural Resources

3 credits

GEOG 8036/GEOG 4030Computer Mapping and Visualization

3 credits

GEOG 8636/GEOG 4630Environmental 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