certificate

GIS and Geospatial Technology

This five-course, fully online certificate is developed in partnership with UCLA Department of Geography. It provides a comprehensive foundation of knowledge and skills associated with geographic information systems (GIS). It teaches computer-based mapping and spatial analysis techniques with hands-on, project-based instruction using industry-standard GIS software platforms. Upon completion of the program, participants will be prepared for a GIS job and/or integrate GIS technologies into their current professions. 

$
200.00
5

This program is perfect for...

  • This certificate is an entry-level GIS program designed for anyone looking to get started in the fields of GIS and geospatial technology
  • Early career professionals seeking a competitive edge in a variety of fields, as well as mid-career and late-career professionals seeking to augment or update their existing competencies
  • People interested in learning how to make maps, analyze geographic data, or make decisions using the spatial dimension of data
  • Any professional or student who wants to integrate GIS and related geospatial technologies into their current career or organization
  • Students who want to learn how to use location-based data to better understand the world

What you can learn.

  • Learn to make maps and analyze data using the most popular industry-standard (ArcGIS Desktop) and free open source (QGIS) GIS software platforms
  • Learn how to ask geographic research questions and solve problems with a spatial dimension
  • Master computing and problem-solving skills whose applications extend beyond GIS
  • Acquire skills in data collection, data analysis, and data processing
  • Become proficient in working with spatial data and geographic information systems (GIS)

Additionally, earn credit toward GISP certification by completing a certificate. Earn Student Activity Hours (SAH) for our courses, at a rate of 150 for our Intro course and 120 for each of the other courses. All the courses are transferable and are accredited, approved by the UCLA Academic Senate as credit-bearing courses. Courses carry both lower-division (Intro) and upper-division (all other courses) undergraduate credit. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Get your answers to commonly asked questions. 

How to enroll in a certificate? 

  1. Register for Introduction to GIS, or any other course as the gateway to the certificate.
  2. Declare certificate candidacy by paying the 'candidacy fee' to establish you as a formal certificate seeking student.

This process may be completed at any time after or before enrolling in a course(s). Click here to know more about the process.

What are the admissions criteria for the certificate program? 

It is an open enrollment program. 

Students enrolling from outside of English-speaking countries must meet a language proficiency requirement, which can be demonstrated by submitting a copy of one of the following English proficiency tests above the listed minimum scores:
TOEFL: 550 (paper), 213 (computer), 79 (Internet)
IELTS: 6.5
ITEP: 5
CAE I CPE: Level CI Grades A, B, C

Will I be earning transferrable UCLA course credit?

Yes. All of the courses in the certificate program are accredited and approved by the UCLA Academic Senate as credit-bearing courses. Courses carry both lower-division (Intro) and upper-division (all other courses) undergraduate credit.

Do I need to pay for the entire certificate amount upfront? 

No. Pay as you go, when you sign up for individual course(s). 

What are the courses like?

No synchronous online or in-person meetings are required. All courses are online and flexibly scheduled, with weekly deadlines providing structure. Our courses are asynchronous, meaning that students are free to work on course-related activities at any time that is convenient and optimal for their individual schedules. However, students are expected to meet a series of weekly deadlines. 

Weekly activities include:

  • Reviewing video lectures, technical screencasts, and readings; Completing practical assignments involving the use of GIS methods to address real-world scenarios; Self-assessment using automated non-graded quizzes; and more.

No high-stakes exams are required: all activities are project-based and centered around practical applications of GIS techniques. Weekly practical assignments are the cornerstone of the program's structure. These assignments are not the typical step-by-step GIS software tutorials: they encourage critical thinking and problem solving, and completing the projects helps in the development of intuitive mastery of GIS tools and methods.

How much time do I need to set aside for coursework?

Students report spending an average of 10 hours per week, per course on completing coursework for this program. However, this is just an average. Student workloads tend to be highest in the Intro course as well as when students choose to take multiple courses concurrently.  

Since the courses are fully online, how are students supported?

We make every effort to ensure that students in the certificate program feel supported. On-demand course content provides everything you need to successfully complete all course activities, but your instructors and the program's administration regularly hold office hours. Office hours are provided at the UCLA campus, online, and by phone. Students and instructors also frequently engage in stimulating conversation in discussion forums integrated within each course module.

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Certificate Course Planner

Required Course Availability* Fall Winter Spring Summer
Introduction to GIS
Intermediate GIS    
Advanced GIS    
Cartography    
GIS Programming    
*Can be subject to change

Estimated Cost Breakdown

Application & Candidacy Fee

200.00

Estimated Program Tuition

7875.00

Estimated program textbook/materials

400.00

*The Application & Candidacy fee establishes your candidacy in the program for a period of time covering normal progress toward completion and may allow you to access a variety of program benefits. See our website or speak to a program representative for more information about candidacy and program benefits.

Internships Available
No
Visa Requirement Applicable
No
VA Benefit Eligible
No
Financial Aid
No
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**Federal Financial Aid Gainful Employment Disclosures

The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges and universities to disclose certain information for any financial aid eligible program that, “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation”. This information includes program costs; occupations that the program prepares students to enter; occupational profiles; on time completion rate; and for the most recent award year: the number of students who have completed the program, the number of students who complete the program within the estimated duration, the job placement rate, and the median Title IV and private loan debt incurred by those who complete the program. For gainful employment information for this program, visit our Financial Aid page.

Contact Us

Speak to a program representative. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.

The GIS field has grown so much since I took an introductory course in college, and it’s been invaluable to get connected with professors that are so passionate about the field. The program courses feel current, challenging and engaging. The pace has been fast but not overwhelming, and it's been easy to settle into a rhythm with completing assignments and quizzes each week. I'm most impressed by the program's comprehensive focus on both the technical foundation of GIS as well as the supplemental open source programs, online apps and design tools --  David McCreary

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