What are the admissions criteria for the certificate program?
The certificate program is an open enrollment program, meaning that any interested prospective students can enroll in the program regardless of previous educational experience.
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
How do I enroll in the certificate program?
2. Establish certificate candidacy by clicking "Apply Now" below, following the prompts, and paying the candidacy fee.
You may declare yourself as a certificate candidate at any time after enrolling in the Introduction to GIS course. This entitles you to certain benefits and establishes you as a student formally seeking the certificate. No formal application process is required given that this program is structured as an open enrollment program.
Will I be earning transferable 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. You’ll enroll in and pay for each course individually each quarter.
What are the courses like?
All courses are online and flexibly scheduled, with weekly deadlines providing structure. We strike the right balance between flexibility and structure: we move through course content together as a cohort, but when you review the content and complete the required activities each week is up to you. No synchronous online or in-person meetings are required.
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
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. Assignments 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?
On average, students report spending approximately 10 hours per week, per course on completing coursework for this program. 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.
What about GISP® certification criteria?
Students planning to pursue GISP® certification can apply our courses toward satisfying the GISP's Educational Achievement Component. Students will earn Student Activity Hours (SAH) at a rate of 150 for the Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) course and 120 for each of the other courses. All courses are transferable and accredited, approved by the UCLA Academic Senate as credit-bearing courses.