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Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


The GIS Certificate is a rigorous plan of study available to geography undergraduate students who wish to prepare for advanced careers in GIS, cartography, and remote sensing.


Any geography undergraduate student may pursue the GIS Certificate. It is strongly recommended that students wishing to pursue the Certificate decide to do so as soon as possible since several of the required courses have prerequisites.


  1. Complete the following required courses (24 credits total) with a grade of B or better for all geography courses:
    • GEO 238 Statistics for Geographers I (3)
    • GEO 300 Cartography (3)
    • GEO 303 Introduction to GIS (4)
    • GEO 304 Advanced GIS (4)
    • GEO 305 Remote Sensing (4)
    • GEO 308 Statistics for Geographers II (3)
    • GEO 351 Cartographic Design (3)
  2. Complete any two (2) of the following (6-8 credits total):
    • IT 164 Introduction to Problem Solving Using the Computer (3)
    • IT 165 Computer Programming for Scientists (4)
    • IT 166 Python Programming for Science and Data Analysis (4) (Prerequisite GEO 238)
    • IT 168 Structured Problem Solving Using the Computer (4)
    • IT 170 Scripting Languages and Automation (Python) (3) (Prerequisite IT 168)
    • GEO 325 Python Scripting for GIS

    Note: Students are strongly encouraged to plan their schedules so they can take IT 164, 165, and/or 166 in the fall semester as these courses typically are not offered in spring semesters. Completion of GEO 304 is recommended prior to enrollment in GEO 325.

  3. Complete a suitable professional experience, one that relates in large part to GIS, remote sensing, and/or cartography. The experience must be approved by a designated Geography faculty member.

A certificate of achievement will be presented to graduating students who complete the requirements for the GIS Certificate. Attainment of the GIS Certificate will not appear on the student’s permanent ISU transcript.