Online Advanced GIS Capstone Certificate Program

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Application Requirements:
• An undergraduate degree
• 3.0+ GPA
• Two GIS/Cartography courses
• One Statistics/Quantitative Methods course

The standard minimum requirements to earn a Capstone Certificate, are as follows:
• Students must earn a minimum grade of C in each course used to meet Capstone Certificate requirements.
• Courses in which a student elects the pass/fail or audit option will not count toward completion of Capstone Certificate requirements.
• All of the Capstone Certificate credits must be earned “in residence” (which includes on campus and distance-delivered courses) at UW-Madison.
• All of the Capstone Certificate credits must be earned while enrolled in the Capstone Certificate program.


The Advanced Capstone Certificate provides you the opportunity to advance your competency in the following areas:

 Map Design

 UX/UI Design

 Interactive Geovisualization


 Spatial Analysis

 Spatial Programming

Choose any three online courses from the catalog (12 credits maximum allowed). No capstone project is required.

CHOOSE 3 COURSES (12 credits total):

  • Geog 378: Intro to Geocomputing, 4 cr.
  • Geog 572: Graphic Design in Cartography, 4 cr.
  • Geog 574: Spatial Databases, 4 cr.
  • Geog 575: Interactive Cartography & Geovisualization, 4 cr.
  • Geog 576: Spatial Web & Mobile Programming, 4 cr. (Pre-req: G378)
  • Geog 579: GIS & Spatial Analysis, 4 cr.

Visit our Curriculum page for course descriptions.


Gainful Employment Act Disclosures

Please visit our Financial Information page to learn more about tuition and financial aid for this program.

This program is not eligible for transfer credits. All program credits must be earn while enrolled in the program.


UW-Madison Capstone Certificate programs are a collaboration between the Graduate School and the Division of Continuing Studies.

GIS Capstone Certificate students are considered to be graduate-level students. However, Capstone Certificate students enroll into the university through the Division of Continuing Studies, Adult Career & Special Student Services Office — not via the Graduate School. Thus they are officially labeled University Special Students. 

Though Capstone Certificate coursework is graduate-level, Capstone Certificate students are not admitted to the Graduate School. Thus, their studies will not lead directly to a graduate degree or graduate certificate. (Though, the capstone certificate credits may be transferred and applied to future GIS graduate programs at UW–Madison.)

Students may not be simultaneously enrolled in both a Graduate and a Capstone Certificate program at the University of Wisconsin.

See the Division of Continuing Studies’ Capstone FAQ page for general information about Capstone Certificates at the UW-Madison.


Application Deadlines:

*Letters of Recommendation should be received by the final deadline.

• First Consideration: May 1
• International Students: May 1
• Final Deadline: July 15

• First Consideration: September 1
• International Students: September 1
• Final Deadline: November 1

• First Consideration: February 1
• International Students: February 1
• Final Deadline: April 1

Required Documents:

Unofficial Transcripts – Collect your unofficial transcripts from any previously completed undergraduate and graduate degrees. Unofficial (e.g., scanned, downloaded) transcripts are fine at this point. *Only after you’re accepted into the program will you be required to send official copies.

Contact Information for Two Professional or Academic References – You need the following info for each contact: Name and Email. Your contact will automatically be sent an email when you complete your application.

Statement of Interest – Your statement of interest should be a one page essay. This should include your background education, your current career and aspirations for the future, and why you would like to pursue this capstone certificate. Tell us why you think you would be a good fit for our program, what you hope to learn from our curriculum, and what skills are you excited to graduate with.

International Students – If you are an international degree-seeking applicant, you will be required to prove English proficiency. See the Graduate School Requirements for more information.

Online Applications:

Both applications below are required for this certificate program.
1. Special Student Application
• Choose ADVANCED GIS CAPSTONE CERTIFICATE for your ‘Reason for Applying’
• Pick the semester you wish to start (Fall, Spring, or Summer).
• You do not need to fill out the academic plan box.

2. Supplemental Application