University of Wisconsin–Madison

Online GIS Fundamentals Capstone Certificate Program


New to GIS and mapmaking? Have no fear! Everyone starts their GIS journey somewhere.

If you are here because you want to learn GIS to:
• Switch careers to a high-demand, fast-growing industry
• Move into a higher paying and more interesting field
• Increase your value to the company you work for, or
• Apply spatial analysis and visualization to your current field

Then this 100% online program is exactly the right program for you.

Upon completion of this program, you can immediately start your GIS career.

Even better, you can also continue on in our Professional GIS Ecosystem by learning even more in one of the programs below:
Advanced GIS Capstone Certificate Program
• Online Professional GIS Master’s Program
• In-Residence Accelerated/Non-Thesis Master’s Program 




An undergraduate degree

3.0+ GPA

A desire to learn more about GIS



It’s simple really: we provide you with the core competencies you need to secure your first GIS job.

You take three courses covering the fundamentals of modern GIS knowledge.

• Cartography: the science of drawing and representing spatial data across the surface of the Earth
• GIS: the science of spatial data and analysis
• Geocomputing: the method of using computer coding to process, analyze, and represent spatial information


  • Geog 370: Introduction to Cartography, 4 cr.
  • Geog 377: Introduction to GIS, 4 cr.
  • Geog 378: Geocomputing, 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.

Students in this program can transfer up to 4 credits if they have previously taken an introductory GIS or Cartography course. A course syllabus may be required.


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.

Questions? Of course you have some. Please don’t hesitate to ask us.