The Department of Geography offers a one-year GIS Certificate Program developed to fill a growing demand for geospatial science skills in today’s job market. This graduate-level capstone program is intended to provide a mix of GIS theory and practical experience for many possible applications and fields such as:
Agriculture, Archeology, Conservation, Demography, Economics, Emergency Management, Law Enforcement, Marketing, Natural Resource Managment, Public Health, Transportation, Urban Planning, Wildlife Ecology, and more!
What is GIS? Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a discipline devoted to the acquisition, storage, management, analysis, and visualization of spatial data. GIS gives you the ability to integrate and analyze spatial and non-spatial information for mapping, planning and decision-making.
The primary goal of the program is to ensure that students become sufficiently grounded in theoretical underpinnings of GIS to make informed use of existing GIS applications and gain skills needed to construct new applications in the physical or social realms. The full range of GIS capabilities is covered, including data capture, analysis, modeling and cartographic representation.
The program covers the foundations of GIS and spatial analysis, including cartography and statistical methods. Through hands-on exposure in the form of lab exercises, course projects, and an internship or independent project, experience will be acquired with major GIS software packages, including ArcGIS. By teaching concepts and hands-on use, the program differs from a typical short course designed for GIS training in a particular software package.
The program is intended to serve:
- recent graduates who wish to acquire technical expertise to support the topical knowledge gained in their undergraduate major
- returning students who wish to acquire specialized training to meet current (or future) job requirements calling for GIS knowledge
UW-Capstone Certificate programs are a collaboration between the Graduate School and the Division of Continuing Studies. GIS Certificate students are considered to be graduate-level, but enroll into the program as University Special Students through the Division of Continuing Studies, Adult Career & Special Student Services office. Even though Capstone Certificate coursework is graduate-level, Capstone Certificate students have not been admitted to the Graduate School, nor will their studies lead to a graduate degree or graduate certificate: graduate certificates may only be earned by degree-seeking graduate students. By definition, students may not be simultaneously enrolled in both a Graduate and a Capstone Certificate program. See the Division of Continuing Studies’ Capstone FAQ page for general information about Capstone Certificates at the UW-Madison.