University of Wisconsin–Madison

Online GIS Fundamentals Capstone Certificate Program

  • REQUIREMENTS

    Application Requirements:
    • An undergraduate degree
    • 3.0+ GPA
    • A desire to learn more about GIS

    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. *For students who attended UW-Madison and completed either GEOG 370 Introduction to Cartography or GEOG/​CIV ENGR/​ENVIR ST 377 An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, the 4 credits for one of the two courses may be applied toward the 12-credit certificate total.

  • CURRICULUM

    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

    CORE COURSES (12 CREDITS):
    • 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.

  • TUITION, FINANCIAL AID, AND CREDIT TRANSFERS

    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 may transfer up to 4 credits if they have previously taken an introductory GIS or Cartography course from UW-Madison (see Requirements section for more information). Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to the program is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

    Per Graduate School policy, any prior coursework must have been rigorous and meet the expectations of a graduate work for the program. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

  • WHAT IS A CAPSTONE CERTIFICATE 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 INFORMATION

    Application Deadlines:

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

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

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

    SUMMER:
    • 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 a non-native English speaker, you must take the TOEFL exam and submit your scores during the application process. Minimum acceptable TOEFL scores by the UW Graduate School are 92 for internet based test (IBT) and 580 for paper test. More information can be found here.

    Online Applications

    Both applications below are required for this certificate program.
    1. Special Student Application
    • Choose GIS FUNDAMENTALS 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