GIS Certificate and Degree Programs

There is a distinct difference between certification and certificate programs.

Certification: A process, often voluntary, by which individuals who have demonstrated a level of expertise in the profession are identified to the public and other stakeholders by a third party. Designed to recognize the expertise of established practitioners.

Certificate: An award given to an individual recognizing completion of  an academic course of study or training program. A list of certificate and degree programs at colleges and universities is available at:

GIScience Degree Resources from GISCI Member and Partner Organizations:

AAG: The Association of American Geographers is a scientific and educational society founded in 1904. Its 11,000+ members share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography and geographic education. See:  Geography Departments in the Americas

UCGIS: The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science is a non-profit organization of universities and other research institutions dedicated to advancing our understanding of geographic information processes and spatial relationships through improved theory, methods, technology and data. UCGIS members offer a wide array of degree and certificate programs in GIScience.

URISA: The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association is a non-profit professional and educational association that promotes the effective and ethical use of spatial information and information technologies for the understanding and management of urban and regional systems. It is a multidisciplinary association where professionals from all parts of the spatial data community can come together and share concerns and ideas.

GeoTech Center:  The National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence is a collaborative effort between 2-year colleges, universities, and industry to assist in the expansion of a well-qualified geospatial technology workforce. The center maintains the Geospatial Education Program Finder, a database of geospatial programs at colleges and universities in the US.


Two excellent resources for geospatial students and young professionals are Rachel Kornak's sites  Emerging GIS Leaders and Geo Pivot

One of the better descriptions about the GIS profession and the changes that have come about in the last few years can be found on the Bellevue College site, here:   Bellevue College: A Career in Geography.