Applicants may claim credential points equal to the value of the highest degree or certificate earned. Credential points are awarded through the successful completion of a formal degree or certificate program offered by an accredited educational institution. For example:

  • An applicant who has earned an associate degree may claim 10 points.
  • An applicant who has earned a bachelor’s degree may claim 20 points.  With dual degrees, credential points may be claimed for one while the others may only be used for Course Points (visit course points for more info).
  • An applicant who has earned a master’s degree or higher (e.g., M.A., M.S., or Ph.D.) may claim 25 points.
  • An applicant who has earned no formal degrees, but who has earned a GIS Certificate from an accredited academic institution, may claim 5 points.
  • An applicant who has earned degrees from non-U.S. institutions may claim points associated with the most comparable degree (justification required).


  • Enter only the highest degree earned.
  • No accreditation program currently exists specifically for GIS-related education programs. Higher educational institutions in the U.S. are accredited, however, by one of the regional accrediting organizations associated with the Council for Higher Education Association (
  • Many higher education institutions confer GIS Certificates to students who complete a prescribed number of credit or non-credit courses. Requirements vary widely. Only certificates that involve a minimum of 400 hours of student activity qualify for Credential points. Points for courses completed in fulfillment of GIS certificates earned in conjunction with or in addition to a formal degree may be claimed in the Course Points section.