Program Summary

Samford University’s affordable, all-online Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) offers outstanding education in a technology that has become an essential part of environmental careers. Choose this path to develop the skills for sophisticated gathering, analysis, mapping, and reporting of geographic data!

Objectives & Curriculum

The Graduate Certificate in GIS provides environmental professionals with the skillset needed to plan, collect, manage, and analyze spatial environmental data. Students who do not have any experience using GIS will gain foundational knowledge in an introductory course. Students who already have some experience using GIS will benefit by being introduced to specific environmental applications and cutting edge technology for analysis and management of spatial data. As students progress through the program, their repertoire of skills will continue to grow and prepare them to confront real-world issues that they have or will likely encounter in their career. Graduates will be able to:

  • Apply geospatial concepts and methods to better understand environmental issues.
  • Manage, critique, and analyze environmental data using GIS.
  • Design spatial databases for collection of environmental information at multiple scales.
  • Perform basic and advanced spatial analysis and modeling to address environmental issues.
  • Interpret results of spatial analysis through an applied environmental lens.
  • Communicate results of environmental analysis using maps, graphics and other geovisualization products.

View Curriculum

Is This Program for Me?

The certificate is ideal for working professionals who want a thorough and practical foundation in Geographic Information Systems to improve their problem-solving ability, move up in their careers or enter a new field. The certificate can stand alone or students can apply the certificate’s academic credits toward Samford’s online Master of Science in Environmental Management Degree if accepted into that program.

Students enrolled in the graduate GIS certificate program will learn to use cutting edge GIS technology including:

Throughout the program, students will have access to required GIS software at no additional cost. Many industry leading GIS software packages (e.g., ArcGIS) are compatible only with a Windows PC. Therefore, to complete coursework you must have access to a Windows based PC that meets minimum requirements. Please visit the links below to learn more about system requirements, or contact the graduate GIS certificate program director for more information. Find program cost here.

ArcGIS Pro ArcGIS Desktop 

What Makes Us Different?

Samford’s long history of interdisciplinary application of GIS technology, expert faculty, flexible online format and focus on practical applications provide a unique opportunity for professionals who want to develop a valuable skill without committing to a full graduate degree.

Career Preparation

Market Ready

The Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems supports career advancement opportunities in many environmental fields, including conservation, wildlife and fisheries management, environmental science, geoscience, public health, forestry and natural resource management. Specific careers within these fields include GIS technician, GIS analyst, geographic information specialist, cartographer, GIS administrator, remote sensing analyst and survey manager.