Geographic Information Systems, Graduate Certificate

Department of Geography, Planning, and Recreation

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

This technical, non-degree certificate focuses on producing expert Geographic Information Systems (GIS) practitioners who are prepared to use geographic information systems technology in the workplace.

    • Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 credit hours. Many graduate certificate programs require more than 12 credit hours.
    • No more than one 400-level NAU course (3 - 4 units) may be used on a graduate certificate program.
    • No more than twenty-five percent of the units required for the certificate program may be transferred from another university.
    • A 400-level course (undergraduate course) completed at another university is not eligible for transfer credit.
    • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be achieved to obtain a graduate certificate. No more than three units of coursework with a Grade of "C" may be used in a certificate program.
    • A graduate student may pursue a graduate certificate concurrently with a graduate degree. Each graduate degree program must decide which, if any, certificate courses can be counted toward the graduate degree.
    • Students who are admitted to a graduate certificate program will be eligible for the official posting of the graduate certificate to their transcripts when all applicable coursework has been successfully completed and approved by the academic unit and the Graduate College.
  • Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates, if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program).  See the “Details” tab for additional information.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 16
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

Purpose Statement

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Certificate focuses on producing expert GIS practitioners who are prepared to use geospatial technologies in the workplace.   GIS is a framework for gathering, managing, and analyzing data. Rooted in the science of geography, GIS integrates many types of data. It analyzes spatial location and organizes layers of information into visualizations using maps and 3D scenes. Students gain experience and an advanced skillset that can be applied to careers in urban and regional planning, cartography, remote sensing, and environmental resource management.  This is a post-graduate certificate that is well suited for students who want to enter the field of GIS or apply geospatial techniques and analysis to their desired discipline.  Coursework for the GIS Certificate provides students with the principles of GIS, advanced analysis in enterprise geodatabases, geospatial programming, and web-based GIS. Upon successful completion students will be able to enter the workforce with a competitive edge for jobs in landscape architecture, local government, scientific research, community health analyst, mapping technician, photogrammetrist, land surveyor and many more fields. 

Student Learning Outcomes

The program provides training in advanced GIS technology and geospatial problem-solving ability. Upon completion, students will be able to 

  • Create, manipulate and manage geospatial data
  • Perform spatial analysis to support spatial related decision making
  • Develop GIS tools and automate geoprocessing
  • Present and deliver geospatial information in online and professional quality formats

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

    • Personal statement or essay
Certificate Requirements
  • This certificate may be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program or as a stand-alone certificate. Under both circumstances, federal financial aid can be used for this certificate.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.