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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Geospatial Programming and Web Map Development

Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Anthony C. Robinson, Assistant Professor of Geography, Director of Online Geospatial Education
430 Earth and Engineering Sciences
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-574-0030
E-mail: arobinson@psu.edu

The Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Programming and Web Map Development helps geospatial professionals become skillful developers of software for the GIS and mapping industries. These skills include the ability to script the automation of geospatial business processes, to develop custom user interface tools on top of existing desktop applications, and to author web-based mapping applications that support the exploration and analysis of geospatial datasets. Such skills are in high demand in the geospatial industry. This program is designed specifically for geospatial practitioners who seek formal education in geospatial programming and web mapping for the purposes of advancing their professional development or seeking a career change. It covers software development in the uniquely geospatial context using a mixture of proprietary and open source languages and technologies. The core learning objectives for students in this program are:

• Apply contemporary programming principles to automate geospatial analysis and mapping processes.
• Design and implement custom user interfaces to support mapping and spatial analysis.
• Create interactive web-based mapping applications that support spatial data exploration and analysis.

The certificate is offered online through Penn State's World Campus, and students earn the certificate by completing three prescribed courses and two elective courses. Students who successfully complete the program earn 15 academic credits. Students admitted to the Department of Geography's Master of GIS degree program may count up to 15 credits of certificate program courses toward the M.G.I.S. degree, subject to restrictions outlined in the Transfer of Nondegree and Certificate Graduate Credits. Certificate students who wish to have certificate courses applied towards a graduate degree must apply and be admitted to that degree program. Admission to a graduate degree program is a separate step and is not guaranteed.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must apply for admission to the certificate program via the Graduate School application for admission. Admission requirements are stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin. International applicants must satisfy the English proficiency requirement. Intermediate-level experience with professional applications of geographic information systems is expected as pre-requisite knowledge. Coursework to establish that pre-requisite knowledge is available through the related Postbaccalaureate Certificate in GIS program.


List of Courses* Included in the Certificate:

Prescribed Courses (9 credits)

GEOG 485: GIS Programming and Software Development
GEOG 863: Web Application Development for the Geospatial Professional
GEOG 585: Open Web Mapping

Electives (choose 6 credits from):

GEOG 486: Cartography and Visualization
GEOG 489: GIS Application Development
GEOG 868: Spatial Database Management for the Geospatial Professional
GEOG 865: Cloud and Server GIS

Effective Semester: Summer 2018
Expiration Semester: (maximum of 5 years from effective date) Summer 2023

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