Geographic Information Systems Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Program

Graduate Program Head

Anthony C. Robinson

Program CodeGISC
Campus(es)World Campus

The Postbaccalaureate Certificate Program in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) helps professionals in a variety of fields become knowledgeable and skillful users of geographic information systems. The program was designed specifically for experienced GIS practitioners who lack formal education in geography and GIS and wish to advance their careers, and for those who seek to make career changes. The program is offered through Penn State World Campus.

Students subsequently admitted to the Department of Geography Master of Geographic Information Systems degree program may count up to 15 credits of certificate program courses toward the M.G.I.S. degree, subject to restrictions outlined in GCAC-309 Transfer Credit. Certificate students who wish to have certificate courses applied towards a graduate degree in Geographic Information Systems must apply and be admitted to that degree program. Admission to the Geographic Information Systems graduate degree program is a separate step and is not guaranteed.

Effective Semester: Spring 2022
Expiration Semester: Spring 2027

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies. International applicants may be required to satisfy an English proficiency requirement; see GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Certificate Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

Students earn the Postbaccalaureate Certificate by completing four instructor-led online courses — three required and one elective. Students who successfully complete the program earn 12 academic credits.

Prescribed Courses
GEOG 482Making Maps That Matter With GIS3
GEOG 483Problem-Solving with GIS3
GEOG 484GIS Database Development3
Select one of the following:3
GIS Programming and Software Development
Cartography and Visualization
Environmental Challenges in Spatial Data Science
Total Credits12


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop the technical and analytical competencies required to serve as leaders within private and public geospatial technology enterprises.
  • Demonstrate effective design, management, and application of geographic information technologies to support complex problems solving.
  • Combine prior knowledge and career experiences with technical competencies to become broadly-equipped geospatial technology practitioners.


Campus World Campus
Graduate Program Head Anthony C Robinson
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Anthony C Robinson
Program Contact

Julene A Santiago
418 Earth Engr Sciences
University Park PA 16802
(814) 865-2557

Program Website View