Geospatial Programming and Web Map Development Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Graduate Program HeadAnthony C. Robinson
Program CodeGEOWBD

University Park

World Campus

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 GCAC-309 Transfer Credit. 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.

Effective Semester: Summer 2018
Expiration Semester: Summer 2023

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.

Intermediate-level experience with professional applications of geographic information systems is expected as pre-requisite knowledge. Course work to establish that pre-requisite knowledge is available through the related Postbaccalaureate Certificate in GIS program.

Certificate Requirements

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

Required Courses
GEOG 485GIS Programming and Software Development3
GEOG 863Web Application Development for the Geospatial Professional3
GEOG 585Open Web Mapping3
Choose 6 credits from:6
Cartography and Visualization
Advanced Python Programming for GIS
Spatial Database Management for the Geospatial Professional
Cloud and Server GIS
Total Credits15


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.


Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Anthony C Robinson
Program Contact

Kary D Isett

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

Sue N Spaugh
(814) 863-2502