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Geographic Information Systems

Specialized Certificate

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About the Geographic Information Systems Program

Our Specialized Certificate in Geographic Information Systems provides you with the skills to store, analyze, and visualize geographic and spatial data.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allow businesses and organizations to leverage spatial and geographic data in logistics, communications, management, planning, decision-making, record-keeping, and engineering across many industries; including business, defense, urban planning, education, government, health and human services, public safety, and transportation. While map-making is the task most often associated with geographic information systems, their large range of applications means GIS professionals can have other responsibilities, including data analysis, predictive modelling, programming, and project management.

You will learn a full range of GIS capabilities in this online certificate program. Program courses begin with basic skills, such as displaying and querying data, and progress to more advanced skills, such as designing and managing databases and analyzing data for specific applications. In the program's capstone course, you will apply the skills you have learned throughout the program to create and present an in-depth research project.

Key Program Topics
  • Fundamental GIS skills
  • Coordinate systems
  • Editing geographic and tabular data
  • Spatial data analysis
  • Geodatabase creation and design
  • Geospatial information design and cartography
  • 3D data display and analysis
  • Basic project management techniques

For more information about this program, please contact unex-techdata@ucsd.edu.

  • Practical, comprehensive hands-on training
  • Immediately applicable skills
  • All courses taught online
  • Program can be completed in just over a year
  • Industry-neutral curriculum allows you to apply knowledge to your field of interest
  • Capstone guided research project and report

Who Will Benefit
  • Individuals seeking a career in defense, planning, government, transportation, environmental, or related industries
  • Data analysts looking to add spatial data analysis to their skillset
  • Individuals desiring to start a career as a geospatial or GIS analyst, scientist, or technician
  • Anyone interested in learning high-demand spatial analysis skills
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median wages for a Geographic Information Systems Technicians, Scientists, or Technologists are $86,510 per year nationwide and $91,680 per year in California.
  • Geographic Information Systems Technicians, Scientists, and Technologists are O*NET “Bright Outlook” jobs:  new and emerging roles in a high growth industry
  • According to Burning Glass, top companies hiring individuals with GIS skills nationwide in the past year include AECOM Technology Corporation, Booz Allen Hamilton, ESRI, BAE Systems, Leidos, General Dynamics, the American Planning Association, CACI, and the National Park Service.
Format: Online

Estimated Cost: $4,150

Duration: 15 Months

Contact
Department
Science & Technology
Phone
858-534-9351
Email
unex-techdata@ucsd.edu

Courses

Delivery Method
Show Legend
  • Live Online
  • In-Person
  • Online
  • Hybrid
  • Number of courses: Five courses
  • Total units: 15

Courses must be completed in the order listed

GIS I: Introduction to GISCSE-40991

Units: 3.00

$750

GIS I: Introduction to GISThe ability to analyze and manipulate spatial data is critical across many industries, including urban planning, healthcare, agriculture, mining, trade, environmental science...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

GIS II: Spatial AnalysisECE-40246

Units: 3.00

$775

GIS II: Spatial AnalysisGIS spatial analysis allows us to understand better the spaces around us, and how those spaces relate to one another. Whether defining a location, measuring size or shape, quan...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

GIS III: Geodatabase DesignECE-40247

Units: 3.00

$775

GIS III: Geodatabase DesignAs with all types of data, without a way to organize large sets of geographic or spatial data, it can become increasingly difficult to extract useful information from the da...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

GIS IV: 3-D Display and Analysis of Spatial DataECE-40248

Units: 3.00

$775

GIS IV: 3-D Display and Analysis of Spatial DataData is most valuable when used to identify and quantify patterns and relationships. This is especially true with spatial data and spatial data analysis...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

GIS Capstone ProjectECE-40272

Units: 3.00

$775

GIS Capstone ProjectKnowing how to design and execute a research project using GIS is critical to your success as a GIS analyst, as is your ability to present your research findings effectively and fo...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Not required for certificate

Data Analytics Using PythonCSE-41204

Units: 3.00

$725

Data Analytics Using PythonIn this course, you will learn the rich set of tools, libraries, and packages that comprise the highly popular and practical Python data analysis ecosystem. This course is p...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Not required for certificate

Introduction to SQL ProgrammingCSE-40933

Units: 3.00

$725

Introduction to SQL ProgrammingLearn how to use the Structured Query Language (SQL) to create, manipulate, and create reports from database tables. Important concepts associated with relational databa...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Introduction to R ProgrammingCSE-41097

Units: 3.00

$695

Introduction to R ProgrammingStatistical computing is employed within a diverse range of industries. In recent years, an open source project, R, has emerged as the preeminent statistical computing pla...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

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Conditions for Admission

Although programs are open to all adult learners, UC San Diego Extension programs are designed to best serve college-prepared working professionals. Where program capacity is limited, applicants with this profile will receive preference for admission.

Certificate Guidelines

You may enroll in the certificate program at any time. However, it is recommended that you enroll as soon as possible. The program curriculum may be updated at any time; if certificate requirements change, you must adhere to the curriculum at the time of your enrollment into the certificate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Expand All

What software is used in this program?

Students will use ArcGIS by ESRI in this course, and the license for this software is included with purchase of the program textbooks. NOTE - a computer with a native Windows operating system is highly recommended.

If you are a Mac user, Esri provides information on installing ArcGIS software natively on a Windows partition using Boot Camp here.

Please visit this page for information on installing Esri software in a virtual environment.

Are there any prerequisites for this program?

Students should be comfortable with a Windows-based PC.

How long is this program?

Most students complete the program in approximately a year and a quarter by taking one course per quarter for five consecutive quarters. You have up to five years to complete all requirements for the certificate.

How much does this program cost?

The program costs approximately $4,150 including the certificate fee, course fees, and required textbooks. This is an estimate of the full cost of the program. This estimate may vary based on a variety of factors. All estimated costs are subject to change. Program fees are paid on a per-course basis, when you enroll in a course, and current fees and textbooks are listed on the individual course pages.

Can this program be completed entirely online?

Yes! This program is designed for you to take it online in the convenience of your own home or office. Some courses may also have in-class options, but all program requirements can be completed online. For online courses, all assignments, tests, and quizzes can be completed online and submitted through Canvas, our online learning platform.

If I already have the skills taught in one of the program courses, can I skip that course?

If you have taken a course from an accredited university covering the learning objectives of a program course, you may be able to transfer your previous coursework to Extension. If you have not taken a course elsewhere, but already have the skills covered in a course, you may be able to substitute an alternate Extension course in its place. Please contact the program representative at unex-techdata@ucsd.edu or (858) 534-9351 for more information.

Is this certificate open to non-California residents?

Yes, the program is open to non-California residents, including non-US residents. The tuition is the same for all students. If you have questions about how enrolling in courses may or may not affect your visa status, please contact our International Department at ipinfo@ucsd.edu or (858) 534-6784.

How can I get more information about this program?

You will find a downloadable program flyer and program FAQs under "Related Documents" on the right side of the top of this page. If you need further information, please contact the program representative at (858) 534-9351 or unex-techdata@ucsd.edu.

Advisory Board

Heidi Batchelor

Programmer Analyst

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Jason Batchelor

GIS Coordinator, Department of Planning and Land Use

County of San Diego

Jack Gerard

SPAWAR SSC Pacific

Isabelle Kay

Natural Reserve Systems, UC San Diego

Barbara Kent

Coordinator

California Dept. of Transportation

Pat Landrum

Chief Caltrans GIS/Project Development

San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)

Ross Martin

GIS Manager

County of San Diego

Kathryn Mengerink, Ph.D., J.D.

Director of the Ocean Program

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

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This certificate requires an application before taking any courses. There will be a $0 fee to apply to this program. Students will also be required to pay a $95 certificate fee upon enrollment into the program after acceptance. View the complete Certificate Registration and Candidacy Guidelines.