University of Texas at Dallas


Excellence in GIS education and research for over a decade.

Home Class Schedule GIS Certificate RS Certificate Masters PhD Course Descriptions Research & Resources



Class Schedule
GIS Certificate
RS Certificate
Course Descriptions
Research & Resources

BA in Geography

On-line Application


GIS Study Awards

e-mail queries

current events


GIS Internet Links


UTD Data Resources


University of Texas at Dallas

School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

800 W. Campbell Road

Richardson, Tx 75080-3021


972-883-6297 (fax)



Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems

Training for novice and experienced GIS professionals, combined with 15 hours of credit applicable to a graduate degree.

Download brochure in .pdf format (8.5"x14" format)

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are rapidly becoming indispensable for many government and private sector operations. This certificate program provides training in this exciting technology, while also granting university credit which can be applied toward a graduate degree. Training is available for both novice and experienced GIS professionals. Emphasis is on  applications in government and business, with more traditional environmental and geological applications also included. Classes are offered through the state of the art GIS facilities housed within the Bruton Center in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and the NASA Center for Excellence in Remote Sensing in the Department of Geosciences. The certification requires 15 graduate hours (5 classes) detailed below. All courses taken as part of the Certificate  also count toward the Master of Science in Geospatial Information Sciences degree, and can be taken in conjunction with the Graduate Certificate in Remote Sensing and/or the Master of Science in Geosciences.

bulletAdmissions and Program Requirements
bulletRequired Courses
bulletCourse Planning
bulletGIS Workshop Student Projects

Mission Statement

The mission of the Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems is to provide students with a thorough grounding in the theories, concepts and skills needed to apply GIS effectively and correctly in a variety of substantive areas, while simultaneously developing proficiency in the use of industry-standard GIS software products. UT-Dallas certificate recipients will have the background and skills necessary to successfully accomplish GIS projects and support GIS operations in a variety of areas in the public and private sectors which could include infrastructure and facility management, urban and regional planning, environmental conservation, market research, site selection, real estate, civil engineering, or natural resource exploration.

Admissions Requirements:

Students seeking the GIS certificate must have completed an undergraduate degree and should apply as "non-degree seeking" students. Admissions paperwork requires only:

bulletan application to UTD Graduate School
bulletan undergraduate transcript.

You may complete and submit an application for admission online. You should apply as a "non-degree" student to the MGIS program. You do not need a GRE (graduate record examination) score or letters of reference for admission to the certification course sequence.  Competence in microcomputer use and familiarity with MS Windows and file management (directories, copying, etc.) is expected. Admissions requirements are the same for students who would simply like to take one or more of the GIS-related courses, without pursuing certification. Up to 15 hours of course work taken as a non-degree seeking student can be applied later to a graduate degree should you desire.

Registration by Current UTD Students

Graduate students in any degree program may register for GIS courses using standard registration procedures. Undergraduate students eligible for the Fast Track program may also enroll. See your program adviser regarding degree-plan credit assignment. Courses are listed under geospatial information sciences (GISC) in the UTD Class Schedule, with additional offerings under Geosciences (GEOS) and Political Economy (POEC).

Required Courses:

The five courses required to earn the certificate are:
I. GISC 6381 Geographic Information Systems Fundamentals 
PC-based hands-on introduction to GIS concepts, technologies and their applications.
II. GISC 6383  GIS Management and Implementation:
Teaches strategies for GIS management and implementation based on systematic user needs assessment, requirements specification, database design, pilot project, application development, implementation, operation, and maintenance.
III. GISC 6382 Applied GIS:
Provides the opportunity to further develop and apply hands-on GIS skills for application in a variety of areas including urban infrastructure management, marketing and location analysis, environmental management, geologic and geophysical analysis and the social sciences. (GISC 6385 Adavnced GIS taken in Spring 1999 or earlier will substitute.) Prerequisite: GISC 6381
IV. GISC 6387 GIS Workshop:
Allows students to work on independent projects tailored to their professional needs or interests. Can be completed through the School of Social Science or the School of Natural Science. Prerequisite: GISC 6381 & 6382(or 6385 taken Spring 99 or earlier)
V. A Topics Course chosen from the following, or as approved by the GIS certificate director:
bulletSchool of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences
bulletGISC 5317 Computer Programming for GIS (taken Fall 99 or later)
bulletPOEC 5313 Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
bulletPOEC 5318 Advanced Regression Analysis
bulletGISC 6384 Spatial Analysis
bulletGISC 6385 GIS Theories, Models and Issues
bulletPOEC 6388 Computer Techniques for Research
bulletGISC 6386 Urban & Environmental Applications of GIS/RS
bulletGISC 6388 GIS Application Development
bulletGISV 7360 GIS Pattern Analysis
bulletGISC 7361 Spatial Statistics
bulletGISC 7362 GIS Network Modeling
bulletGISC 7363 Internet Mapping and Information Management
bulletGISV 7364 Demogrpahic Analysis and Modeling
bulletGISC 7365 Remote Sensing Digital Image Processing
bulletGISC 7368 Spatial Epidemioloogy
bulletGISC 7384 Advanced Raster Modeling
bulletGISC 7387 Research Design in GIS
bulletGISC 6332 GIS Applications in Criminology
bulletSchool of Natural Science (Geoscience)
bulletGEOS 5422 GPS Satellite Surveying Techniques
bulletGEOS 5489 GIS Applications in Geosciences
bulletGEOS 5325 Intro to  Remote Sensing
bulletGEOS 5329 Applied Remote Sensing
bulletGEOS 5328 Radar Remote Sensing
bulletGEOS 5326 Remote Sensing Digital Image Processing
bulletSchool of Management (MIS)
bulletMIS 6326 Database Management Systems

MIS 6308 Systems Anal. & Proj. Management


MIS 6324  Business Intelligence Software and Techniques 


MIS 6328 Information Strategy Planning  

Individuals experienced with GIS may have the introductory course waived, but must take an additional course from the topics courses listed above. No more than two courses may be transferred from another institution. Courses for the Certificate must be completed within a 3-year period with a  minimum GPA of 3.0.


The total cost per semester for Texas residents, including tuition and all fees, is approximately (Fall 2007):
bullet$1,558 for one course
bullet$2.512 for two courses
Text books would normally be an additional $75-$125 per course

Additional information on fees is available here.

Course Planning

The usual course sequencing is such that the Introductory course and the Management and Implementation course are offered in the Fall. The Applied GIS is offered in the Spring and the workshop in the Summer. Courses from the topics are offered on a rotating basis. Students can complete the certificate in one calendar year starting in the Fall. Click here for current schedule of classes.

Example One Year Program


Course #

Course Title

Fall GISC 6381 GIS Fundamentals
Fall GISC 6383 GIS Implementation and Management
Spring GISC 6382 Applied GIS
Spring   Optional Topics Course
Summer GISC 6387 GIS Workshop


Classes are offered through state-of-the-art GIS facilities housed at the Bruton Center in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and at the NASA Center for Excellence in Remote Sensing in the Department of Geosciences. These include a 21-station PC lab running Windows NT for instruction; clusters of UNIX-based SUN servers and workstations and advanced PC and MAC systems for more specialized applications and large scale data storage; and input/ output devices for handling high resolution and large scale GIS materials. The University's extensive instructional computing facilities, which include a UNIX-based teaching lab, are also available. Facilities are open extended hours including evenings and weekends. Enrollment in hands-on courses is controlled to ensure access to computer resources.


For further information, send e-mail ([email protected]) to the director of the GIS certificate, Dr Ronald Briggs  or contact the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences as follows:

Graduate Studies 
School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences
P.O. Box 830688
Richardson, TX 75083-0688 
Phone: (972) 883-2720 
E-mail: [email protected]
World Wide Web: 

[top of page]

|GISci Home| EPPS|| Bruton Center|| Geosciences